How an Eco-friendly Home can Boost ROI When Selling?

Greening your home isn’t only beneficial for the environment and reducing energy costs, if you are thinking of selling it in the future, environmental upgrades can also help your ROI. Some green home improvements have a better ROI than others (think solar panels), and doing your research before your start any project can help you get the most bang for your buck. We’ve outlined a few of the best options that you might want to consider when determining the ROI of eco-friendly homes:

1. Tankless water heater

One of the easiest and least expensive upgrades you can make to take your home in an eco-friendly direction is buying a new water heater, especially if it hasn’t been changed in the last decade. Water heating is responsible for 16% of a typical home’s energy costs and swapping out an old, inefficient water heater, for a tankless version could cost a couple thousand dollars, and will save you money every month. It will also be an attractive selling point for your home.

2. Upgraded windows

If your home has drafty windows, they are the next feature that you want to turn to for an energy-efficient upgrade. The cost of windows will depend on the size of your home and the quality that you go for, but there is no doubt that this is likely worth your investment.

The Department of Energy says heat gain and loss through older windows is responsible for 25 to 30% of energy usage for heating and cooling. According to Consumer Reports, Energy Star-certified windows can lower your home’s energy bills by up to 15%, and that translates to attractive savings for a potential buyer.

3. Solar panels

Solar panels can save you money, but not right away, so they may not have the best ROI if you are planning to sell soon. That’s because installing solar panels have major upfront costs. The good news is that homes with solar energy systems typically garner higher selling prices than homes with other types of systems.

One study found that homebuyers were willing to pay a premium of $15,000, and, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, homes that feature solar panels may also sell faster than homes that derive their energy from fossil fuels.

However, determining the ROI of installing solar is complicated. According to Energy Informative, a five-kilowatt system — the average size of a system in the United States — can cost around $20,000. But the exact size of the system you’ll need will depend on how big your home is and how much power it uses.

Another consideration is your home’s location, as there may be state rebates (such as in California, Arizona, and Colorado), in addition to federal tax credits. Evaluate the number of years that you intend to stay in your home, and compare the average monthly savings of using solar with how much of the system you’ll have paid off by your projected moving day.

With one or more of these strategies in mind, you will be well on your way to greening your home to make it more attractive to potential buyers.

Home Value-Increasing Plumbing Improvements

You can do things to boost your home’s worth whether or not you plan to sell it soon. Many property owners fall prey to the false notion that they must undertake significant improvements, such as adding square footage, updating appliances, demolishing walls, etc.

However, there are some plumbing modifications whose worth to your property will astound you, even after accounting for the improvements above.

plumbing modifications to increase home value

Regarding plumbing in the United States, team emergency plumber is the company to call. From our observations, we’ve learned that plumbing is frequently disregarded as an element of a home’s overall appeal. We’ve compiled a list of major plumbing updates that can help you get the most money out of your house sale.

1. Upgrade To Newer Pipes

One of the most beneficial renovations you can perform is invisible until you start digging into the concrete. The plumbing in many houses is really old and runs everywhere. Your home’s pipes might be made of subpar materials or even lead, depending on when it was built.

Prospective purchasers of your property will feel more at peace if you upgrade their plumbing lines to copper, PVC, or PEX, which are non-corrosive and non-toxic.

2. Set Up A Second Toilet

A second or third bathroom in your house is convenient, so why not consider installing one? Adding a second bathroom may boost your home’s value by a sizable amount. A steam shower, jetted bathtub, or brass fittings are all things that might be included in a new bathroom installation.

3. Replace Water Heater

The replacement of an old water heater is a worthwhile investment that may raise the value of your property. Think about how old your water heater is. On average, humans live for roughly 12 years.

If you go on living like that, you’ll never have enough time! Both conventional and tankless water heaters have improved features. This improvement may be made even more eco-friendly and energy-efficient by using a solar-powered water heater.

benefits of heat pump water heater

4. Quality Faucets

Faucets, whether for the sink or the shower, are among the most worn and often replaced fixtures in the home. Investing in brass or stainless steel faucets is not only a smart move from a design perspective, but also sends a positive message to potential buyers about the quality of your house.

5. Put In A Garbage Disposal

One of the most necessary yet underappreciated appliances is the garbage disposal. One of the most underappreciated kitchen upgrades that may significantly increase your home’s resale value is the installation of new trash disposal that is appropriately sized for your kitchen. These sorts of subtle improvements boost buyer confidence.

6. An All-New Steam Generator

A 2% increase, or almost $9k, may be added to the worth of your property simply by upgrading your boiler. Potential buyers may be scared off by spending their money to update the home’s heating system. A 7-to-10-year boiler warranty is an upgrade that may be taken with you if you decide to sell your home.

