Energy Saving Upgrades on a Budget
Greater resale value. A house sold as-is requires full disclosure of conditions to potential buyers. At a low price, some energy inefficiency can be overcome. Sellers need to ask themselves: If I make no improvements, will the amount I have to discount my asking price be greater than the cost of improvements? Are the energy problems also code violations or deficiencies that an appraiser will include in their report? If home A is correctly insulated and has Energy Star rated windows while house B does not, which house will sell first or at a higher price? Energy efficiency is scrutinized not just by prospective buyers but also appraisers and mortgage companies because an energy efficient home is more affordable to own and has greater resale value than a comparable house without green features.
Lower utility bills. Energy costs continue to rise in many parts of the country. The price for propane, natural gas, and fuel oil are increasingly volatile. Heating fuel prices drop one week and skyrocket the next for a number of reasons—an oil spill, hurricane, political upheaval, or evidence of environmental damage due to different mining or extraction methods. If your home has a $300 monthly energy bill you will spend $36,000 over 10 years, excluding inflation. The average increase across all heating fuel prices is about 11% per year. That equates to $72,000 in 10 years. Rising utility costs is the most often cited reason homeowners seek energy efficient improvements.
Comfort. A house that is not energy efficient is easily recognized. Rooms become too hot or cold as seasons change. Inconsistent temperatures shrink living space and reduce productivity. Be sure to address air leakage, inadequate insulation, or an inefficient HVAC system.
Curb appeal. Realtors know that smart upgrades such as insulated vinyl siding or Energy Star windows distinguish quality listings from comparable houses. Take notice of the better homes your neighborhood to see what realtors look for.