All across the country, home buyers are now looking for more green features than ever. Environmentally friendly elements make homes easier to sell today while also doing good for the environment. If you've got any of these features in your home or are looking for upgrades to make before listing your home, here are a few green elements that could improve your market value.
Alternative energy sources are becoming increasingly popular as more and more people make the switch to solar power in their homes. One reason for the increase in popularity is the lowering costs of solar. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average cost of solar PV panels has dropped more than 60% since 2010 and the cost of solar electric systems has dropped by 50% since that time. This makes it more affordable to go green, pushing more people towards this source of renewable energy.
Alternative Building Materials
While vinyl is still a popular siding choice, the production of this material contributes to the amount of plastic waste worldwide. Today the world makes and consumes about 600 billion pounds of plastic yearly, and the market is still growing about 5% a year. Instead of relying on resource-draining materials like plastic or rare types of wood, many homeowners are looking to recycled materials or more easily replaced materials, like bamboo. And new metal roofs may contain up to 60% recycled metal content and are 100% recyclable at the end of their service lives. These materials can reduce the overall carbon footprint of the home, while also decreasing cost.
While many people still consider modular construction or prefabricated homes as cheaper alternatives and not up to the standards of a traditionally constructed home, this couldn't be farther from the truth. Modular constructions reduce energy consumption during the building process by around 67% and reduces energy costs later on for occupants. Over time, prefabricated homes have become more sophisticated, making them a more realistic option for many home owners.
While you might not necessarily be able to see this upgrade when initially walking through a home, improved insulation can make a huge difference in the energy efficiency of a house. Heating and cooling makes up a significant portion of the average home's electricity bill, and installing extra insulation or replacing existing insulation with one of a higher R-value can reduce long-term costs and energy requirements.
Not all green features are necessarily included in construction. Switching to Energy Star approved appliances can make a home more marketable; these appliances are often newer and in better condition. They'll also reduce energy costs for later occupants, providing long-term benefits as well as initial appeal. If you're looking to upgrade appliances throughout your home before selling, check to see if they're Energy Star certified first.
These green home features aren't just great for the environment; they can also be an excellent selling point for a home. Consider adding these to your home or emphasizing them if you're looking to sell your home to an environmentally-minded buyer.