A well-maintained, dependable, and energy-efficient heating system is a worthwhile investment for the duration of your stay in the home and any possible buyers on the road. No one wants to purchase a house and then worry about replacing the boiler in a few years, so do the easy thing and offer the next owner peace of mind.

7. Replace Your Shower and Faucet

You can give your bathroom and kitchen a fresh, modern look without breaking the bank by installing new faucets and fixtures. Faucets and toilets that are difficult to use and a shower that drips and is otherwise antiquated will not appeal to buyers.

If you can make these crucial spaces as comfortable and stylish as possible, do so. Make getting out of bed in the morning more pleasurable by installing a high-powered digital pressure shower or one with additional water jets, replacing your old, leaking taps with gleaming new ones, and installing a new, water-efficient toilet.

8. Modernize Your Appliances

Since these items are used frequently and can get quickly worn, lowering the house’s appeal, replacing them with new ones can boost efficiency and provide for a cleaner, more welcoming home.

Fixtures and components that have been in place for a while may wear down over time and require maintenance. If you’re thinking of selling your house soon and don’t want potential buyers to perceive this as a difficulty or cost for them shortly, it’s far more effective to replace them all at once than to update them as and when needed.

9. Renovate Your Kitchen or Bathroom

Many potential buyers would only consider a home if it has a modern and attractive bathroom or kitchen. If you have the funds, renovating your kitchen or bathroom (or both!) will significantly increase your home’s value.

Meanwhile, you’ll be able to enhance your daily life. Pick a reliable plumbing and heating business in your area if you want to update your plumbing and give your kitchen or bathroom a makeover. You can get ideas for your next bathroom to remodel by reading this source.

10. Adopt More Efficient Methods

Instead of letting your monthly savings dwindle, why not use that money to invest in your future? Greenhouses are a priority for many purchasers, so updating to more eco-friendly features like new toilets and low-flow shower heads and faucets can save you money in the long run and attract more potential buyers.

11. A Dual Flush Toilet

There is just one flushing method available in older toilet designs. Every time you flush a toilet manufactured before 1980, you waste between five and eight gallons of water.

The ability to select a flush force makes the dual flush toilet stand out. There’s a weaker flush for when you need to get rid of liquids and a full-force flush for when you need to get rid of anything else. The typical user of a toilet will only flush away liquid waste.

Less than three liters of water is required when using the weaker flush option. Additionally, the strong flush option requires around six liters of water to flush solid waste thoroughly. Using a toilet consumes the most water of any appliance in your home.

12. Routine Upkeep

Inspecting and maintaining your plumbing system is the best method to ensure it continues functioning. Your system will function better and require fewer repairs as a result. Your plumbing provider can better anticipate and prevent future issues with regular inspections. They will let your plumber see what’s going on in your pipes, allowing them to prevent future issues.

Surveys That Are Worth Getting Before a Self-Build or Renovation Project

The process of building your new home starts long before you lay the foundations. One of the most important considerations to make is whether or not the land that you’re planning to build your new property on is suitable for your construction project. When planning the build of your own home, there are many different surveys that might be worth getting in order to ensure that you’re protected against future issues with the property and to make sure that everything you do is in line with the laws and legislation that surround protected tree and wildlife species in the UK.

When building your own property on a plot of land, you will need to consider any protected tree species, or wildlife species such as bats and badgers that might be present and how you are going to ensure that their natural habitat is protected throughout and after the construction process.

different surveys when building a new home

Biodiversity Net Gain

Part of getting various surveys carried out when building your own property is due to biodiversity net gain. This is a concept where the state of biodiversity of an area is improved rather than damaged when land development projects are complete. It is worth having a biodiversity net gain consultant as part of your project to ensure that the land is preserved as much as possible, natural habitats are retained, and biodiversity loss is prevented. Specialist consultants can provide you with more information on the biodiversity of the area and recommend specific surveys that are worth having carried out in order to preserve it.

Tree Survey

If there are various trees located in the area you are planning on building your home, then it’s worth having a tree survey. This might be a legal requirement if you know or suspect that there are protected tree species in the area. Along with this, it can also help you prevent any issues that might arise from building your property too close to trees, which can cause problems like subsidence when the roots take moisture from the soil around the property foundation. A tree surveyor or arborist is the best professional to conduct a thorough tree survey, which will provide you with more detailed information about the trees in the area and how they will be taken into consideration when building your new home.

trees-sustainability

Badger Survey

Badgers and their setts are a protected species by law in the UK. If you are building on land where there may be badgers present, or any other type of protected wildlife, then you should have a thorough survey carried out to find out more about where the badgers are and how you should proceed with the building plans to ensure that they remain protected throughout. It’s important to know how your project might impact badgers and other wildlife in the area, what measures you can take to ensure that local wildlife is protected and undisturbed throughout the process, and more. This will help you avoid problems down the line and the risk of delaying your project if you find protected species present during the construction process.

