5 Home Improvement Projects That Add Instant Value to Your Property

It’s no secret that home improvements add to your property’s value. You can get your house looking and performing better, and when you do, you can usually sell it for a higher price when you want to move on from it.

We’ll talk about a few home improvement projects you should consider right now before you start raising funds for your home improvement. If you haven’t done these yet, you may feel that they’re worth the price.

1. Eco-Friendly Upgrades

About 70% of homebuyers seek eco-friendly upgrades, so you should keep that in mind if you have money to spend on your house this year. You can probably think of dozens of eco-friendly home improvements if you put your mind to it.

mistakes when switching to solar energy

You’ll need to look at cost-effective ones. You’ll also need to consider whether you can do any of them yourself or whether you’ll need to hire a company to do them for you.

For instance, you might switch to solar energy. Many companies will now install solar panels on your roof. They don’t usually cost all that much, and they can reduce your electric bills.

You might add color with some eco-friendly paint, or you can start a compost pile in your backyard. You can hire a company that will do an energy audit for the property. They will identify anywhere you’re losing heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. Then, they can stop up all those cracks and crevices.

2. A New Roof

A roof can last you for twenty years or longer in some instances. At some point, though, you’ll likely need to do a total tear-off and put on a new one.

Unless you work professionally as a roofer, you probably can’t do this upgrade on your own. You will need to hire a company to do it. Make sure to talk to a few different roofers so you can get some estimates. You never know if one might give you a much better price than another.

You can pick a nice color for the shingles and get the company you choose to install the roof at a time of year when the weather’s not much of a factor. Once you have that new roof on there, you can point to it as a significant selling point when you’re ready to move.

3. You Can Get a Tankless Water Heater

You might get rid of your old, bulky water heater and install a new tankless one. You’ll probably want to find a plumber to do this, although you might try it as a DIY project if you feel ambitious.

Tankless water heaters are eco-friendly, and they don’t take up nearly as much space as an old-fashioned kind. You can stick them down in the basement, and you’ll barely notice they’re there.

They usually give you faster hot water when you run a bath or turn on the shower. Also, you can often get a government rebate when you install one, so the total expense should not come to more than a few hundred dollars.

4. You Can Install a New Deck

You might have a backyard with a deck overlooking it. An old deck isn’t very nice to look at, though, and it’s probably unsafe on top of that.

green-deck

If you’ve got kids that like to run all over your deck and play in your backyard, you want a sturdy structure that won’t collapse or stick out a rusty nail that ends up in a child’s foot. Installing a new deck isn’t cheap, but that’s another potential selling point when you get ready to move on.

You can enjoy your new deck once you install it. The neighbors will want to come by, and you can have BBQs if you set up a grill. A new deck represents a commitment to the property, but you can also spend time out there during nice weather.

5. You Can Install a New Fence

Maybe you have a front and backyard, but you don’t have a fence yet for either one. If so, you may think about installing one. If you put in a fence, you can allow the kids to play behind the house or in front of it, or you can let your dog out and know it won’t run out into the street.

You can look into different fence styles as well. A chain-link fence won’t cost you very much, but you might want to select a more elaborate option to improve your home’s aesthetic appeal.

How Modern Technology is Transforming Urban Development?

Australia is famous the whole world over for its incredible scenery and stunning countryside, from the arid yet beautiful outback to the shimmering sands of the Gold Coast, but the country is also home to some of the world’s favourite cities. Australia’s population is growing, and so urban development and planning is becoming ever more important. The way we plan, design and build our urban centres has changed rapidly over the last decades thanks to evolving needs, environmental concerns and rapidly advancing technology.

It is this combination that is helping Australian towns and cities lead the way when it comes to urban generation and regeneration.

More Accurate Surveying

Thorough surveying is the key to successful development, and it was once a laborious and time-consuming process, and therefore by necessity, an expensive one too. One modern invention has transformed this task completely, as the most forward thinking planners now utilise unmanned aerial surveying techniques.

Using the latest high-powered drones, planners and developers can now get a much more accurate and holistic picture of the land that they plan to build on. The highly detailed maps produced from the air allow clients to make more informed decisions quicker than they would otherwise have been able to, thus helping to ensure that projects come in on time and on budget.

