The sustainable real estate concept is not a new one. For the past few years, architects have been designing energy-efficient buildings for companies as a way to trim costly utility fees. Recently, however, home builders have begun implementing the same innovation in residential construction, expecting green houses to become a popular and possibly dominating trend over the next few decades. This is all part of a world-wide effort to balance energy needs and available resources. What remains to be seen is what changes to the housing market will occur in that time.
Sustainable homes will have a number of major benefits. Most importantly, at least for homeowners, the savings that will result from reduced energy usage will be substantial. In the interest of environment-conscious residents, these homes will have a positive and lasting impact, and families can feel confident knowing they are making a contribution. In fact, studies show that home buyers are more likely to pay higher prices for homes with energy-saving characteristics.
Don’t expect people to leap on board just yet. Before investing, potential buyers want to know what will happen to the property value after they’ve lived there for 5 to 10 years. Researchers have conducted various studies that show a correlation between lower utility costs and increased property value. This may be due to the growth in energy demands expected to take place over the next 35 years. According to a North Carolina Energy Star report, the value of an energy efficient home is estimated to increase $20.73 for each dollar saved.
Electricity and ventilation are two key areas that will significantly impact energy costs. For new homes, that means solar panels and energy efficient windows. Specialized windows, particularly those that are double pane, can help regulate the amount of cool air and heat that escapes, which will reduce the energy needed to run heating and cooling units. In addition to purely money-saving benefits, healthier environments, which can be credited to reduced air-born contaminates, offer plenty of motivation form home seekers.
One of the specific recommendations that Than Merrill, CEO of the real estate investment company Fortunebuilders recommends is to replace that old energy-inefficient water heater. “Tankless water heaters only heat water on demand. That way, you do not have the extra energy consumption occurring when hot water is not being used.”
Residents, especially first-timers, should always be aware of the potential cost of utilities when considering a budget strategy. Those planning to settle in for several years, which is often the case, should take into account factors that are known to affect the home’s value. As green property becomes more common, their sustainable features should become more influential throughout the decision making process.