Bat Survey

Another protected species in the UK that is worth surveying for before you start your new home build protect is bats. It is illegal to kill bats or move them from their natural habitat in the UK, so it’s especially important to survey for them if you are planning a project that involves renovating old buildings, which bats are often present in. A custodial sentence or fine are common consequences of harming or disturbing bats in their natural habitat, even if you did so unintentionally. It’s best to have a bat survey carried out by a professional to get more information regarding the presence of bats on the land or in any buildings on it. The survey will also provide you with further information going forward to help you work around any bats that might be present on the plot and ensuring that their natural habitat is protected.

Soil Survey

Boggy land, tipped areas, and running sand are all signs of poor ground conditions that might cause serious issues with your construction project further down the line if you do not investigate them thoroughly at the start. Before you begin the process of construction, it’s a good idea to have a survey conducted on the land itself, allowing you to find out more about what’s present underneath the topsoil, how easy or difficult it is going to be to build on, and if any additional work should be conducted beforehand when it comes to making sure that you are fully prepared for starting your project and the land is safe to build on. This might be a survey that you have done on its own, or as part of a larger land survey that can include other aspects such as odd-shaped sites, obstacles and more allowing you to go into the project fully prepared.

How To Pursue A Career In Environmental Management

Structural Building Survey

If you are not building your new home from scratch but are rather going to be convert or renovate a derelict property that already exists, then it is worth having a survey carried out on this property before you get started. In most cases, a full structural survey is the best option to get before you start, as this will give you a better idea of the condition of the building and how safe or even possible it is to complete the conversion or renovation that you are hoping for. This survey will give you a more in-depth look into the overall condition of the building including uncovering any issues that might not be immediately obvious when you look at it. This can help you not only determine what kind of preparatory work needs to be done before you can start the project but will also help you budget better.

Whether you are planning to build a property from the ground up on a plot of land or have an old building you are planning to convert, there are various surveys that are worth getting to help you prepare the best way forward.

The Benefits of Green Building

Each year, we see the effects of global warming drastically increase. The World Meteorological Organization reported that in the last 50 years, the number of climate-change-driven weather calamities increased by five. With this information coming to light, we must act now to prevent these disasters from worsening.

One simple step is to integrate sustainable practices into your establishment. While this may seem like an expensive proposition at first glance, did you know that going green also benefits your bottom line?

In this article, you’ll see a few benefits of green buildings:

advantages of green buildings

1. Healthier Environment

Unsurprisingly, we spend a large portion of our time indoors when working in an office. In these cases, you may experience exposure to several air pollutants, such as mold, volatile organic compounds from air fresheners, and even secondhand smoke from cigarettes. Regular contact with these air pollutants poses a significant health concern leading to decreased performance and absenteeism.

Introducing steps to improve indoor air quality to combat these health risks is essential. One source of air pollutants is mold growth due to moisture build-up in areas such as behind walls. One of the ways you can reduce mold growth in these areas is to have gasketed access doors like those from Elmdor Access Doors and Panels.

Harvard also studied how effective green buildings are at improving cognitive functions. The result was that workers had a 61 percent higher performance when in green building conditions. You can trust that you and your officemates will make more intelligent decisions when breathing cleaner air.

Economic Benefits

You may have seen the words “LEED certification” thrown around the industry in the past few years. For a bit of context, LEED Certification is one of the best frameworks to follow if you want an environmentally conscious building. Compared to traditional buildings, LEED Certified buildings are proven to use less energy, less water, and lower overall operational costs. Lower operating expenses and utility bills ensure you can focus on growing your business to become a leader in the industry.

With lower maintenance costs and massive health benefits, you could enjoy a 6.6% increase in property asset valuation by going green. Additionally, laws have been getting stricter over the past years as we get closer to the 2030 sustainable development goal. Slowly introducing eco-friendly features to your building today can save thousands in fines and expensive overhauls in the future.

Better Infrastructure

With concrete being our primary building material of choice, it’s no surprise that the market for one of the most versatile construction materials has also grown. This demand comes at the cost of our environment, though, as cement is the third-highest producer of carbon dioxide. Because of this, you need to start thinking of ways to incorporate sustainability in your next construction project.

solar-leasing

What if there was some way to use other materials in concrete? You’ll be glad to know that some companies have already begun offering such products. From using Fly Ash (found in coal-fired powerplants) to capturing the carbon dioxide from the air directly, it’ll be easy to find low-carbon concrete for you to use.

