We’ve talked energy efficient upgrades in a previous blog, but in reference to a recent Redfin article, we wanted to talk it again.
Studies show demand for energy efficient homes is growing. Homebuyers recognize that investments in improvements like energy efficient windows, insulation and duct sealing enhance comfort, reduce utility bills, and create a healthier indoor environment. According to the National Association of Home Builders, 9 out of 10 homebuyers (9 out of 10!) would rather buy an efficient home—(and they’re willing to pay a little more, too.)
The mortgage industry is also beginning to value energy efficiency. FHA borrowers can now qualify for a larger mortgage for homes that score a six or higher on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Home Energy Score. Other lenders offer similar options.
If you’re planning to sell your home, it makes good financial sense to know how efficient it is and to invest in meaningful improvements that increase its value. Here are two recommended ways to know you’re getting the most value for your home.
1. Find the right (KRE) realtor and (KRE recommended) appraiser
To realize the full value of your home’s energy efficiency, it’s essential to find an appraiser and realtor who recognize the value of the improvements made to your home. A savvy appraiser will understand the benefits of green upgrades and include them in their valuations if they believe it will make a difference to a buyer. Ask professionals about their education and expertise in green homes, such as Earth Advantage Institute’s Accredited Green Appraiser designation.
3. Document all upgrades (and their benefits)
If energy efficiency improvements are reducing your utility bills by $60 or even $100 per month, it’s important that your real estate professionals know this. Appraisers can’t value an upgrade to a home that they don’t know about, and a lot of efficiency upgrades are difficult to see. Keep track of the upgrades you make and their benefits, and share this information with your assessor and realtor.
If you’re thinking about selling your home, or if you want to save money and enhance comfort in a home you plan to keep for a while, these simple steps will help you make the most of your investments.