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Energy Efficiency & Selling Your Home

802c948e70c9ff787ce0588891592ebaSelling a home is a major endeavor, and choosing which parts of your home to upgrade before doing so can be a tough call as well. From installing new windows to replacing the roof or even a remodel of the kitchen or bathroom, people often spruce up parts of their home to make it more marketable to potential buyers. But what about making energy efficient changes? How do these effect you while owning a home and as you enter the real estate market?

As a home owner, we are aware of the importance that comes along with being energy efficient. Saving some money and helping to save the environment are the two main reasons we turn our lights off when leaving a room. While this simple task is important, there are a range of home improvements that people can make for larger impact on their wallet and the environment.

Before you start making changes to your property, it’s imperative that you sit down and research what tactics are most beneficial. We want to advise homeowners to understand what their long term plans are with their home. If you plan on moving within a couple years, you should act differently than if you plan on staying 7 or more years in your home.

There are many components to a home, and upgrading different aspects of it will make your home more energy efficient. Which ones are worth investing in now and which ones should you do later?

Plan to Move in the Next 3 Years

canstockphoto18577653There is a bill that was proposed and approved by the Massachusetts Senate but has not yet been passed into law in Massachusetts. The bill, if passed in its current form, will require an energy assessment to be completed on a home prior to placing it on the market for sale. In our opinion and the opinion of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors it is too much to ask of homeowners and it is not necessary. Listen to this WRKO radio segment where Anthony discusses this bill in more detail.

If you plan on selling your home during the next 3 years, we suggest you don’t make any major energy efficient home improvements. Especially if you’re looking to get the most return out of your investment, keep it simple. A Mass Save Home Energy Assessment will address the short term solutions including but not limited to:

  • New LED and CFL Light Bulbs
  • New Programmable Thermostats
  • New Water-Saving Showerhead
  • New Energy Efficient Power Strip

These are inexpensive investments that will earn you a positive return in the short term and will help show that your home has undergonethe basic energy efficient steps. The Mass Save Home Energy Assessment is no cost to you so definitely have this done if possible.

You’re Moving in 3-7 Years
Insulation and Air Sealing

If you’ll be staying in your house for longer than 3 years then there are a few more serious home improvements that you can make.

Some changes include:

  • Insulation and Air Sealing
    • Drafty windows is more often a result of lack of air sealing and insulation, not the windows themselves. Fixing the insulation is a fraction of the cost of replacing windows and Mass Save provides incentives to make these upgrades very affordable

These changes will help you save money and will also make your home far more comfortable in the summer and in the winter. We also advise against adding solar panels during this time because you will end up having to deal with them when you sell and that could be a potential hassle.

You’re Moving in 7+ Years

imagesIf you plan on living in your current home for the foreseeable future then there are some more changes you may want to consider.

  • HVAC Systems
    • Seal your heating and cool ducts to help save money
    • Upgrade System from electric/oil to gas if gas is available
    • Replace old system with new energy efficient system – Mass Save provides significant rebates from April – August
    • If installing a new system, make sure a certified trusted technician works on the project, improper installment can lead to higher utility bills and possibly a shorter life for the system
  • Hot Water Systems
    • Replace old hot water tank with a tankless water heater system

Final Considerations

The moral of the story is simply that expensive energy efficient home improvements don’t usually yield a positive return if the goal is to sell the home in the near future. As years pass, these upgrades may give you a positive return with saving energy, so it’s important to know where you stand with your home before making any improvements. Click here to read our blog that discusses the 5 features that can make or break the value of your home

For more information about selling your home and making the most cost-effective home improvements, please feel free to give us a call at 855-510-7653.


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