Everyone we talk to tells us it is a seller's market. That the inventory of homes for sale is at an all-time low and that sellers are often getting more than asking price due to bidding wars going on. That is wonderful news for anyone in that position.
Now, you might not be looking to sell your home today, but, at some point in the future you might. If you have plans in the future, and are likely looking to increase both the value and efficiency of your family's home, you might want to consider making your home a "green home." It will increase both the value of your home AND help you save money on your local utility bills, both in the summer and winter months. And, that, is always a good thing!
People are often looking for green homes because they value the notion of being environmentally conscious. It has been noticed that green homes command more money due to the interest people have in this whole concept. What is interesting is that 90% of homebuyers rank the idea of home efficiency as very important. Further, green-certified homes have the potential to sell for $20,000-$25,000 MORE than there non-certified counterparts. Definitely a reason to consider making these incremental investments.
It is best to start being proactive and keeping track of all the efficiency upgrades you make, and when, so when you are talking to your realtor, they can include that list as part of their marketing materials to help command a higher price. Here are some areas to address to help make your home green and save you money:
Keep that Electric Bill Low
The utility bill has quickly become a major household expense. First, consider updating any old appliances that are not energy star rated, replaced old incandescent bulbs with LEDs, install solar panels if your home faces due south (you don't even have to pay for them anymore).
Ensure you have quality insulation installed - make sure the R rating of your insulation in your attic is up to code and be sure to replace any insulation where there are drafty places in your home.
Replace old windows - today's new windows are double-paned or better with helps to trap warm, or cool, air in that creates a barrier depending on the time of year. Window replacement can save you A LOT of money quickly!
Install a smart thermostat - these are great because they track your family's habits and will automatically adjust your HVAC system based on your usage (if you don't know how to do this, hire a local electrician in Albany to help out)
Install low-flow faucets & toilets - these will save on water usage substantially
Tankless water heaters - use less energy and are on-demand so you would save both water & electric costs.