What green or eco-friendly changes improve the value of a home? Share your top 3 tips here!

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Results

Every EcoBroker or NAR Green designee will have a different answer, but here are my favorite top three:

  1. Installation of Energy Star appliances - lighting and appliances account for 27% of all energy used in a residence and account for more than 45% of total energy costs. You can actually show how much is saved in a home by comparing the old utility bills to the new, estimated costs by using the Energy Star ratings and your local utility rates. This shows an ACTUAL value increase in the home.
  2. Installation of new, energy efficient windows. Current windows are even more efficient than those manufactured 10 years ago, so it would behove a homeowner to consider replacing the windows even if they're 10 years old. Studies show that the new, improved windows can lower home energy costs by up to 15%. So see #1 above and this adds even MORE value to the home!
  3. Easiest of all - install a programmable thermostat! By regulating the temperature and lowering the heat or air conditioning by at least 8 hours at a time (while you're at work or at night while you're asleep), you can save up to $150 per year in utility costs alone.

I hope some of these ideas help someone, somewhere! I can't wait to hear what others have to say!  Post away!


Comments (5)

Mike Hogan
The Hogan Group at Keller Williams Realty - Mechanicsville, VA

Tim- great post... my tip for for improving energy efficiency costs only $14...check your ducts in your home...there are typically tons of leaks where the ducts connect to the boots...I did a blog post on this last year...check it out

Jun 28, 2009 01:14 PM
Tim Cahill
RE/MAX Results - Arlington, MA
MBA, EcoBroker

Thanks for the feedback, Mike!  I love your post on sealing ducts too.  I can't think of a project that would have a higher payback than that - for only $14 at that!  Even cheaper than the programmable thermostat!


Jun 28, 2009 03:46 PM
Julie Chrissis
Chrissis & Company Interiors - Boston, MA
Professional Home Stager


I am not sure if these affect the value of your home or not but here goes:

1.  I love the on-demand water heaters.  The kind that only make hot water when you need it vs keeping it warm all the time. 

2.  Reduced water output shower heads are awesome too.  There are some on the market now that reduce your water usage by up to 40%.

3. Bamboo flooring is really hot right now too.  People love to see more sustainable choices for decorating.


Great post!  Thanks!




Jun 29, 2009 06:37 AM
real estate prices

Excellent blog about home value.

Aug 18, 2009 05:52 PM
Shep Spear

Let's not forget new construction and major remodeling.  All of the previously mentioned green alternatives are great, but I always say the best offence is a good defense.  1]  The old rattle-trap methodology of building with 2x6 stick and batt construction has been replaced with 6" SIP (stuructural insulated panel) fabrication.  With new Neopore foam cores these panels are rated over 200% higher in whole wall R-value than their wood counterparts.  2]  Try ICFs (insulated concrete forms).  These stay-in-place concrete forms are at a minimum 10 times greater in R-value over the typical concrete foundations.  3]  So now that your heat loss defense is in top form you take the 100,000 BTU furnace that you had heating your 2800 sft palace and replace it with a 60,000 unit.  Now your cooking with gas and saving lots of bread.  

Sep 09, 2009 01:22 AM