6 Top Trending Green Features To Consider When Remodeling

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 14th, 2018

6 Top Trending Green FeaturesSustainable materials, energy savings and smart home technology are high on the list of buyer wants in a home. But there are some other architectural and design trends that will change the way Americans live this year and beyond.

When planning a remodel, it pays to pay attention to green features, as well as to improved floor plans that will make a home more comfortable, more appealing and more functional. 

Here’s a list of what’s hot right now:

Natural and Sustainable Materials

Eco-consciousness and concerns about individual health and wellness prompted a return to natural woods and stone, as well as organic forms and living greenery. All are prominently featured in today’s show houses and and on design shows. For both residential and commercial design, there is renewed emphasis on the importance of natural light, views, air quality and open space as elements that affect not only mood and function but also health and well being.

Reclaimed and Recycled Products

No matter what the design or decor, there is a way to incorporate previously used materials. Recycled plastic is commonly used for roofing tiles, carpet, insulation, composite lumber and decking material, decorative trim and landscaping rocks. Reclaimed beams, distressed wood flooring, stunning countertops fabricated from recycled glass, wood chips and even cardboard, are only a few trendy possibilities. For a planned remodel, be sure to investigate what’s available, including “repurposing” used building materials like old windows, vintage gates or antique furniture.

LEED Certified Construction

Resource conservation and energy-savings are a way of life and worthy of attention. In some ways, Europe and Asia lead the U.S. in terms of conservation, but one way to assure that new homes are built to a certain standard is to insist on LEED certification, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It’s a compliance and rating system for both residential and commercial construction that is recognized internationally.

Energy-Star Rated Appliances, Systems, Fixtures and Fittings

It would be difficult today to buy a new appliance or furnace that is not energy-efficient. But in an older home, even if existing appliances, faucets and fixtures, heating and cooling systems are still operational, it might be wise to consider replacing them. Sometimes the savings on monthly water and electricity alone makes financial sense. And new replacements always add to a home’s appraised value.

Rooftop Solar Panels

There is ample evidence that buyers will pay a premium for solar homes. Although the initial investment is relatively high, an owner will benefit from an immediate reduction in energy cost, and the added property value might make such an investment worthwhile.  

Smart Home Technology and Home Automation

Buyers today almost universally want a wireless security system and some form of programmable temperature control. Additional smart home features high on the list of consumer wants include lighting controls, wireless hubs that integrate entertainment and convenience features, and trendy apps that allow control of home functions via smart phone, whether from across the block or across the globe. 

Owners who are motivated to sell will look to these buyer wants in order to be competitive in today’s hot real estate market.




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7 Things You Should Do As Soon As You Move Into Your New Home To Slash Your Electricity Bill

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 4th, 2014

7 Things You Should Do as Soon as You Move Into Your New Home to Slash Your Electricity BillMoving into your home is an exciting time, and you shouldn’t allow higher than expected electricity bills to dampen your spirits. Every day, households around the world waste large amounts of energy.

If your home uses more energy than it needs to, you are the one that is paying the price. Luckily, there are many ways to make sure your home is running as efficiently as possible. Save yourself from ‘utility shock’ by taking these seven steps.

Make Energy Efficiency Your Electric Company’s Business

When you first move into your home, have your appliances inspected by an authorized technician. You could call your appliance’s manufacturer or the electric company to find someone to inspect your appliances.

If you do find yourself on the phone with the electric company, ask them if they have peak and off-peak hours. Often, there are times throughout the day where usage is at a premium, and the cost is higher than it would be at other times.

You should also ask if they have any tips or resources pertaining to your home’s electrical usage. Electrical companies will often send you literature or an energy saving kit that can help make your home run more energy efficiently.

Get Fresh Furnace Filters And Examine Your Central Air System

When you move into a new home, it’s difficult to know what kind of upkeep the previous owners performed on the furnace. Upon moving into your new home, you should have the filter on your furnace changed and your ducts examined and cleaned.

Do the same for any central cooling systems in the home. This way you’ll feel confident that they are operating properly and producing the best air quality possible.

Wrap And Warm Your Hot Water Tank

The hot water tank is another area where you can save a significant amount of money. Set your hot water tank to a warm setting, instead of a hot one (this makes little difference in the water temperature at your tap, but it will save you money).

You could also purchase an insulating cover for the tank, and wrap the hot water pipes in the home. Insulation for your hot water tank and pipes is a cost-effective solution, and you can find plastic or foam pipe insulators at your local hardware store.

Evaluate The Situation From Windows To Insulation

Check the windows and doors of the home to make sure they are properly insulated. Fresh weather stripping and caulking will keep drafts out in the winter, and cool air in during the summer.

Another way to regulate your home’s temperature is to replace the insulation in your attic. You could also install an attic fan to improve airflow.

A Bright Energy Saving Idea

Replace incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs. The cost is only slightly higher, and fluorescent bulbs last over five times as long as incandescent bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs give off a softer light, but are bright enough to light your home and will save a significant amount of electricity.

Get Your Windows Working With The Weather

Replace thin curtains with heavier weight window coverings. You can use the sunlight when you need it, and block it out when you don’t. Heavy drapes are also great at keeping warm and cool air in your home. Having high quality window treatments may mean you use your thermostat and light switches less.

Properly Power Down Your Electronics

A surprising amount of the energy our electronics use is wasted while devices are powered down. Electronics that are off but are still plugged directly into an outlet do indeed burn energy. When you set up the electronics in your home, use power strips where you can. Flicking the bar off when electronics are not needed will lead to savings on your electric bill.

Once you have taken these steps, you can feel good knowing you are saving money and being environmentally responsible. Energy efficient handy work and home improvements also qualify for significant tax credits.

Make sure you keep your receipts and invoices, as they could mean cash back in your pocket come tax season. If you decide to take your savings and move up and out, contact a local real estate professional for assistance in finding the perfect place to call home.

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