Ask the Experts: Does Energy Efficiency Affect Property Value?
December 12, 2016
For many of us, different features make a home most appealing. For some, these features may include an open kitchen and an extra bedroom for guests; for others, the focus may be on having a spacious backyard and roomy closets. However, one feature that we all look for is manageable energy costs.
So does that mean making your property more energy efficient will increase its appeal to buyers? To find out, we turned to two local realtors, Debra Neveu and Jeff Meese, who took the time to share their expertise on the subject.
Meet the Experts
Debra Neveu (left) and Jeff Meese (right)
Neveu and Meese have extensive experience working in the Massachusetts real estate market. Neveu, who has been a realtor since 2003, primarily serves Hampshire and Hampden Counties in Western Massachusetts, where she is part of the Poissant & Neveu Team and part owner of RE/MAX Swift River Valley. Meese, of Jeffrey Meese Realtor + Architect, is an award-winning architect and realtor with ePlace Real Estate. He predominantly serves the Cambridge and Somerville regions.
Through our conversations with Neveu and Meese, we learned more about the importance of energy efficiency in today’s real estate market. Read on for three key insights that they shared.
Insight #1: Buyers do care about whether a property is energy efficient.
As both Neveu and Meese explained, most buyers will not ask explicitly about the energy-efficient features in a home. However, these features are still very important, since buyers care greatly about the additional costs they may face after moving in, such as high energy bills or a large number of renovations. According to Neveu, this concern is especially pressing for new homeowners, who are typically very budget conscious.
But these concerns hold true for experienced homeowners, too. Meese has seen prospective buyers begin calculating the additional costs that would be required to make a property more energy efficient, such as upgrading appliances, improving insulation, or installing new windows. He explained, “You lose a lot of sales if the property is not reasonably up to date.”
Insight #2: If you can afford to, upgrade your lighting and appliances.
Both Neveu and Meese often highlight energy-efficient features in the homes they sell, since buyers appreciate the efficiency and improved functionality of more modern features. In homes with lots of recessed lighting, Neveu has found that buyers especially appreciate energy-efficient fixtures. She also pointed out that many buyers, especially of higher-end properties, have come to expect energy-efficient appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines. Meese has seen this interest in upgraded features extend to additional items, such as boilers, windows, and insulation.
Insight #3: Re-evaluate what upgrades you can make to your home over time.
Many realtors, including Neveu and Meese, often direct their clients to Mass Save resources, such as appliance rebates or the Home Energy Assessment program. To attract buyers, both realtors recommend that sellers update their homes before listing. One way is by completing an energy audit through Mass Save. Neveu stated, “Buyers get pretty excited when they see that Mass Save has been to a property. They feel secure knowing that the home has been checked out.”
Of course, you don’t need to wait to list your home to make updates. Neveu has found that many homeowners forget how long they’ve gone without updates, and recommends re-evaluating lighting and appliances every five to 10 years to see whether it’s time for upgrades. Meese pointed out that many homeowners only make updates when preparing to sell, but that they are pleasantly surprised by how much more comfortable their homes become once the upgrades are done.
From both Neveu and Meese, we learned that enhancing the energy efficiency of your property is indeed a great way to increase its appeal to buyers. Does this have you motivated to get started on upgrades in your home? Check out these deals from Mass Save on energy efficient lighting, appliances, and more!Lighting & Appliances