Greener Developments

Many Australians are becoming increasingly concerned about the effect that mankind is having upon the environment, and the effects of climate change can be seen across this nation and beyond. That’s why surveyors and designers have to be very careful when planning urban developments, as it’s imperative that expanding urban centres don’t adversely impact upon our ecology or the incredible animal life that also calls Australia its home.

Today’s leading urban surveying companies put green issues at the heart of the work, using the latest computer modelling techniques to thoroughly assess the impact of an urban development upon the environment surrounding it; in this way, it’s possible to maintain the equilibrium between the need to develop new urban spaces and the need to protect our ecosystems.

Bringing Greater Benefits to Urban Dwellers

There are many factors to be considered when planning an urban development, as well as the green concerns mentioned above. It’s essential for planners to be able to make accurate assessments of what benefits their development will bring to the people who live within it and upon its neighbourhood, and this involves careful study of a wide range of metrics and projections.

The highly detailed maps produced from the air allow clients to make more informed decisions quicker

Whilst this remains a specialist and highly important job, the appearance of specialist computer programmes now allow planners to make an economic and demographic assessment that’s more accurate than ever before.

Expert urban planners know how essential it is to use all of the technological innovations now available to them, from unmanned aerial surveying, to high tech demographic assessment tools and greener planning software. This is why new urban developments bring benefits for residents and businesses, and for the economy as a whole, while still protecting the rural areas and environment that make Australia the envy of the world.

9 Eco-Friendly Home Features to Check for When Buying a House

Homeowners are becoming more eco-conscious by the day. From installing water-efficient appliances to solar panels, home buyers are looking to incorporate greener options into their home designs. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, you’ll need to shop for the following.

How to Find a Realtor Who Can Help You Pick the Perfect Home

Finding the right home won’t be easy without a great realtor by your side, but you need to make sure your agent specializes in the eco-friendly home market. On sites like homeandmoney.com, you can search agents based on their certifications, experience, and niche specialties.

You can also try searching for a Green MLS, which features energy-efficient homes being sold worldwide. Remember that any agent with the acronym LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) next to their name is accredited by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Your LEED-certified agent can help you find an environmentally friendly home, but what features will they consider eco-friendly?

Here are 9 things your property needs to be considered “green.”

1. Eco-Friendly Building Materials

Green building materials have a low environmental impact, so look for properties made out of salvaged or reclaimed wood and recycled items. Precast concrete, straw bales, bamboo, and recycled steel are also considered eco-friendly and can reduce your dependency on oil and gas.

bamboo as a construction material

2. Energy-Efficient Walls and Roofs

Cellulose insulation, made from recycled newspapers, is more energy-efficient and safe for the environment. Ideally, you’ll insulate your entire home, including the roof, basement, and ceilings, to keep heat from escaping. If you’re buying an old house, you’ll have to replace the insulation.

3. Solar Panels Instead of Gas

It’s in your best interest to find a home with solar panels already installed on the property, as it’s cheaper and less disruptive than buying them yourself. Make sure to ask your agent when the panels were installed, how they operate, and the amount of energy they generate annually.

4. Low-Energy and Dual Pane Windows

Low energy and dual pane windows can reduce energy waste. Both provide extra insulation, which keeps your home warmer for less. If possible, consider installing dual-pane windows with a low-energy protective shield, as it’ll protect you and your home from harmful UV rays.

5. Eco-Friendly Landscaping

While grass gives your home curb appeal, that’s all it’s good for. Maintaining the grass on your lawn wastes a lot of water, so try to find a backyard with synthetic grass or wood chips. Another good option is a lawn filled with native plants that don’t need to be watered by the owner.

solar-based landscape lighting

6. Water Efficient Plumbing and Appliances

Water consumption is a major problem in the United States. However, you can reduce your water usage in the home by installing water heaters that lead to less waste. Low-flow faucets, toilets, and showerheads are another great option, and so are WaterSense labeled appliances.