You’ll be glad to know that it won’t just be the environment that’ll benefit from using low-carbon concrete. For example, concrete that utilizes fly ash in its mixture has high compressive strength and better sulfate resistance. You aren’t just using concrete that can bear heavier loads; you’re also set to enjoy it for longer than traditional Portland cement.

It Takes All Of Us

Hopefully, these points have convinced you of the potential benefits of having a sustainable building. Clean air and clear skies don’t need to only exist in far-away lands. You can also enjoy them in your city as soon as we have done our part in having an eco-friendly society.

We get the better living environment we want through concerted and unified efforts towards this goal, and it all starts with your choice in taking the first step.

Investing In Green Commercial Real Estate: How to Get Started With Little Money

It’s often debated whether a capitalist world can truly go green. If you have the time and money to develop green commercial real estate (complete with green hosting servers), then our planet could see a greener future. But is it possible to invest in commercial real estate with no money?

Yes, there are plenty of ways to finance green commercial projects before you have a significant amount of cash flow. If you manage your developments properly, you can invest even more.

investing in green commercial real estate

How to Manage Green Commercial Property Development

It can be intimidating to invest in or develop a commercial property for the first time. Your first purchase could make or break your operation. However, you can mitigate risks while improving your return on investment (ROI) by using real estate development software like Northspyre.

As you start developing and investing in more real estate properties, you’ll be able to draw a data-backed conclusion on what works (and what doesn’t). Once data starts to drive your decision-making process, you’ll start to achieve predictable outcomes for all of your projects.

Not only will software eliminate errors caused by complex formulas or spreadsheets, but you’ll also have more time to spend on the parts of development that earn you the most money.

How to Start Investing in Green Commercial Properties 

Whether you’re looking to invest in or develop a commercial property, there are plenty of ways to build a solid portfolio with little money.

Here are 3 ways to finance your commercial projects.

1. Commercial Property REITs

A real estate investment trust (REIT) describes a company that invests in all sorts of real estate types, from homes to businesses. While REITs are often associated with residential properties, like homes, you can absolutely invest in commercial property development using REITs

REITs invest in all commercial real estate types, such as hotels, office buildings, and storage facilities. But you have to watch out for high fees that typically come from upfront sales loads.

If you’re someone who wants to become a commercial real estate developer but you don’t have a lot of cash flow, time, or knowledge of the market, REITs can help you dip your toe in. As a highly liquid asset, publicly traded REITs can be sold on the stock market when convenient. 

Investing in Green Real Estate

2. Loans and Hard Lending

Hard money lending is the best way to fund a commercial property development project with little money. After all, you’re not going to find commercial assets for cheap. Unfortunately, hard money lenders often have strict payment schedules that ask borrowers to pay up quickly.

Unless you can come up with thousands of dollars in a 6 to 24-month period, consider taking out a commercial real estate mortgage, working capital loan, line of credit, or a demand loan.

Alternatively, you could convince the land or building owner to consider seller’s financing. With seller’s financing, the owner finances a portion of the purchase price. You’re required to pay that amount back over a period, which can be negotiated when you both set your financing terms.

3. Commercial Crowdfunding 

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project by raising money from multiple people at once. While commercial real estate crowdfunding sites aren’t a new concept, new laws have allowed non-accredited investors to take part in the action for the purpose of building their portfolios. 

If you’re interested in green properties, you can search for green projects specifically. There are plenty of options to choose from because green developments see a high capitalization rate.

Commercial crowdfunding websites, like Fundrise, give low-income investors or developers the option to get in on the ground floor. Fundrise specifically allows non-accredited investors to spend a minimum of $10 on plenty of commercial opportunities at every stage of development.

These Telltale Signs Will Show Buyers Just How Old Your House Is!

Although we absolutely love our homes, there will be a day where we have to pack our belongings and find a new place to hang our hats. Homeowners who have older homes may experience a bit more of a challenge getting that “sold” sign because buyers aren’t too keen on buying a house that looks like it’s from the 70s and can become a money pit sooner than later.

Below is the list of common signs that will show prospective home buyers just how old your house is so if you have an older home, here are a few updated design tips for getting your home ready to sell:

1. Old appliances

One of the biggest tips from top agents we’ve come across is to update your appliances! Buyers do not want outdated appliances and that includes any appliances that aren’t stainless steel. Buyers love the look of the sleek metal and it just gives the kitchen a modern appeal.

stainless-steel-kitchen

2. Loud paint and/or wallpaper

Paint colors and wallpaper is a personal choice, but if you’re going to sell, you will appeal to a much broader base if you’re giving them a neutral base. Neutral colors will allow the buyers to envision their belongings in the home, rather than being put off because their traditional dining set would look odd in a deep purple dining room.

