Easy updates for a more efficient home

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12/29/2015 | Author: Editorial Staff

Environmentally friendly homes can be appealing for buyers, but homeowners should think carefully before making upgrades. For example, solar panels can be money-savers, but it can take years to see a return on the investment.

This infographic features some basic upgrades and fixes that can boost a home’s efficiency. Share it with clients and prospects, and let them know they should keep any documentation that shows what types of green additions they make—like tags, packaging, and receipts—in case they want to use those items as selling points in the future.



Categories: Buyers, Sellers, Homeowners
Tags: infographic, sellers, consumers, buying, marketing


Lane Mabray on 01/02/2016

Betty, I put the sprayed foam for radiant barrier and seemed to work at first, but now several years later, my cold water is very hot in the summer, and I have seen my summer electric bill track back up again….

Betty Saenz REALTOR® EcoBroker® on 01/02/2016

Hi Lane- I have added soy based foam to my attic and it has helped with my electric and gas bills. My attic is now just about 78 degrees year round so my duct work is now in “conditioned” space and my air-conditioner and heater don’t have to work as hard. The energy upgrades I have done to my home made it possible for me to get a green re-fi, wherein I had an appraisal that gave me credit for the energy efficiency upgrades I have done, making my house appraise for more.

Lane Mabray on 12/31/2015

Well, Betty, I certainly learned something from your comments….I will certainly want to investigate the foam thing as the radient barrier has done nothing to reduce my attic heat or energy bills. I am not a “greeny” but will try to understand the cost of creating a “green” house and the costs saved is what I AM INTERESTED IN.

Betty Saenz REALTOR® EcoBroker® on 12/31/2015

Hi Joe, I agree and do use our Austin MLS EES form on my home listings. It is helpful! Even mainstream homes have items for the EES like radiant barriers, solar screens, low water use landscaping, water saving toilets, etc.  There is also a a Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum on the Appraisal Institutes website that can be added to provide more detail of green features as well.

Joe Bryson on 12/31/2015

The Austin Central Texas Realtor Information Service (ACTRIS) created a comprehensive disclosure for “green homes” called the EES (Energy, Efficiency, and Sustainability) attachment.  This gives info in much greater detail than what can be disclosed in the MLS reports.  If agents would use this, or these types of, disclosure then appraisers will have a lot more information to use to give these properties the extra values they merit.

Betty Saenz REALTOR® EcoBroker® on 12/31/2015

It has been my experience that foam insulation in a closed attic roof system is much better than simply a radiant barrier but a radiant barrier is a step above a traditional attic system. As an EcoBroker® or GREEN REALTOR® I help buyers and sellers with deep green built homes in Central Texas and really enjoy what I do- the deeper the green, the more excited I get! Austin Texas is a trendsetter for deep green building. There are Net Zero homes and others that have really low utility bills and most have very low water use as well. I also help buyers and sellers with homes that have rainwater as the sole source of water, homes designed with ICF or Insulated Concrete Forms, Thermal Mass wall systems like Straw Bale construction and more. It is enjoyable helping people understand basic energy and water saving upgrades but even more enjoyable helping with deeper upgrades to have an enormous impact in both saving money and the environment. I have specialty lenders as well because the average appraiser and lender may not understand Fannie Mae guidelines, value, etc. in relation to the unique attributes of deep green built homes homes. I have builders and architect resources to design and build super efficient homes.

Lane Mabray on 12/30/2015

Norman, I completely concur!!! I have recently started replacing one at a time my light bulbs with LEDs and will NEVER use CFLs.

Norman Gordon on 12/29/2015

You missed the mark when you didn’t recommend the use of LED bulbs instead of CFL’s.  Not only are the prices coming down dramatically, they use significantly less power than the CFLs, are bright from the start, and have no mercury.  What could be better than that?

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The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

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