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Buying Green

Will an eco-friendly home sell more quickly in this market?

March 31, 2011
Maui Weekly

And there’s a good reason why. According to a recent survey conducted by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and McGraw-Hill Construction, “Lower energy costs, healthier living and improved indoor and outdoor environments are increasingly demanded by and available to homebuyers at all income levels.”

This presents a unique advantage for sellers, as green homes offer the appealing prospect of instant energy savings to buyers—not to mention, an opportunity to reduce their environmental footprint. “Being able to afford your utility bill is as important as being able to pay your mortgage,” said USGBC Senior Vice President Michelle Moore. “Green homes are shining through as the bright spot in an otherwise gloomy housing market.”

But, what should you do if your home isn’t a desirable shade of green? It may be a good idea to consider implementing green components to create added value and enhance the potential resale value of your home.

And when it comes to green remodeling, there are several options to choose from.

Simple improvements include swapping out regular light bulbs for compact fluorescents (CFLs) or opting for low- or no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints to refresh the interior—and indoor air quality—of your home.

I’d also suggest replacing old carpets to eliminate allergens and toxins, taking a second look at insulation to ensure all cracks and leaks are sealed, and upgrading older appliances to new ENERGY STAR-certified products. In addition, you can increase energy efficiency in your home by installing a programmable thermostat, tankless water heaters, motion sensors and other electronic controls to regulate household devices in an energy efficient manner.

For those who may be contemplating large-scale green remodeling, I’d advise exploring the benefits of installing a rooftop solar system. Yes, it may be a considerable investment, but it’s one that’s guaranteed to pay for itself in the long-term (particularly if you take advantage of any tax incentives available).

Yet, before you sit down to write your green remodeling “to do” list, I suggest you first consult with a qualified professional, as an energy audit may best determine the most appropriate plan of action for your property.

No matter what you decide, it’s safe to say that “going green” will improve your chances of selling your home in today’s market. And best of all? You’ll be helping to save the planet in the process.



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