Eco-friendly properties were once a unique curiosity in the real estate market. However, with 30,000 now in the pipeline, The Guardian rightly asserts eco-friendly real estate as being hot property. This is true whether the home is retrofitted with high quality furniture or energy-saving modifications, or built completely new with the latest efficiency features. From eco-friendly air guidance and filtration to zero-carbon furniture, eco-positive measures are a proven way to enhance home value.
The matter of home airflow is one that can be influential on your pocket. According to the Energy Saving Trust, conventional air-sealing within the home will only cost £200 but can save far more than that in energy bills. That simple re-proofing of airways throughout the home can create a more comfortable and well-controlled home environment that is conducive to saving energy and will prevent around £20 per year in energy bills. There is more you can do, however.
HVAC systems, popular in America but increasingly used in the UK to counter increasing heatwaves and poor indoor air quality, can be unfriendly to the environment. However, modern style HVAC units are often produced using zero-carbon processes and have energy-efficient software and technology. They can often be deployed to improve air quality and moderate temperature and will improve your house value to boot. Air quality is a serious issue for British homes.
Air quality and efficiency
Indoor air quality is poor in British homes. Older housing stock produces high amounts of VOC (volatile organic compounds) from the various materials used to create the building and the furniture within. According to the British Lung Foundation, the air inside of buildings can be just as harmful as polluted outdoors air, and is less obvious, too. Particulate matter and VOCs, along with gases, can create respiratory disease and have long-term impacts on mental wellbeing.
Modern design and maintenance techniques can look at the build of your home and find ways to reduce the number of particulates being released into the air. This can be done by sealing brickwork, for instance, or by using high-tech wallpapers and paints that can seal in detrimental effects. This can add to the overall value of your property but pales somewhat in comparison to the benefits produced by focusing on green spaces.
Gardens and green spaces are a huge boon to your property value and, what’s more, the most eco-friendly adjustments to it are both low-maintenance and low-cost. The Telegraph notes how a well-maintained garden can add up to 20% to property value, and the simpler and easier to maintain the garden, the better. Wild lawns and well-used spaces that reflect the needs of wildlife in the area, and enhance the local ecosystem, are best, and will attract buyers; more high-maintenance and less colourful features, like swimming pools, can be a turnoff.
A full overhaul of your garden to become an environmentally conscious zone is achievable with relative ease, according to the RSPB. ‘Dark green’ measures, that will have considerable long-term impacts, concern the planting of hardy plants. Hebes, lavenders, buddleias and rosemary are among those that can add colour to a space while also offering perennial growth. In turn, they will help to recycle water in the garden and make it an eco-friendly space without requiring huge maintenance.
Putting in better energy efficiency and long-term controls will improve your property value. A long-standing assessment conducted by the Department of Energy & Climate Change found that, on average, homes implementing eco-friendly measures will increase their value by 14%. Simple changes like cavity wall and loft insulation are offered so widely and with such subsidisation that they are easy to pick up and offer a real increase in value over the years.
Seven Capital notes that 73% of millennials are willing to pay extra to secure such a home. Already, despite a difficult economic climate, up to 75% of millennials already pay more for products that have ethical and eco-credentials. Millennials are buying houses now, as are the next generation, Gen Z. This new generation of home buyers will be willing to pay for the adaptations that make a home completely green. This means that simple changes to make your home better for the environment will give you a better quality of life today, and a better-valued property for the future.
Simply put, house buyers are putting huge value into the aspects of the home that make it suitable for years of living and will save money in the long run. The eco-conscious mindset is here to stay, and that’s reflected in the appreciation of house prices that have these elements as part of their inherent design. To not take advantage is missing a huge opportunity.