Homes that come with money-saving efficiency features have a big advantage in the housing market. According to several studies, green houses sell faster and for more money than similar houses that lack upgrades to keep the utility bills down. If you are thinking about selling, it may be worth it to make some key changes in order to boost the attractiveness of your house to potential buyers and increase the dollar sum you walk away with.
According to a survey by the National Association of Homebuilders, 90 percent of people shopping for a new home consider efficiency “very important.” Seventy-two percent of buyers said efficiency features would influence their decision, and 61 percent would pay as much as $5,000 more for an efficient house. In California, green-certified houses sell for $34,800 more, and green houses in Seattle, Wash., and Portland, Ore., sell at a premium of 8.5 percent and 12 percent, respectively. Furthermore, the study in Seattle also found that green homes sold 22 percent faster.
When it's time to sell, highlight your efficiency features in your listing, and let prospective buyers see copies of your utility bills to entice them with how much they could be saving.
Keep that Water Bill Low
Water bills don't affect the bottom line as much as your energy and heating costs, but every little bit you can save does make a difference. Keep your usage to a minimum by installing low-flow faucets in your sinks and showers, and replacing older toilets with high-efficiency models. If you are building a new house, or have the cash to spare, you can also consider installing a [recycling system] into your plumbing, which automatically filters and reuses water from your shower, bathroom sink and washing machine and diverts it to the toilet and outdoor hose.
An instant or tankless water heater can also help keep your water bill down by reducing the gallons wasted down the drain while you wait for the shower to heat up.
How Else Can I Increase My Efficiency?
Don't forget to take other steps to increase the energy efficiency of your home:
- Seal off drafty areas and make sure you have good insulation throughout the house during winter months.
- Purchase appliances that are Energy-Star certified to meet strict efficiency standards.
- Do away with incandescent bulbs and upgrade to energy-efficient devices like compact fluorescents or LEDS.
- Spring for double- or even triple-pane windows to keep hot air from escaping in the winter, and cool air in the summer.
- Think about technology like a smart thermostat that will automatically adjust to your habits and find the most efficient way to reduce bills while still keeping you warm and cozy.
- If you want to go all out, put some solar panels on the roof to reduce or even eliminate your electricity bill.
When in doubt, get an energy audit from a qualified professional to identify other ways you can save money and increase your efficiency. Even if you are planning to live in your house the rest of your life, the work will pay off in the savings you see every month.Contact local Benjamin Franklin® plumbers for more tips on conserving water and increasing the efficiency of your plumbing system.