Increase Your Home’s Value, Save Money and the Planet with This

With Earth Day being celebrated on April 22 for the 51st time, protecting our one and only planet is on our minds. What can increase the value of your home, save you money and save the planet? The answer is a simple one: improving energy efficiency. And there’s more good news: special clean energy financing may be available to make it easier to pay for energy efficiency upgrades.

A good place to start is to replace older high-energy-using systems (HVAC) with newer, more efficient ones. If your heating and/or cooling appliances are more than 15 years old, consider replacing them. Your monthly heating and cooling bills will be lower in addition to your home reducing its use of the planet’s energy reserves.

Adding an extra layer of insulation in your attic is a moderate cost that can easily be recouped in a few years through your energy savings. Upgrading windows and doors will better seal in the heating and cooling and contribute greatly to the overall value of your home.

Circulating the air will help reduce your heating and cooling costs. The addition of ceiling fans will accomplish this and, for pennies a day, save a lot of energy usage.

Low-flow plumbing fixtures and upgraded water heaters will contribute to stabilizing water sources for everyone and reduce your monthly water bills.

One-third of a home’s electric consumption comes from lighting alone. Switching to LED bulbs, putting up new energy-efficient light fixtures and installing larger windows for more light will save on monthly bills and add to the value of your home. Energy Star-rated appliances for your kitchen will also contribute to energy conservation.

Whether you’re considering improving the energy efficiency of your home for the planet, to save money or to increase your home’s value, reach out to our office so you can get the best information in determining which innovations make the most sense for your market.

In the Market to Buy a House? Here’s a Home Viewing Checklist

When you begin your house-hunting adventure, what should you be looking out for? Here’s a checklist to take along with you when you view prospective homes.

Grade. Check the grade of the property that surrounds the house. Walk up to the house and take note if the grade slopes away from the structure. Any puddling or sloping toward the house could mean poor drainage.

Roof. While outside, stand back and check the roof for any shingle damage and poorly maintained gutters.

Plumbing. A quick and easy check for plumbing issues is to run the faucets to see if there is good water pressure. While running the faucets, take a look under the sinks and check for drips or past water damage. To avoid other possible expensive leak repairs, check walls and ceilings for discolouration that could likely be from water leaks.

Pest control. Hidden areas such as basements and attics can be home to unwanted pests and insects, so include a visual inspection of these areas.

Structural. Needed structural repairs can be noted by checking for floor and wall cracks and out-of-square door frames.

Electrical. A quick check of a home’s electrical wiring can be done by running some of the appliances with the lights on. Any flickering could indicate wiring or electrical service issues.

Please give us a call or email us prior to starting out. Our experience will help guide you through this checklist to help you avoid unanticipated and costly issues in the future.