Going Green? Best Green Improvements to Sell Your D.C. Home
With places to visit from the Lincoln Memorial to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. is a great place to live. So when the time comes to sell your home, you should have no trouble, right?
Yes, living in a desirable area helps when you put your place on the market. It also helps that so many people move to D.C. to work in the political sphere. There are always incoming interns and lobbyists vying for space. But one of the best ways to give your listing an edge is to make your home eco-friendly. Many Americans understand the benefits of cleaner environment, so they realize the importance of individual efforts in making the world most sustainable.
Green living isn’t just for a good cause, either, of course. It’s also easier on the pockets. With affluent suburbs and lots of government workers making high salaries, D.C. is an expensive area to live, and that may be a surprise to people coming from areas where housing prices might be more moderate. Conserving energy often means spending less on energy. When you make money-saving green adjustments, be sure prospective buyers know about them.
So, all that said, here are seven of the best green improvements to sell your D.C. home:
Do an Energy Audit
Before you make any other moves, do an energy audit. Energy audit professionals will inspect your home and give you advice on how you can save energy. If your windows let in a lot of frigid air, they’ll tell you. If your attic needs to be insulated, ditto. Essentially, an energy audit will give you a roadmap of how to proceed.
Insulate Your Attic
Even though it’s just above the southern states, Washington D.C. is not immune to cold weather. On Inauguration Day, the new president has even been greeted with snow. However, since D.C. has a mild climate, the city becomes a steamy swamp in the summer. Insulation is a safeguard against cold and hot weather, which means your heater and air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard — and thus, cutting down on energy bills.
Put in Energy-Efficient Windows
Washington is full of historic charm, and historic houses can be highly desirable to prospective buyers. But energy-deficient older places are not. With age, windows can warp. The end result? They may no longer fit the openings. New windows will help your entire house be more energy efficient.
Purchase Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
Compact fluorescent light bulbs use less energy than incandescent ones. CFLs use 75 percent less energy and last nearly 10 times as long as incandescent light bulbs. The green choice is clear. When you buy new light bulbs, make sure they are compact fluorescents.
Fix Your Leaky Faucets and Pipes
While it may seem low on the priority list, a leaky faucet is important to fix. A leaky faucet can waste thousands of gallons of water. In an era when water conservation is top priority in many states, prospective buyers will thank you for having all faucets and pipes in good working order.
It’s also a good idea to invest in low-flow toilets and shower heads. They use less water than the standard variety. They are cost effective as well.
Purchase Energy Star Appliances
Want your appliances certified by a government agency? It doesn’t get more D.C. than that! The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designates Energy Star appliances as energy-saving. You can reduce your home’s energy usage by 10 to 50 percent by using these dryers, washers and more. So if you’re in the market for any appliance, from dishwashers to refrigerators, make sure you purchase an Energy Star.
Invest in Paper-Based Countertops
Despite the popularity of granite countertops, they aren’t the most environmentally friendly substance. Once granite has been taken to use in your countertop, it’s gone. Instead, choose a natural countertop made of tree pulp. These are manufactured from sustainable forests managed for the purpose. Trees can grow again. Granite, not so much.
Selling your home in D.C. should be relatively easy given the desirability and the constant influx of new residents eager to explore places such as the Smithsonian museums and the National Mall. You can make it even easier by greening your home. Eco-friendly moves made now will increase your home’s sustainability and its cost-effectiveness, and thus its desirability.