7. Energy-Efficient Lighting

It’s easier and cheaper nowadays to install energy-efficient lighting in the home. Homeowners can use LED lights, but that isn’t the only factor that will reduce your energy usage. Motion sensors, smart lighting, and large windows can help you waste less energy every single day.

Reasons to Convert to LED Lighting

8. Underfloor Heating

Radiators are inefficient compared to underfloor heating. Wet underfloor heating systems are the most efficient, especially when paired with a modern condensing boiler. Underfloor systems can also be coupled with solar thermal and air source heat pumps.

9. Energy Star Appliances

The blue logo with a start next to the word “energy” indicates that the appliance is energy efficient. There are plenty of products that could be Energy Star certified, like dishwashers, ceiling fans, washers and dryers, refrigerators, windows, skylights, doors, and more.

How Will Housing Marking in College Towns Fare Post-COVID?

Distance learning and COVID-19. This combination is every parent’s worst nightmare. It creates the perfect storm of stress, madness, and desperation. But, parents are making the best out of a terrible situation because education can’t be put on hold due to a global pandemic.

The real question is what if you have kids in college? The question many people have is regarding COVID-19’s impact on college towns.

HomeLight’s Q3 survey reveals that the coronavirus has left college towns in a tough spot. Local businesses such as bars and restaurants rely heavily on college students to keep business afloat. However, 2020’s fall semester has proven to be more detrimental than some would expect.

housing-college-towns

University towns become ghost towns

Many colleges and universities have shifted from in-person learning to distance learning and sent their students home. The result of the mass exodus has rendered many of these towns a proverbial ghost town.

According to insights from top agents who participated in HomeLight’s Q3 2020 survey, this student housing market in these cities are predicted to increase from 5.2% during the 2019 fall semester to 7.4% in 2020’s fall semester. Unit vacancies have increased by 1% during that time and because of this, property owners will have no choice but to lower their rental fees just to get people through the door.

Some towns are unaffected

Although some major universities said they were discontinuing in-person learning in favor of remote learning, there are universities who are keeping in-person classes. In these towns, landlords are likely to see an influx of rental applications if/when on-campus housing closes.

Real estate investing is on shaky ground

For real estate investors, buying rental properties in college towns seems like a gold mine – especially if the rent is going to be cheaper than an out-of-state student paying for room and board on campus. For example, the average monthly rent for Ann Arbor, Michigan is about $1,600 and room and board at University of Michigan is $11,996.

Now, room and board at the university may be cheaper, but when you factor in other living expenses, it could add up quickly. However, if four students rent a 4-bedroom apartment that costs $3,300 per month… Each student would pay $825 per month or $9,900 per year, which is quite a bit cheaper, especially when you factor in that the students aren’t staying on campus the entire year.

Inventory fluctuates

Thirty percent of real estate agents that participated in the survey state the rental vacancies in their area have either stayed the same or are starting to decline. Even though the housing market in a particular area may differ from others, 81% of agents said their inventory is at an all time low, despite the fact that many landlords are selling their rentals.

The truth of the matter is this, COVID-19 has affected almost every aspect of our lives and the housing market in university towns remains on shaky ground. As more students and faculty contract the virus, universities are closing their doors and students are going home. Even students who live off campus are leaving the area and are going back home to save money.

Local businesses in university towns are suffering due to a lack of patronage. Unless schools open back up in a safe manner, who knows what the 2020 Spring semester will fare. Will students return to university? Will real estate investors start investing again? Will the economy pick back up?

There are just so many questions that cannot be answered right now. But, we’re keeping our fingers crossed and are hoping for the best.

What Does A Good Property Management Company Do?

Are you a landlord or a real estate investor? One of the biggest decisions you will ever have to make is whether to use a property management company to maintain and oversee the daily operations of your property. Compared to landlords who prefer the do-it-yourself approach of management in order to save money, working with property management companies increases your chances of growing your properties bottom line and enhancing your rental portfolio.

property-management-firm

But what does a good property management company do? Here is a list of essential services you can expect from a good property management company.

1. Effective Collection of Rent from Tenants

If you own many rental units, you understand how cumbersome it can get when trying to collect rent from every tenant all by yourself. This is why you should use a reputable property management company. A good property manager will ensure that all your tenants pay their leases in full and at the right time.

