Nationwide, real estate professionals report that prospective homeowners are on the hunt for homes that feature energy efficiency upgrades. In a March 2023 survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, 63% of polled Realtors said energy efficiency promotion in real estate listings was valuable when making a sale.
For current homeowners, this insight introduces an opportunity to maximize the value of their home. Here are three steps homeowners can take to enhance their home now and potentially improve resale value down the road.
Obtain an Energy Rating
Hiring a licensed energy rater can help homeowners to identify inefficiencies in their home and make necessary improvements that will save them money on utilities. When it comes time to sell, a home energy rating can attract potential homebuyers who are also looking for long-term opportunities to save on utility costs.
Research conducted by Freddie Mac demonstrated that homes with energy efficiency ratings sold for 2.7 percent more than unrated homes. Within those energy-rated homes, properties with higher energy efficiency ratings sold for three to five percent more than homes with lower ratings.
Improve Attic Insulation
Remodeling’s Cost vs. Value report estimates the cost of professionally upgrading attic insulation at $1,343. With an estimated value of $1,446, homeowners may benefit from a 107.7% return on their energy efficiency investment when it comes time to sell.
While living in the home, improved attic insulation contributes to energy savings when combined with other efforts to properly insulate and air seal the whole home. AHFC’s Department of Research and Rural Development estimates that insulation, air sealing, and other energy efficiency improvements can reduce home heating costs by 30% or more.
Invest in Solar Panels
Rooftop solar panels turn sunlight into electricity. Purchasing and installing solar panels can be a big financial investment, but once paid for these panels can provide free electricity – which could add up to significant savings if you plan to take further steps to electrify your home.
When it comes time to sell the home, you may be able to get more money for it. Buy Side from WSJ reports that homes featuring solar panels sold for 4.1% more than comparable homes in 2019.
With tax credits becoming available under the Residential Clean Energy Credit program, the coming years could be an ideal time for homeowners to consider upgrading to solar panels.
Thinking of ways to improve the value and energy efficiency of your home? Here are resources that can help:
- Renovation loans: Alaska Housing offers loan options for qualified homeowners hoping to renovate their home or improve its energy efficiency.
- Energy Education: AHFC’s department of Research and Rural Development shares resources and online tools to enhance your energy education.