Eco-Friendly vs. Standard House: Which is cheaper?

There’s a lot of media coverage right now on what being eco-friendly (aka “green”). Companies are offering green options, and many people are making greener choices in their everyday lives. These include things like taking reusable bags to the grocery store, driving hybrid cars, and tricking out their houses. That’s right – houses are probably the biggest-ticket items to turn green. The options usually cost money upfront, but they can save money in the long run, and they’re better for the environment. But are they really better for the bottom line (especially when it comes time to sell)?

The little things

Changing light-bulbs from incandescent to eco-friendly will help drop energy costs, but they’re not going to do anything for the resale value of the home. If selling isn’t the end goal, that doesn’t matter much. But for homeowners who realize they will sell the home at some point and are hoping to get the most bang for their environmentally-friendly buck, the small things aren’t going to make much difference.

Target areas

However, many of the large projects to convert a home into an eco-friendly establishment cost more money upfront than they will add to the resale value of the house. But again, consider motivations. Solar panels and other similar additions will save the homeowner a significant amount of money – many states even offer tax breaks for those projects. But for those resale values, they won’t significantly raise the appraisal price of the home (check out other appraisal options at ).

For those who will be selling in the foreseeable future, it’s important to target “medium-sized projects” that focus on energy consumption, clean water, and clean air. As I mentioned before, going green in trending, so it’s easy to find relatively low-cost options for upgrading. Some quick and simple energy consumption strategies include motion-sensor light switches, buying Energy-Star certified appliances, and multilayered window treatments which provide better insulation. Clean air and water options include painting with paints with little to no volatile organic compounds and installing an under-sink water filter. The low volatile organic compound paints don’t cost significantly more, and they can reduce asthma, nausea, and headaches that can be caused by traditional paints. Also, when looking to save water, try installing low-flow faucets and dual-flush toilets.

From the ground up

If building a house, it’s definitely pertinent to add extra money in the budget to build green. This will benefit the homeowners whether they’re planning on selling down the road or not. On average, if homeowners spend an extra $10,000 when building, they will be able to save that much in living costs within the first year. Plus, if and when they decide to relocate, the green selling points will already be in place.

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