5 Green ways to add value to a home

Green building has become more than just a trend in recent years, and it’s not simply because home buyers want to reduce their environmental footprint. Nearly 40% of home buyers consider energy efficient features to be very

energy and water efficiency guide for real estate
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important. “Concern for the environment is not a trend; it’s a permanent mindset of consumers,” says Barbara Brock from Sold with Style, a leading New York-based staging and pre-sale consulting firm. “Saving electric power or water is also economical – another attractive selling point.”

The cost of sustainable materials and products is dropping, and can often be one of the most cost-effective updates they do to their house. If owning an energy efficient home is important to your clients, take a look at some tips and tricks you can give them on how to green their home.  Plus, download our Energy and Water Efficiency Guide to distribute to your clients.

Use the 10-Year Appliance Rule  Old appliances use up a lot of energy.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the best advice you could give your clients are to update any appliance over 10 years old to an energy-efficient model, labeled Energy-Star.  These appliances use 10%-50% less energy and water than the standards.

Let there be LED light. In the last few years, LED lights became widely available,  for a relatively low cost, and their quality is pretty great. LEDs will last for about 20 years if they’re only left on for about eight hours per day. They’re more energy efficient, free of toxic chemicals and are extremely durable. Even better, LEDs can be combined in any shape to produce highly efficient lighting and they can be dimmed. There are many recessed LED lights available at local big-box stores for a great price.

Green Up the Floors If your clients are looking for a green version of hardwood floors, bamboo is the answer.  Bamboo replenishes itself at a relatively high rate, taking only  four to six years to mature, whereas traditional hardwood floors take about 50-100. Advise your clients to look for sources that use formaldehyde-free glues, and they should be all-set. Have a client looking to refinish their existing hardwoods? Many flooring experts now offer finishing products using low VOC.

Use Healthier, VOC-Free Paint According to the EPA, conventional paints contain solvents, toxic metals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause smog, ozone pollution and indoor air quality problems with negative health effects. Tell your clients not to fret, because most major manufacturers today have their back. They make zero- or low-VOC paint that costs about the same as paint that contains higher levels of VOC.

Add More Green to the Outdoor Space Good landscaping can add up to 28% to the overall value of a house and cut its time on the market 10% to 15%. But it also has some valuable environmental factors, too. Planting native plants will use less water and require less attention. Planting the right trees can help with storm water runoff, reduce carbon dioxide and provide energy savings in the form of shade in the warm months and windbreaks in the cold months.  

To learn more about helping your environmentally friendly clients green up their homes:

 

Sources: http://realestate.msn.com/ www.houselogic.com

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