November 5, 2018
In the U.S., it’s estimated that roughly 5.5 million houses will change hands in 2018. Sooner or later, most homeowners are going to find themselves looking for ways to maximize the value of their home.
One of the best ways to achieve this is through investing in green home improvements. In fact, recent studies suggest that homes with green technology upgrades consistently outsell homes on the market not equipped with green technology.
You may also be able to finance these improvements through the property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing program, which is designed to help homeowners afford clean energy and efficient home upgrades.
Here's a look at some of the top home improvements that can increase your home’s value—and win the hearts and minds of potential homebuyers in the process.
In a recent home real estate survey, 63 percent of potential homebuyers identified smart LED lighting as one of the top home improvements they look for in choosing a future home.
A big factor is their energy efficiency. LEDs use only 20-25 percent of the energy of standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 25 times longer. They also produce very little heat, thus lowering climate control costs.
Energy-efficient smart exterior lighting can also increase the salability of your home. People want to feel safe. Smart exterior lighting equipped with motion sensors delivers the added selling point of reinforcing that your home is a secure place to live.
Then there’s the simple marketing truth that appearance matters—and as any photographer will attest, a major factor in making a home look good is light. Good lighting will make your home pop—and that can never hurt!
Visually pleasing and water-efficient landscaping is another no-brainer as one of the top home improvements for increasing resale value.
A well-kept and inviting outdoor area yields a high return on investment in boosting the value of your home. Even minor enhancements to a garden’s condition can yield property value increases of up to 300 percent on investment.
Smart irrigation systems are one of the best investments you can make because they offer potential homebuyers both added convenience, and the potential of significant savings on outdoor water bills.
Another bonus is that smart irrigation is equipped with early leak detection. Given that as many as 10 percent of homes experience water leaks in excess of 90 gallons per day, this technology can boost your home’s market value simply by offering peace of mind.
Installing solar power is a much bigger investment than the technologies we’ve looked at so far, but it can also deliver an appreciable boost to the value of your home. A recent study by the Department of Energy’s Berkeley National Laboratory showed that solar power increases the value of a home by an average of $15,000.
PACE financing enables homeowners to install large home upgrades like solar power, making it one of the top home improvements for greatly improving long-term energy efficiency while increasing home resale value.
One reason solar power is such a desirable home improvement feature is that it provides predictable savings. Unlike utility rates which can fluctuate sharply over time, solar power payments remain fixed over time.
It’s also ethically appealing. Multinational green energy company Ørsted recently conducted a global survey of how people respond emotionally to green energy initiatives. Eighty percent responded favorably to solar energy, recognizing its vital importance for the environment.
The data strongly suggests that people actively care about shifting their power consumption away from non-renewable energy, and each kilowatt-hour of energy produced by the sun represents a little step in the right direction.
According to the Energy Star Program, up to 90 percent of houses in the U.S. are either under-insulated or insulated with the incorrect materials.
Updating your home with either cool roofing (which is designed to keep a house cooler in hot climates) or performance roofing (which more efficiently traps heat inside the house) can have a significant impact on a home’s insulation, buffering internal temperature by up to 60°F.
The obvious reason a roofing upgrade is one of the top home improvements is that it can greatly reduce heating and cooling expenses, which typically form up to half of a home’s total energy consumption costs.
However, you can never underestimate the immediate grab of a home with irresistible curb appeal. A beautiful new roof is likely the first thing a homebuyer will see, and first impressions last.
Finding the top home improvements options for increasing the value of your home isn’t an exact science, nor is there a one-size-fits all solution. However, green technology is a proven good bet.
Not only can green home improvements offer significant savings, they also increase the attractiveness of your home while offering the ethical peace of mind of a reduced ecological footprint.
And with PACE financing, more homeowners can afford to invest in these value-enhancing upgrades.