'Going green' is rarely seen as a profit making venture - but certain cost-effective improvements can have a significant impact on your bottom line.
Blogger: Jane Eyles-Bennett, Hotspace Consultants
Investment property renovations are frequently completed as quickly and inexpensively as possible, and rightly so. But for buy-and-hold strategies, it’s a good idea to look at the property with a longer term view. ‘Going green’ is not often seen as a profit making venture – rather a ‘feel good’ venture that still hasn’t completely got off the ground.
If you’re not so much of a greeny that you’re prepared to pay substantially extra for the knowledge you have a green property, but not much else (especially a financial return), then read on.
While many Earth friendly efforts have higher upfront costs, others are economical choices that become selling points that increase the value and rental return of your investment property.
Energy Efficient Windows
This one-time expense can pay off, especially if your windows are in need of replacement anyway. Most windows on the market today are amazingly energy efficient, stopping the heat from the sun as they allow in light and keeping winter cold out. When replacing windows, consider the natural light as part of your overall interior design. This is a huge selling point if you are renovating to sell, and even renters will be happy to hear that their utility costs will be kept low.
Green interior design plans frequently involve bamboo flooring. It is relatively inexpensive, developed from a renewable resource and low allergen. Stop cleaning and replacing dust and pollen packed carpet each time you clean a property between renters. Replace carpet with durable bamboo flooring for its beauty, easy maintenance, and green factor. Buyers and renters will love the look and appreciate the fact that it doesn’t trap dirt and allergens in the house the way carpet does.
High Efficiency HVAC
As with energy efficient windows, high efficiency air conditioning and heating is an expenditure that can be recouped over time. Buyers and renters will experience consistent, comfortable temperatures and lower energy bills. Knowing that these pricier home fixtures are new is a great selling point as well. There is not much of a down side to choosing this if equipment is in need of replacement. Reuse older units in rentals rather than leaving them in homes that you are selling to get the most out of each machine.
Shade trees that keep a home out of the sun during the hottest portion of the day can beautify a yard while lowering utility bills. A mature tree can be delivered and installed for a few hundred dollars, a fairly small investment if a home is in need of landscaping and green selling features.
Reuse, Reduce, Recycle
This theme of the environmentally friendly movement can also save you money when it comes to turning around your investment properties. Reuse items whenever possible. Paint covers a multitude of issues, while even cabinets, bathtubs, and countertops can be resurfaced rather than replaced, while not compromising design. Reusing materials and items that you already have on hand is arguably the easiest way to be friendly to the Earth and your budget.
While the upfront cost of solar panels can be fairly high, they are now something that I believe will always add value to a property. Financing solar panels is a great way to reap the reward of the financial return without forking out the cost of them up front.