Eco-Friendly Upgrades That Will Increase Your Home's Value
For those who bought a home in the past few years or are looking to purchase a house in 2022, we know that costs are rising—but so is the overall value of owning a home. While homeownership can come with many major costs, smart investments can pay off over time. Many homeowners today are particularly looking to cut their costs and increase their home value with eco-friendly features.
Investing in energy-efficient home upgrades can be pricey (my husband and I just spent $25,000 on new windows and a new deck), but it can save in the long run by cutting down on your utility bills and ultimately making it easier to sell your home in the future. If like me, you are a new-ish homeowner (or a current homebuyer), you may be wondering what eco-friendly upgrades are worth the price tag and which ones won't do much.
We asked top experts in real estate and home repair what their recommendations are to make a home greener. Keep reading for the ultimate eco-friendly features that homebuyers want in today's market and what homeowners should invest in if they're looking to get the most bang for their buck when it comes to eco-friendly home upgrades.
Eco-Friendly Features in a Competitive Housing Market
According to a TD Bank survey, today's competitive housing market and growing inflation have made many first-time homebuyers doubt whether it's the right time to buy a home. But despite their findings that 65 percent of those surveyed think that home prices are too high, experts are not seeing a slowdown anytime soon. And in a competitive market with rising costs, homebuyers are beginning to look more at a home's eco-friendly features as a way to save money down the road.
"With the competitive market atmosphere, buyers view houses not so much on what features a property has but on the potential of the home," says Jamie Mayborn, a broker associate at Coldwell Banker Mason Morse. "The interest surrounding energy-efficient homes is popular and the demand will continue to rise with living cost increases and climate changes."
Jennifer Baptista, a licensed realtor and Fresh Starts Registry expert, says that her clients are still very much concerned with location, price, and size—but she is also increasingly seeing that clients are "interested in houses that are able to upgrade to solar panels" and want to "invest in eco-friendly homes."
What Homebuyers Are Looking For in Eco-Friendly Homes
Those who are shopping for homes today with a focus on eco-friendly features tend to focus on sustainable materials and saving costs through more efficient use, according to real estate broker Egypt Sherrod and builder Mike Jackson, hosts of HGTV's Married to Real Estate. "Many of these sustainable materials look just as good, if not better, than their non-sustainable counterparts and offer lifetime warranties," Sherrod said. "Plus, they require little to no maintenance, which provides long-term savings for the homeowner and actually increases the value of the home."
Meanwhile, Jason F. McLennan, the co-founder of Living Deep and CEO of McLennan Design, says that he sees consumers who "want to feel like they are making a responsible choice for their families and the future." The most significant change that he emphasizes homeowners need to make is to transition away from fossil fuel use by doing things such as using "induction cooktops in the kitchen and swapping that gas-powered car for an electric one."
For buyers looking for eco-friendly upgrades or owners looking to add value, he reminds people that going green is well worth it. "Done right, none of these things have to cost much more if considered early in the design [of your home]," he says. "However, as retrofits, they might carry a small premium that pays itself back over time. The way I see it, green buildings add value. This isn't a cost—it is a positive return on investment."