Danielle Dowell, a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Chicago, shared a few tips via email to help homeowners increase the functionality of their homes while also adding value.
Dowell’s recommendations include:
Invest in environmentally friendly upgrades. Prospective buyers are increasingly willing to pay more for homes that incorporate health and resource-efficient elements such as mold- and fume-reducing VOC paints and eHVAC systems. The term “clean living” has even been qualified by the National Association of Realtors’ MLS listing service, which recently introduced environmentally friendly designations to highlight energy-efficient, high-performance home features that reduce energy bills in the short term and increase return on investment over the long term. Examples of these projects include:
- Installing tankless water heaters.
- Replacing gas-heating systems with radiant heat.
- Updating roofs with composite materials or adding solar panels.
Embrace the great outdoors. Outside areas can enhance curb appeal while also being sources of fun and wellness. Consider incorporating environmentally friendly and functional elements. For example:
- Synthetic lawns give homeowners the perks of a yard without the work. Improved manufacturing and technology have made artificial grass look and feel more authentic. These lawns can be installed with drainage systems that redeploy rainwater to nurture natural planting areas, and they also eliminate carbon emissions and noise pollution created by maintenance equipment.
- Stone structures and patios add durability, natural textures and functionality to outdoor spaces. They can be constructed with recycled materials and require little upkeep.
Make sure to get annual inspections. Easy maintenance and timely inspections are critical for the environmental safety and system efficiencies of your home. These simple fixes can save you thousands of dollars while also adding home sale value and return on investment as buyers, appraisers and inspectors evaluate the overall condition of your property. On their prescribed basis, be sure to:
- Change air and water filters to remove particulates and maintain a clean home.
- Have professionals do yearly inspections of HVAC, roofs, gutters and water systems.
- Install LED lighting.