If you have limited time and you want to focus most of your efforts on growing your business, hiring a property manager who is fully committed to the day to day running of your property will be a great investment.

2. Regular Property Maintenance

Dealing with frequent calls from tenants is probably the biggest reason why landlords enlist the help of a management company. Sometimes the tenant’s needs are not very big but the timing and the urgency are. You may receive a call in the middle of the night from a distressed tenant who has misplaced their keys and can’t get in.

Failure to address these issues can result in serious problems with your tenants in the future. Having a good property manager who responds urgently to all property issues will not only ease your burden but also ensure that all your rental properties are optimized.

A good property manager will also inspect the property regularly and make sure that all routine maintenance such as lawn care, plumbing issues, drywall patching, pressure washing, and all other services that tenants may need are handled at the right time.

3. Sourcing of Tenants

It is one thing to get tenants for your rental property, it’s another thing to get the right tenants. A good property management company will ensure that proper screening of prospective tenants is done so that you don’t end up with tenants who are bankrupt or have fully maxed their credit cards and will have problems paying rent every month.

A good property manager will also take time to call previous landlords and also look into the tenant’s criminal history. The last thing you need is a tenant who puts you or the entire neighborhood at risk.

4. Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is a vital part of property management. Proper bookkeeping ensures that taxes are kept at a minimum, and the cash keeps flowing. A good property manager will ensure that your books are kept properly but if they don’t offer bookkeeping services, they can advise you on where you can outsource a good bookkeeper who will add value to your business.

5. Effective Handling of Defaulters

Sometimes tenants get caught up in serious issues such as breaching of leases while others could be involved in criminal issues. While some issues can be sorted directly with the renter’s other issues require lawyers and even going to court. A good property management company can handle these problems for you and save you the time and agony of dealing with such stressful situations.

3 Ways Real Estate Firms Can Adopt Environmentally Sustainable Practices

Real estate accounts for 40% of the world’s energy consumption and 1/3 of all carbon emissions. With that kind of eco-footprint, real estate firms are at the frontlines of climate change risks created by greenhouse gas, making the switch to sustainability necessary.

Realtors, brokers, and building owners need to do their part to ensure they don’t intentionally or unintentionally encourage the excessive use of energy, waste, and inefficient practices. Here are 3 ways real estate firms can adopt a more sustainable real estate portfolio.

ways real estate firms can adopt a more sustainable real estate portfolio

1. Establish a Remote Work and Technology Policies

The first step on your eco-journey should include a remote work/technology policy. These policies will encourage building occupants or remote brokers and realtors to adopt greener technologies or reduce their energy and water consumption when they’re at home.

For example, you can make the real estate transaction process greener by creating a paperless pipeline. You’ll save on your energy consumption by reducing transportation costs. If you have to use paper, utilize recycled materials and adopt enhanced recyclability for all employees.

To improve your remote work/technology policy, include the following processes:

  • Adopt low-energy apparatuses at home (for example, LED lighting or smart lighting).
  • Minimize water and energy use at home/work (for example, putting your computer in sleep mode when it isn’t in use and using a filter instead of an in-office water jug).
  • Lessen the hazardous material intensity of property and business spaces.
  • Reduce the use of paper where possible. Use phone apps or software instead.
  • Extend the durability and functionality of your business property.

Your remote work or technology policy can also include cutting your direct mail marketing campaigns and switching to email and digital marketing full-time to reduce wastes.

2. Green Your Business Through Your Clients

Making your business green is very important, but there are other ways to create sustainability in your company that involve your clients directly. Eco-friendly homes are a hot commodity with Millenials and Gen Z, so if you showcase your concern for the environment, you’ll attract clients.

When selling to a potential buyer, explain green initiatives that a homeowner can cash in on if they buy a fully-stocked, eco-friendly home. For example, homebuyers can take advantage of tax credits and improved energy efficiency when purchasing Energy Star appliances.

