State water officials recently released the latest water usage rates and the news is promising. We cut back 27% on water use in June, compared to 2013 usage rates. This is 2% more than the goal set by Governor Gerry Brown, and June was the second month in a row our water use has decreased. This is especially important now that we are in the hottest and driest time of the year. It appears Californians understand the drought situation and are doing what they can to help. If you are considering listing your home, or already have it on the market, you may have thought about how the drought can affect your chances for a successful sale. While you may have a dried, brown lawn, or a lack of lush, green shrubbery, there is another type of green which may add value and help your home. I’m talking about Eco-Friendly features that not only help the environment but can also save homeowners money.
In a recent study conducted by the University of Texas, and published by Appraisal Journal, there were certain types of eco-Friendly, money saving features that when included on a listing, garnered a higher sale price. In an interesting twist though, it was found that only a modest increase was had on average for houses that were listed with an eco-friendly designation, such as being LEED Certified. There were more savings found with specific features such as energy efficient windows and HVAC cooling systems. When these were in place, an increase in price of 3.8% – 5.8% was noted. Other features that helped home values rise include Rainwater Catchments, which could add up to 7.7%, ceiling fans adding 2.1% and low-flow toilets providing a 1.7% price increase.
Another aspect to consider was the location of the study, which took place in San Antonio, TX, with a survey of 66,000 home sales over a 5 year period, from 2008-2013. Climate will make a difference in terms of the importance of energy efficient features. A mild or temperate climate will not see as much of an increase typically. But with our entire state in a severe drought, and Texas seeing much of the same, it stands to reason that we would see the same type of results. Even better news is that often energy efficient is also better for the environment. All homes in California are required to have toilets that hold 1.6 gallons of water or less by 2017. This clearly will be an effective way to save water, and will save on the wallet too. Energy efficient windows help better insulate a home and save money on the electric bill, but they are eco -friendly by helping to keep a stable environment inside. In short, double paned windows can help your air conditioner work easier and better.
So when you are ready to sell, take a look at what energy efficient and eco-friendly features you already have or can install. These small steps can help attract buyers and could add to the selling price of your home. When you are ready to buy or sell a home, we at Haylen Group are here to help you with all of your real estate needs! If you are unsure what your options are, call Helen Chong at (408) 800-LIST or email at Helen@HaylenGroup.com. You can also visit us at our website for available listings and additional information.