Building a Southern Maryland home? Go green and ensure its future value

Kimberly Bean
Published on June 28, 2017

Building a Southern Maryland home? Go green and ensure its future value

It’s exciting to choose your lot, your appliance package, and all the other extras that will go into your brand-new home, but something important may get lost: Your new Southern Maryland home’s future resale value!

We know, it seems a bit early to be thinking about selling the house when you haven’t even moved in yet, but it’s something you should be thinking about.

The truth is: Someday, you will sell this home. Think about that now, and as you’re customizing it to your specifications, you may also be able to protect its market value. There are ways you can incorporate “green” features into your new home – features that buyers clamor after.

What the future has in store

You don’t need a crystal ball to see what the Southern Maryland buyers of the future are going to be looking for. New home builders release an annual list of in-demand features, and year after year, some of the same items appear on the list.

But we have a secret we’d like to share: Green homes are the wave of the future. So are connected homes. Combine aspects of both into your new home, and you will have a popular listing when it comes time to sell in the future. Imagine your home – with energy-efficient features and connectivity compared to the neighboring house which has none of these features.

The home’s location matters

Green choices start at the beginning. The location of the house within the Southern Maryland community can actually boost its future value. Choose a lot that will let your home be oriented so that it takes full advantage of the sun.

“Design the home so that frequently used rooms, such as the kitchen and living room, are on the southern side,” suggest Nick and Ben Gromicko of the International Association of Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). This allows the home’s occupants to enjoy the warmth of the sun in the winter.

Put your patio or deck on the south side, too. Then, have your builder put the rooms you spend less time in, like the laundry room and garage, on the north side of the house, “where they will act as buffers against cold winter winds,” according to the Gromickos.

When it’s time to sell, this rarely considered technique – and the fact that it helps lower energy bills – can be used to market your home.

Keep the bad stuff out and the good stuff in

Appropriate insulation will stop leaks and drafts in your new home. Air sneaks into homes in a variety of ways, including the attic, the duct register, recessed light fixtures, and the plumbing vent stack.

All of this leakiness wastes energy and increases your utility costs. Sealing the home with the right quality and amount of insulation can stop this. Old insulation was made of fiberglass, which has been linked to respiratory problems. A safer kind of insulation, made from green materials, includes cellulose.

Typically made from recycled newspaper, cellulose has the same benefits of fiberglass without the health problems. It’s also tougher than fiberglass, according to Michael Freeze of Popular Mechanics. Best of all? It’s inexpensive.

Heating and cooling

ENERGY STAR-qualified HVAC systems can save homeowners more than $115 dollars a year on their energy bills. In an older home with less-than-efficient insulation, this is an expensive undertaking. Leaks need to be sealed before installing a new system.

The beauty of buying a new home, however, is that you can insist on an energy-efficient system as the home is being built – and insist that it is installed according to EPA standards or it may end up costing you instead of saving you money.

Appliances

ENERGY STAR-rated appliances made the top of the “Most Wanted” list compiled by the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB). A whopping 94 percent of homebuyers chose this category as essential when shopping for new homes.

ENERGY STAR is a program from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that promotes the adoption of energy efficient products, services, and practices. To earn the ENERGY STAR certificate, a product must be tested by a third party in an EPA-recognized lab.

Stock your home with energy-efficient appliances to ensure that it’s the belle of the neighborhood real estate market when you decide to sell it in the future. Not only will you increase the home’s value, but you’ll save money in the meantime.

“ENERGY STAR-qualified clothes washers and refrigerators are about 20 percent more energy efficient than standard models, and ENERGY STAR-qualified dishwashers only use about 5.8 gallons of water per cycle or less—older dishwashers purchased before 1994 use more than 10 gallons of water per cycle,” claims the United States Department of Energy.

Windows

Remember the NAHB’s “Most Wanted” list? ENERGY STAR-certified windows were essential to 89 percent of new home buyers. These windows lower energy bills by an average 12 percent nationwide, according to the EPA.

In dollars and cents, this translates to a savings of between $125 and $379, on average, for a typical home, according to EnergyStar.gov.

La Plata MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309 

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