Keep in mind that eco-conscious home buyers may not know enough to seek homes that feature green amenities, like water-conserving fixtures, sustainable flooring, and energy-efficient windows. Realtors who explain these features fluently will have an easier time getting a sale.

engineered-wood-flooring

Don’t forget about the sellers! Home sellers that want to speak to a green crowd should be coached on how to do so, as green amenities are often a big selling point to buyers.

3. Create Sustainability Through Business Initiatives

A green portfolio will easily attract the eco-conscious, but you have to walk the walk. If you’re all talk, clients will see right through you, so brokers and their agents have to educate themselves on green practices. Here are some key ways companies are reducing their carbon footprint.

Work With Sustainable Vendors

Prospective clients don’t just look at the firm’s eco-footprint; they’ll also research vendors. Everything from HVAC parts to landscaping services will be critiqued with a fine-toothed comb, so it’s essential that you choose service providers and suppliers that practice sustainability.

On your website, display all the vendors you work with. That way, clients are reassured that both you and your vendors are committed to creating a more environmentally friendly world.

Pursue Green Certifications

Building operations and construction, directly and indirectly impact the environment, meaning real estate firms should achieve a green building certification to be sustainable.

Many property developers have adopted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards (LEED) of the US Green Building Council to become more eco-friendly. Other options include WELL Building Institute and the National Association of Homebuilders.

Such standards have led to a growing inventory of efficient and sustainable buildings.

Set Emission Targets

Several companies are adopting the science-based target approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions which establishes targets that keep the global temperature increase below 2°C.

Keeping carbon emissions down as low as possible also has lasting effects on the industry as a whole. New innovative practices and technologies will emerge to help clients and firms adopt strategies that further reduce their carbon footprints, leading to a more eco-friendly nation.

How to Find Off-Grid Land To Build Your Home

A recent Forbes report states that nearly one-third of Americans are considering moving to less populated areas, in wake of the pandemic. Besides safety, off-grid living offers the chance to become more self-sufficient and less reliant on others. Off-grid living can mean a less stressful, healthier lifestyle.

If you are comfortable with doing things with your own hands and enjoy privacy and quiet, off-grid living in the State of Texas, or another state, may be an ideal lifestyle. But how can you find an appropriate property? Here are some things to consider, before we discuss finding the ideal location.

How to Find Off-Grid Land To Build Your Home

Proximity to Civilization

Ideally, you want to be away from the hustle and bustle, but realistically, you want to be close enough in case of an emergency. There are some good reasons for this. At some point, you will likely need to utilize a hospital. Some communities offer emergency flights to metropolitan hospitals. At any rate, you shouldn’t be terribly far from medical care.

Even though you may grow a vegetable garden and hunt, you will still probably want to have a grocery store less than an hour away. From buying gas to propane, from hardware stores to pharmacies, there are things you will need. According to professional Texas brokers, a property with too long of a drive will be impractical. Look for a property near a town that offers amenities.

Look for land with a water source

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a water source on your property. This may be a pond, a spring, a creek or river, or a well. Hauling water is impractical and difficult. You may be able to install storage tanks, but then you are still reliant upon finding a water hauler.

Drilling a well is not inexpensive, so unless you know others in the area have had success with drilling, this is not a good solution. Even if there is a creek, laws may regulate how much you can draw. This is vitally important to check on.

Check the Road Conditions

Has a road been bulldozed to the property you are considering? Is it paved, or does it have gravel? Could a fire engine get in and back out? Can a propane truck deliver propane? If you are going to have snow and heavy rain, having a good road is extremely important.

You may be planning to build your own, but remember, it’s an expensive proposition. If the above hasn’t scared you off, then you can begin the process of looking. When looking at various states, remember to check to see if off-grid living is allowed in that state or county.

Places to Look

Craiglist offers some intriguing deals, but it’s buyer beware. If you are considering a Craigslist purchase, our advice is to thoroughly do your homework. It is a site known to attract scammers. Never buy anything without seeing it and confirming the ownership records with the County. Traditional real estate firms offer a safe, and legal, method to search our properties. You have the advantage of employing someone to do the legwork. However, you will also pay for that privilege, in the form of a real estate commission.

