Tag Archives: renovating a rental property

How Green Home Renovations Can Help You Sell or Rent Your Home

We consider ourselves environmentally aware. For years we’ve been putting in  CFL lightbulbs, replacing water hogging toilets with low flush versions, buying high efficiency furnaces and using non-toxic paint. Most of these choices make sense for the environment and for our bottom line … but we’ve never actually written about it at Rev N You. So when Steve emailed with this article we jumped at the chance to share this information with you guys!! In this post you’re going to learn some really great ideas to consider if you’re renovating a rental property or even doing a flipper in order to maximize the rental value or resale value.  Let us know what you think!

by Steve Stillwater

In a tough real estate market, you need every possible incentive for someone to buy (or rent) your home, rather than another comparable home on the market. How can you create that advantage for your home over the other houses in your price range? Try some green home remodeling and home renovations.

Reports from housing markets all over North America indicate that green homes sell more quickly than those without energy-saving or water-saving benefits. The reason is easy to understand. The cost of living in these homes is lower for the buyer or tenant.

But there is a more subtle reason as well. Almost everyone wants to feel that they are doing something good for the environment. Living in a home with green lifestyle features satisfies that want and gives the buyer or renter an emotional reason to choose your home in addition to a financial one. Since virtually all purchases, especially homes, have an emotional trigger as well as a logical one, offering a home with green benefits is a sure-fire way to make your home stand out. This is especially true in a tough, competitive real estate market.

So, how can you differentiate your house as a greener alternative? Here are some easy-to-implement suggestions, which will also give you benefits that you can include in your promotional materials.

  1. Make sure you can promote the advantages of energy efficiency in your sales flyer. There are a lot of ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home. For example, replace any older appliances with Energy Star appliances that use less energy. The benefits in lower utility bills will be a plus for the buyer or renter.
  2. Wrap your water tank with insulation to reduce heat loss. You can buy all the insulation you need for about $20 or less. This one is inexpensive and easy.
  3. Seal drafts around windows and doors with weather stripping or caulk, and mention that this has been done in your promotional materials. Adding some insulation to the attic is also an inexpensive way to improve energy efficiency.
  4. Install compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) everywhere. Lighting accounts for about 10-20% of average home energy use, and CFLs use 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. The out-of-pocket cost is minimal when you consider the value to your home, and CFLs are another benefit that will save the new occupant money. Make sure you mention this advantage in your promotional materials.
  5. Consider bamboo if you are putting in new flooring. Bamboo wears as well as hardwoods, has a beautiful appearance, and has the advantage of being widely recognized as a green building material.
  6. Use low VOC paints (VOC is an abbreviation for Volatile Organic Compounds, which are unpleasant to be around at best, and toxic at worst). Be sure to mention that they were used. Low VOC paints will reassure buyers who are health conscious.
  7. Solar panels are a huge selling point, and rebates and tax credits are offered as an incentive to defray the high up-front cost. The up front cost is still not trivial, however, and installation can take up to 3-4 months, including the planning and permitting. If you have time, solar panels are worth considering. If you are in a hurry to get your house on the market, this may not be a viable option.
  8. If installing solar panels is too costly or time-consuming to consider, a solar water heater may be a quicker, more cost-effective solution. Since about 15% of the typical home energy bill goes toward heating water, the savings for the new buyer will be meaningful, as well as a selling point for you.

Green remodeling is a great way to make your home stand above the others in a competitive marketplace. Green upgrades and features give your buyer both a financial incentive to consider your home and an emotional reason to desire owning your home. The latter may prove to be even more important.

Steve Stillwater promotes healthy, green lifestyles, with easy-to-implement ideas to use less energy and conserve resources. Living a greener lifestyle is a way of life for Steve, and he hopes that it will become a way of life for you as well. He writes regularly about practical tips and ideas for developing a green lifestyle at http://www.LivingGreenandSavingEnergy.com

Image Credit: © Norebbo | Dreamstime.com


Filed under Flipping, renovations