Will Green Improvements Boost Your Home's Value?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Studies show homes with energy-saving improvements command higher prices than traditional homes. RE/Max Leading Edge's Craig Foley studied about 4,600 homes in Greater Boston and found homes heated with natural gas sold for $11 more per square foot than homes heated with oil. Remodeling Magazine's annual Cost versus Value Report includes resale values for bathroom remodels and deck additions, but has not yet included green renovations. However, the 2016 report will include roof insulation for the first time. Although the solar industry is very strong in New England, it is still too new to provide enough data to draw conclusions about resale value, but the available data suggests solar systems increase a home's value by about $18,000 for a typical installation. Studies that show green updates help sell homes for higher prices also suggest buyers are motivated to save money in the long run, and home sellers will capitalize on this by providing electricity bills to quantify savings. People get excited about homes that are more comfortable, healthier, and more cost-effective, but location and design are still primary drivers of home sales. For example, solar panels can look unattractive and actually hurt a home's selling potential. In addition, people who rent solar arrays with long-term contracts may lose buyers who do not want to take on the remaining commitment. Nevertheless, greener homes are expected to be in more demand in the future.

Shira Springer 8/14/2015

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