Ebay, surprisingly, has some interesting, legitimate real estate offerings. Again, it’s recommended  that you actually go to the property and do your homework. People can take great photos, but reality can be something quite different. Auctions are another good source of inexpensive land, but you need to research the parcel prior to putting in an offer. Remember our advice: water, roads, proximity to towns. You will also need to be prepared to pay for the land, right away, at an auction. There may be a small grace period but cash is king.

sustainable forestry

Meanwhile, off-grid publications often contain advertisements for off-grid properties. As these are folks who understand the lifestyle, these ads can be intriguing. Social media often has “groups” or people to “follow” who are living off-grid life. This is a good opportunity to join and read about the lifestyle and see what properties are for sale.

Off-grid living has its challenges, but the rewards more than outweigh them. Make sure you do your homework before purchasing and keep in mind the above recommendations for success.

6 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

When it comes to increasing the value of your home, you have to keep a couple of things in mind. It is important to make changes to your home that you will love, but will also keep your home’s resale value high. Plan out the renovations you want to make and create a budget that works for you. Invest in additions you can enjoy but will also increase your home’s value in return. Even if you aren’t thinking about selling any time soon, this is something you should remember when renovating your home.

By making changes like repainting, building a deck, renovating your kitchen, or making your home more energy-efficient, you can increase the value of your home with ease.

Keep everything budget-friendly, making investments in your home that are worthwhile. Make changes that you will love, but will increase the value of your home too. This will come in handy if you ever decide to put your house on the market in the future.

If you’ve been looking for different ways to increase the value of your home, these ideas can inspire you and help you begin transforming your home into an appealing, innovative, and valuable space.

ways to increase the value of your home

1. Paint

If you are looking for an easy, do-it-yourself project that will increase the value of your home, get ready to bring out the paint and rollers.

By adding a fresh coat of paint, changing up the entire color scheme of your home, or bringing interest to a room with an accent wall, you can completely update the interior of your home. Not only will this bring a refresh to your space, but it will increase the value of your home instantly.

If you enjoy the current colors in your home, go for a quick coat of the same color to prevent the walls from looking dull. But, if you’re wanting to switch things up, consider going with an entirely new color scheme. This can completely transform the interior of your home, elevating the style you create in this space. You could even add an accent wall in your home, adding a point of eye-catching interest to any room.

The options are endless, but whatever you decide to do with the paint in your home will be sure to increase its value.

how to increase the value of your home

2. Focus on the Kitchen

One of the most valuable spaces in your home is the kitchen. This is a major selling point for most, making it important to keep this space modern and up-to-date.

Not only will you be able to enjoy the benefits of having a sleek, stylish, and functional kitchen, but making investments in this space will benefit you in the future if you did decide to sell your home.

You can start with simple, budget-friendly renovations like repainting, adding a backsplash, changing the color of the cabinets, or adding new hardware to your cabinetry. But you could also make bigger changes like changing out the flooring, adding an entirely new countertop, or replacing outdated appliances. There is so much you can do in a kitchen to make it stand out, so look for inspiration from modern design while bringing in your own style too.

stainless-steel-kitchen

3. Build a Deck or Patio

Another way to increase the value of your home is to simply build a deck or patio, making this a major selling point for your home. Having an outdoor space like that will instantly increase your home’s value, giving you a space you can enjoy with friends and family year-round.

If you love grilling out, hosting parties, or gathering around a fire pit – a deck or patio space might be the perfect addition to your home! Not only will this give you the perfect space to relax outdoors or entertain, but it will increase the value of your home.

Choose the color or stain that you want the wood, making sure that it matches the exterior of your home, then you can get to building the deck or patio of your dreams. This will bring aesthetics and character to your backyard, adding value instantly.

This is a space you can enjoy for years to come, but if you ever decide it’s time to sell, the deck or patio will be a major selling point to any future homeowner.

4. Replace Garage Heaters

It is becoming more and more common for homeowners to turn their garage into a functional space, for working out or extra hobbies. But, one thing that makes this space hard to work in is when it gets cold in the winter months. This usually means investing time and money into finding the perfect garage heater, and while they usually have many benefits, there are always disadvantages you have to be conscious of.

