The following is a guest post by Sid Davis, author of Your Eco-Friendly Home: Buying, Building, or Remodeling Green (AMACOM 2009) on making your home greener and more appealing to buyers.
There is a general idea that going greener involves spending too much green–but the opposite is true. Using eco-friendly materials can actually help you, and your prospective buyers, save money in the long run. So here are a few ways to appeal to the eco-minded (and penny-wise) buyer.
1. When your furnace, AC or water needs replacement, shop around for an Energy Star® rated or better unit. You may pay a little more up front, but you’ll save money in the end.
2. Replace aging (10 years or more) appliances with new energy efficient models. Look for Utility company rebates when you buy Energy Star rated products.
3. Replace old windows with energy efficient double or triple pane products. Look for the Energy Star label. You may also get federal and local tax rebates, financing or other incentives.
4. When a standard light bulb burns out, replace with an EnergyStar rated bulb. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, if we all replaced just one light bulb with energy efficient ones we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year.
5. When it’s time to re-shingle, look for products made from recycled materials. Consider steel panels, recycled materials that look like tiles and shingles.
6. If your siding needs replacing, consider fiber-cement products made from concrete and recycled fibers. These products come in dozens of colors and textures.
7. Landscape your yard to use less water. Go with more flowerbeds, walkways and drought-tolerant plants.
8. Replace fixtures with low-flow Water Sense® rated models.
9. If your toilets are the older water-guzzlers, consider replacing with new low water use models.
10. Plant trees to shade your home in the summer and cut down on air conditioning use.
11. Replace vinyl flooring as it wears out with recycled flooring such as linoleum, bamboo, laminate or other green choices.
12. Check your insulation and upgrade if needed. Underperforming insulation is a big energy and money waster.
For more information, check out my book, Your Eco-Friendly Home: Buying, Building, or Remodeling Green (AMACOM 2009), and good luck on attracting those green buyers!
Sid Davis is the owner of Sid Davis & Associates, a real estate firm. He is the author of The First-Time Homeowner’s Survival Guide, A Survival Guide for Buying a Home, A Survival Guide to Selling a Home, Home Makeovers that Sell, and numerous articles in Today’s Homeowner, Construction Management Today, and The Los Angeles Times. He lives in Farmington, UT.
Watch out for another guest post I have coming up tomorrow on questions to ask before buying a home.