Ask a seasoned realtor what’s the best way to increase a home’s value, and she’ll probably say, “make your home more cost-effective for your buyers”. There are numerous ways to make a home more cost-effective, and one of these is installing energy-savers. This may sound like a broken record, but it is one of the most lucrative tips in the industry. During the 1980s, home values increased by $20 per $1 decrease in annual energy costs, and such a favorable situation is seen even today.
Home sellers who make their homes more energy-efficient also have a competitive advantage over other homes for sale in the neighborhood. This is because (1) It promotes healthy living by providing clean air inside the house, (2) it lowers your buyer’s annual utility costs and, (3) It qualifies your buyer for an energy mortgage.
One major drawback, however, is that energy-saving technologies can have expensive upfront costs. For example:
- solar water heaters can range between $1,585 – $13,000
- energy-efficient air conditioners can run between $2,320 – $4,244 (incl. installation) and;
- roof insulations can cost between $1,500 – $6,000
The good news is, you don’t really have to go for luxurious energy-saving upgrades! Here are some more affordable ways to increase your home’s value without drilling too much into your wallet:
Tip # 1: Repaint Your House White
The color of your walls, roof, etc., can dictate the temperature inside your home. Simply put, darker colors absorb more heat while lighter colors reflect heat away from the house. Don’t get us wrong, white isn’t the only color that can drastically impact your heating and A/C bills; but it can reduce heat up to 35%. If you want to consider a more aesthetic approach, try mixing in lighter shades of beige.
A gallon of semi-gloss white paint (interior) at Home Depot costs between $24 – $35, while a gallon of base paint costs between $24 – $41. For exteriors, expect that the prices per gallon are slightly higher. If you think your home needs a little brightening up, you can check out The Spruce’s paint calculator to give you an idea of how much your total repainting costs would be, depending on the size of your house.
Tip # 2: Let More Natural Light In
Letting in more natural light can reduce your electricity expenses, specifically through the reduced use of electrical lighting and heaters. This energy-saving solution doesn’t just involve installing wider windows, glass doors, and skylights; there are other ways to draw natural light in, and these include:
- Using sheer curtains
- Repositioning tall furniture (make them perpendicular to walls with windows)
- Placing windows strategically in front of windows
- Painting the eaves white
- Using glass tiles to scatter light
- Using high-gloss paint
- Getting rid of carpets and polishing the floors
More than saving on electrical costs, more natural light will also allow you to have indoor vegetation. Plants can help regulate the temperature inside your home and give your buyers healthy, fresh air.
Tip # 3: Replace Light Bulbs with LED
According to the Department of Energy, LEDs can provide energy savings of up to 80% and last up to 25x longer than traditional incandescents. You can buy LEDs at less than $7 per piece and get at least $75 worth of annual cost savings.
Aside from LED lights, you can also explore halogen incandescent lights and compact fluorescent lights. These may have lesser energy savings than LED, but they still have lower annual energy costs than traditional light bulbs. Be careful of counterfeit energy-saving lights, though. Make sure to look for the Energy Star rating when you buy.
Tip # 4: Install Retractable Awnings
When it’s too hot out, awnings can also help reduce the temperature inside your house. If you aren’t familiar with this yet, these are sheets that provide shade, usually in patios. Do note that awnings can block sunlight from entering your windows. That’s why you only use this when the sun’s heat is too hot for you to handle (a great alternative for turning your A/C on). Retractable awnings can cost between $1,384 – $4,106 including installation costs. And if well cared for, these energy-savers can last for a very long time!
Tip # 5: Increase Vegetation
Have you ever heard of plant air conditioning? Plants can cool down any indoor space by up to 10o as it releases moisture through transpiration. Plus, they serve as natural air filters and regulate humidity so your home will be safe, healthy, and comfy for your family! Even if you aren’t considering selling your house yet, now would still be a great time to bring some natural greens into your home. When the time comes that you decide to sell, the benefits of your indoor plants would have already manifested fully.
Here are some indoor plants that can keep your home effortlessly cool:
- Aloe Vera
- Areca Palm
- Snake Plant
- Ficus Plants
- Silver Vine
- Peace Lilies
- Corn Plants
- Chinese Evergreen
Making your home energy-efficient is now becoming more affordable and accessible. Remember that if you factor this in before you appraise your house, your home’s value will increase, and your house will be more attractive for your potential buyers. If you need assistance in selling your home with only minimal, cost-efficient upgrades, you can talk to us here at HomeSold GA, and let’s see how we can create more value for your home! Call us at 770-668-4888!