Efficiency Can Beat the Housing Crisis

It’s easy to see nothing but misery in our current economic climate. Even Alan Greenspan admits this recession may be the harshest since the Great Depression. Homeowners in Detroit have seen their land values plummet 30% since 2000. Even former hotspots like Las Vegas saw the price of a home fall nearly 5% in August.

It’s time to reveal one of the best-hidden secrets of the housing market: Adding sustainable improvements to your home greatly increases its resale value and makes you more likely to cash in that recession-wracked property for a fair chunk of change.

Sustainable Industries’ Lynn Jurich points out that the recession has placed a premium on value shopping, a trend that extends to the housing market. Significant heating and cooling costs can be a deal beaker in a time when buyers hold such broad market influence.

More importantly, Jurich mentions the energy multiplier - every $1 knocked off a home’s energy bills brings $20 in value. An investment in solar paneling or smarter insulation can easily add $10,000 to $20,000 onto the value of a home. In a recession where many homes are selling at historic lows, that can easily translate into a 10% increase in the final price of a home.

“The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy states that a solar home will sell twice as quickly as a home without solar panels,” Jurich says. “This makes sense; a home with solar power lowers monthly electric bills because it requires less traditional electricity from the utility.”

The market is beginning to properly value the contributions of solar panels and other energy-reducing technologies. Early solar adopters are now reaping the dividends of a wise investment. The best thing any government or business can do now is promote awareness. With proper knowledge, homeowners can maximize the value of their lots by embracing sustainable improvements.

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