By Sam Bowman, EarthTalk
February 7, 2021 (San Diego) - The housing market has never been in a greater state of flux. The pandemic has lowered interest rates and increased home values in never-seen-before ways. In addition, in spite of the coronavirus — and at times because of it — many have made moves for both professional and personal reasons.
Simply put, there’s never been a better time to add value to your home, especially if you’re thinking of selling soon. If you’re someone who values sustainability, here are a few of the best ways to increase your home’s value in a manner that puts the Earth first and the profits second.
Update Your Bathroom
One of the most valuable areas of your home is the bathroom. A renovated bathroom can do wonders in boosting your home’s dollar price — especially when it comes to new bathroom fixtures.
You can also introduce a sustainable element to your lavatory renovations by installing low-flow water fixtures, in particular. The showerhead, sink faucet, and even the toilet can all be replaced with modern alternatives that use a fraction of the water compared to older models.
This not only gives your bathroom a fresh feel. It also makes it more sustainable, as well.
Swap Out Your Lighting
Lighting is often overlooked in favor of larger renovations. However, it still remains one of the quickest home upgrade options. The simple act of going through your home and replacing all of your traditional lightbulbs with LED alternatives is a great way to improve the eco-friendly nature of your living space for prospective buyers.
In addition, traditional incandescent lightbulbs can be expensive to operate. Swapping them out for LEDs can dramatically reduce your electricity bill as long as you continue to live at your current residence, too.
Give the Walls a Fresh Coat of Paint
Painting continues to be one of the easiest DIY home updates. While you can always hire a professional painting company if you need to, it doesn’t take much work to purchase paint, get some basic equipment, and then spend a weekend covering your walls in an exciting new color.
A fresh coat of paint is a great way to make a space more attractive and, by extension, more valuable. However, if you’re looking to be eco-friendly, too, it’s also important to prioritize sustainable materials by choosing non-toxic paint that isn’t loaded with VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
Upgrade HVAC Systems, Water Heaters and Appliances
This next one requires some upfront investment, but in most cases, it’s well worth the cost. If your home has an old furnace, an ancient water heater, or any antiquated appliances, it can make sense to upgrade them as part of the home updating process.
By getting new versions of these essential parts of a living space, you’re increasing the efficiency of your home. You’ll also save money on your utility bills. To top it all off, updating these items is another thing that can make your home look as valuable as possible to anyone thinking of purchasing it from you.
Improve Your Exterior
There are many value-enhancing, eco-friendly upgrades that you can implement on the outside of your home, too. For instance, you can install solar-powered lights or plant trees and other greenery.
Both of these aren’t just part of a nice landscaping job. They also can directly impact the value of your home. And even if they don’t directly increase the dollar value, at the least, the visual of pleasant greenery and cutting edge solar tech can do wonders in enhancing your home’s curb appeal.
Add Green Decor
The concept of “buy appeal” versus inherent dollar value has been brought up a few times already. That’s because, while it’s great to get more money when you sell your home, sometimes it’s wise to also invest in things that will simply help your home sell faster.
One of these is choosing the right decor. This is another area where sustainability can easily factor into the mix. For instance, you can use recycled and reused items, like reclaimed barn wood shelves, to provide a modern aesthetic to your living spaces. Plants and other natural elements can also increase the attractiveness of your home while also having minimal impact on the Earth.
Utilize Smart Tech
Smart tech is quickly becoming more and more associated with eco-friendly homes. And this isn’t just referencing a smart thermostat, either.
Tech can bring many of the basic functions of a home together into a single, automated hub. It can give you control over everything from your lighting and appliances to your HVAC system, home security, blinds, garage door, and more.
This enables you to easily operate in an eco-friendly manner. For instance, if you’re gone on a cold evening, you can ensure that the blinds are closed, the garage door is shut, and the thermostat is turned down. If you’re absent on a hot afternoon, you can open up the blinds and raise the temp to take advantage of the warmer weather.
Once again, in addition to the environmental impact, smart tech also massively increases the buy-appeal of your home.
Sustainably Boosting Your Home’s Value
From bathroom fixtures to new lightbulbs, updated appliances, smart tech, and more, there are many ways to increase the value of your home. By doing so in a thoughtful way, you can also ensure that each activity is eco-friendly and doesn’t put your own good before that of the Earth that we all share.
So review the list above and consider where you can make changes in your own living space. You won’t be sorry you did so when it comes time to call your realtor.