To keep your garage space warm, hazard-free, and safe to use year-round, you may want to consider using an alternative heating source to keep your garage warm this winter.

While it is most common to see electric fireplace inserts installed in homes, there is no reason you couldn’t keep one in your garage, for a safer way to heat this space and utilize it all year long. Electric fireplaces are not only hazard-free with no risk of gas emissions or fumes, but they are energy-efficient, they heat more effectively, and they’re easy to operate, making this the perfect way to keep your garage warm.

If your family’s safety is a priority along with the longevity of your home, put an electric fireplace to use instead of a garage heater. You’ll be more than happy you made the switch, especially when considering how much safer and hazard-free this alternative is.

5. Lower Your Home’s Energy Costs

An innovative way to increase the value of your home is to make it more energy-efficient and green, lowering your home’s energy costs in turn.

Some easy ways to do this are to utilize high-efficiency windows, install LED lights, or exchange your current appliances for a more green alternative. These changes will not only increase the value of your home, but they will help cut your typically high energy bill as a result. This will benefit you while you are living there, but it will also be a plus for new homeowners if you ever decide to sell.

 

You could even invest in solar panels if this is something you have been wanting to do. While this is more of an investment than the other alternatives listed, since you won’t see a financial kickback immediately. But, if you plan to stay in your home for a while then solar panels will be worth it in the end.

solar-powered-home

This will increase the value of your home, keep your home energy-efficient, lower your bills, and help with resale value in the future too!

6. Add Curb Appeal

Another easy way to add value to your home is to work on your landscaping and add curb appeal to the exterior of your home. Not only will this make your home more beautiful, but it will increase your home’s value too.

By re-doing your current landscaping or installing something entirely new, you can transform your front lawn into an aesthetic and appealing place. This will grab the attention of neighbors and passersby alike, making your home an interesting and eye-catching place.

curb appeal of home

With the simple addition of flowers, bushes, trees, and greenery, your home will be elevated and its value will increase instantly. This will give you an outdoor space you can love and cherish while using this appeal to your advantage if you ever make the choice to sell.

Increasing the Value of Your Home with Ease

If you’ve been looking for ways to increase the value of your home, now is the time to take some inspiration and get started on new renovations. Plan out projects that will make you fall in love with your home while adding value at the same time. Remember to keep your budget in mind too, making sure every investment you make will be worth it.

Even if you aren’t ready to sell, there is still plenty you can do to your home to increase its value and update its style, making it a more innovative and appealing space. By repainting, updating the kitchen, adding curb appeal, or lowering your home’s energy costs, you will begin to see an increase in your home’s overall value.

To update your home, making it more functional and appealing, use these ideas to increase your home value and love the space you’re in even more.

The Eco Revolution in Property Investment

Many of us are now making more eco-friendly and environmentally conscious decisions every day. Whether it’s taking our own carrier bags to the shops, having a reusable water bottle or recycling your tin cans – little changes are making a big impact. When it comes to property, the eco revolution has increasingly been making waves. From solar panels to energy efficient light bulbs, our properties are becoming better for the planet. These eco-friendly priorities are also affecting property investment, with an increasing number of tenants looking for eco-friendly properties.

Eco-friendly homes are becoming increasingly popular with a new environmentally conscious generation starting to look for rental properties. Young professionals who are living in the city are less likely to buy a home than ever before, so are looking for a rental property that meets their exacting requirements. With many of them choosing to make environmentally friendly choices, like going plastic free or cutting down on how much meat they eat, accordingly they are looking for eco-friendly homes too.

Environmental impact is increasingly on the agenda of consumers in every aspect of their lives. Many are also willing to pay a premium for eco-friendly purchases. Research has shown that UK consumers would pay an average 10% more if they were buying something they thought had a positive impact on society. Property investors would be wise to bear this in mind when looking for new property investments. In an increasingly competitive rental market, the ability to raise prices because of eco credentials is a lucrative option for investors.

Furthermore, 40% of consumers think that sustainability is important when they are making a purchase. The impact of this can be seen in the growing number of brands and businesses that are making their environmental commitments obvious to consumers. It is clear that savvy property investors can be both environmentally friendly and business smart when looking to purchase new properties.