3. Brass hardware

When you walk into a home, you can tell it’s age by the color of the fixtures. Shiny brass or silver hardware and door knobs are fine and well, but polished nickel, matte black, and oil rubbed bronze are best.

4. Old windows

Older windows not only date the home, but they are also a drain on energy! Buyers want windows that are energy efficienttriple-pane glass windows are preferable as they are the most energy efficient, but they can be costly, ranging between $500 to $1,085 per window.

5. Popcorn ceilings

Whoever thought popcorn ceilings were a cool feature to have in a house must have been really into texture. Smooth ceilings are much more preferable simply because they look cleaner. If you have popcorn ceilings, you can remove it fairly easily, except it will be a big mess. Fortunately, you can hire a contractor to do the work and cleanup!

popcorn-ceiling-old-house

6. Tile or laminate countertops

When you bought your home, you probably didn’t mind tile or laminate countertops, but buyers aren’t going to be so charmed. Instead, buyers prefer granite, marble, concrete or custom epoxy countertops.

7. Wood paneling

Wood paneling was popular in the 70s and it makes your home look dark, old, and severely dated. You can remove the paneling, install drywall, and slap on a fresh coat of paint and you’d be amazed by how much more welcoming your home will feel!

8. Carpet in the bathroom

Water and carpeting are mortal enemies and carpeting has absolutely no place in the bathroom. Buyers know this and will avoid houses with this feature, unless they were already planning on renovating the bathroom. If you don’t want to keep your fingers crossed you’ll have a buyer who’s going to renovate, you can roll up your sleeves (or hire a contractor) to rip up the carpet and lay down new flooring, such as tile, vinyl flooring, or wood.

bathroom-carpet

It can be hard to go through your house and see the areas where buyers may not appreciate. You may have loved the countertops you installed 10 years ago, or your ivory washer and dryer have never let you down… But buyers want homes that are updated, modern, and have as little fixing up to do as possible. If you do even a few of these changes and you may see the start to offers roll in.

Eco-friendly Upgrades to Make Your Home Attractive to Buyers

If you are looking to sell your home or are just thinking about doing some upgrades to make it more attractive when you do finally sell it, studies show that making your property more eco-friendly will make it more attractive to potential buyers. If you want to get specific, there are some eco-friendly upgrades that not only help the environment by reducing the home’s energy consumption, but at the same time provide a return on the investment of more than 100%. This is not just an empty promise as every year sees an increase in home construction that includes the latest in environmentally friendly technology.

green-middle-east

It is no secret that technology is helping every industry develop at supersonic speeds. With the continued threat that rapid urban development brings to the environment. it only makes sense to use new technology to create better construction methods that are less harmful to the environment and more affordable to the homeowner. Jump on the go green opportunities available today and commit to making a better tomorrow.

Be Both Ambitious and Realistic

As you might expect, some eco-friendly upgrades are going to cost more than others. Want to add solar panels on top of the roof? First you have to check with your HOA, if you have one. Then you need to check the financials of the project. The upfront cost will vary from one installer to the next, and the rebates and incentives that encourage you to change in the first place will also vary depending on your home state.

If installing solar panels on your roof is not in your budget, there are plenty of other options to choose from. Everything from changing your insulation to never buying bottled water can have an impact. Changing the number of days you water your lawn or the amount of time for each sprinkler. Try reducing the amount of time you spend in the shower by just a few minutes each day.

All of these savings can add up and help reduce your carbon footprint over time and not only do you not spend money, but you can save money when it comes to your utility bills.

Don’t Forget Tax Season

Using your home as a tax write-off is so obvious it’s a huge reason many people buy homes in the first place. The important thing to remember is that you aren’t the only one who has a vested interest in making your home eco-friendly. The IRS has entered the discussion and extends tax credits based on different upgrades made to the home for environmentally friendly purposes. And since employing a special tax attorney may not be in your budget, there are other feasible ways to examine your financial situation as it impacts your taxes, and whether or not there are any discrepancies that need to be taken care of.

Once you have your overall financial situation looking a little clearer, don’t just be content with the usual write-offs consisting of interest payments and the like; consider all of your options and make a home upgrade that pays for itself. The point is, being proactive and taking the initiative to make your home more eco-friendly is not only affordable, it is also rewarding.

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

If you are looking for home curb appeal, search Round Rock Texas homes. 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.