Does it pay to remodel green?

Feb 10, 2011

Green renovations and additions to your home may cost more upfront than taking the route of using traditional materials and methods, but does it pay for itself when your resell your home?

Lower Maintenance Costs

Green home renovations that target the tightening of your home’s envelope, upgrading old and inefficient building systems, as well as the installation of renewable energy systems will not only save you money while you live in your home, but they can help to increase your home’s resale value. We have also seen certain “green features” decrease the amount of time a home is on the market.

In the same way that you were inspired to make these upgrades, some home buyers may be willing to invest more upfront with the promise of saving on operating expenses in the long run.  Right now, it is a buyers’ market and most buyers are looking for a bargain rather than paying more for a home.  It is important to market the savings a buyer should expect during the time they own the home.

Trendy = Marketable

Green building isn’t a phenomenon discussed only among architects and manufacturers anymore. Eco-friendly building materials such as bamboo and cork flooring, recycled glass tile and modern, efficient appliances have become desirable.  In fact, it has become a little “trendy” to buy green; however, we expect the trend to last a long time and become even stronger as we move into the future.

In our experience, so long as the cost is relatively low, most people want to make choices that are good for the environment while being stylish. Incorporating so-called eco-friendly materials as part of your renovation may seem like a frivolous expense, you might be surprised how appealing they may make your home to potential buyers.

Points to Consider

When you’re selling your green home, your approach should be a little different than it would in selling a traditional home, but it’s important to have realistic expectations, too.

  • Get certified. Third party certification by a green home rating system offers tangible evidence to buyers that they’ll get what they pay for in terms of “green.”
  • Work with an EcoBroker®. Consider working with a Realtor® who has experience marketing green homes. He or she can be a great help in getting the word out to a targeted audience.
  • Savings. Offer to show potential buyers the results of a home energy audit or a snapshot of your monthly bills-the promise of savings in the long run can be very convincing.
  • Things you cannot change. Certain factors trump all when it comes to real estate.  Geographical location, the economy and comparable property values certainly control value.

We are still in the early stages of learning about the benefits of eco-friendly homes. The public is learning about the reasons to build and buy green. However, it seems more and more people are jumping on the band wagon. As energy costs continue to rise, I predict that green features, especially photovoltaic systems and energy efficient appliances, will become increasingly more valuable to home buyers.

Daniel J. Beckerle

303 261 2732 (cell)
303 526 2277 (office)
303 845 8311 (fax)

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