In another study, 80% of tenants believed that their landlords should be considering the environment more, and suggested measures like double-glazing, insulation and eco-modifications. These simple measures can make a large impact on the appeal of a property to prospective tenants. Increasing energy prices are another concern for occupants.

In addition, 55% of renters asked said they would prefer a rental property with a smart meter if it was the same price. Energy efficient measures are both good for tenant’s monthly costs and for the environment so buy to let property investors can be at an advantage if their property offers these.

As of April 2018, buy to let landlords are legally required to have an EPC rating of E or above in their properties. This means that property investors are increasingly looking at new build properties which are already energy efficient and don’t require costly renovations. Tenants can also legally request that a landlord makes property improvements if the EPC rating is F or G.

Developers are increasingly taking sustainability and environmental impact into consideration when building new properties. Properties with energy efficient specifications, like many by RW Invest  are providing investors with lucrative returns and high tenant demand. Recent changes to regulation mean that new build properties need to be energy efficient and this is making a huge impact on the buy to let market.

The trend towards environmentally conscious properties looks set to continue, with eco-friendly qualities high on the agenda of both potential tenants and investors.

Green Home Improvements to Attract Homebuyers

People’s desire to make a smaller footprint on a vulnerable planet affects the real estate market worldwide. In part this is due to the Internet’s power to inform and inspire, and it is partly due to who is buying the most homes. Millennials have made up more than half of homebuyers over the last few years. And millennials, surveys have shown, are willing to pay more for sustainability and the greenest possible living.

They often opt for new construction with the highest eco-friendly standards, but not every buyer will purchase a new home. Some millennials are not ready to make that financial commitment, and some will not be buying in trending locations that have lots of new green construction. So to attract buyers to an existing home, green home improvements can be a big win. Not only will the homeowner be doing the right thing by the planet, but also homes can sell faster and for more.

Although making green changes to an existing home can be complicated and expensive, there are many levels of improvement that vary in cost and difficulty.

What Meets the Eye

Green home upgrades the buyer can see in an existing home make a difference. If you are upgrading, you can go more sustainable and energy-efficient in these areas:

  • Non-toxic paint: The volatile organic compounds (VOC) in some paint can damage air quality and lungs. Choose a low-VOC paint to get that fresh, neutral look buyers want.
  • Sustainable flooring: Replace worn-out floors with highly renewable bamboo, with responsibly grown and harvested hardwoods, or with natural linoleum products.
  • A cool roof: Renovate the roof with light-colored materials that reflect heat.
  • Energy-efficient appliances: Update the kitchen with appliances, and even faucets, that run on less energy and/or use less water.
  • Native plants: Refresh the landscape with plants native to the environment, that will need less specialty care products and that will support local ecology.

Energize

Green changes that make a home energy-efficient will attract buyers and also give sellers the ROI of an eco-friendly home. Because they save money, these improvements also make money and bring return on investment.

  • Update to a Smart Thermostat: A programmable thermostat ensures heating and cooling meet your needs without waste.
  • New windows: The U.S. Department of Energy reports that 25-30% of energy costs literally get sucked right out of old windows, where leaks in both directions waste resources and money. New windows also beautify a home.
  • Weather protection: If new windows are not an option, caulking and weather-stripping are also efficient.
  • Tankless water heater: Upgrade an old water heater that needs to go anyway with a tankless one, that heats water as needed. Why waste energy heating gallons of water all the time?
  • Recycled water: Systems for catching rainwater, or holding water from sinks and tubs (greywater) can save waste and money. This water can flush toilets and water gardens, among other uses.
  • Renewable energy sources: Depending on the climate, solar panels and/or wind turbines can provide energy in place of using other, non-renewing resources.

Before making eco-friendly home improvements, research is the seller’s best tool. Understand the options, costs, and benefits. An experienced real estate agent can advise on what green home improvements are most wanted and bring the best ROI in the local market. Also make sure the home is appraised by someone experienced with green features, to make sure their real value is represented in the appraisal.