In this day and age, everyone seems to be jumping on the proverbial 鈥榞 reen 鈥?bandwagon. From multi-national corporations to small local businesses, there is an environmental angle to just about every consumer product. For homeowners, the benefits of going green can be numerous and while some of them can cost money up front, there are many advantages to this new environmental movement. Of course, the environmental movement isn 鈥檛 new; it 鈥檚 actually been around for many decades. Yet a fair majority of people throughout the country have either been aware from a distance or dismissive of it as a costly and 鈥榯 ree-hugging 鈥?waste of time. The reality, however, has changed in recent years as the price of gasoline, home heating, and electricity have gone through the roof, in a manner of speaking. Homeowners who are looking to either add value to their homes or save money in the long run, or both, are beginning to turn toward the benefits of going green as a serious way to make an impact, if not on the environment, then on their budget. There are quite a few things people can do to turn their home into a green home. Update appliances For older homes, many of the appliances that may be leftover from the seventies and eighties will likely be chugging down electricity like an athlete downs Gatorade on a hot summer day. By updating these appliances with modern, Energy Star efficient ones, a homeowner can save up to several hundred dollars a year. Some homeowners have reported saving several thousand dollars every year by doing this. The initial cost is often a deterrent, but given that a homeowner will likely remain in their home for many years, the cost of upgrading now is outweighed by those long-term savings. It can be looked at in another light as well. When a homeowner updates his or her appliances, such as the refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer, dishwasher, and even the smaller ones like a toaster oven, then the value of the home also goes up slightly. Having new appliances attract potential homebuyers 鈥?attention when it 鈥檚 time to put it on the market. The key is to choose the appliances that have the highest energy efficient rating, fit within a reasonable budget, and add aesthetic value to the house. Solar panels Depending on where in the country a person lives, solar panels can be a great advantage and a boost in the home 鈥檚 value. In Southern California, for example, solar panels will be working overtime almost year-round, with the constant glare of the sun peering down on this region, but in Seattle, Washington, they might not offer the same value. A homeowner in a high sun region of the country can take advantage of a number of government programs that help subsidize the purchase, installation, and use of solar panels. The initial out-of-pocket expenses for these solar panels can be jaw-dropping, certainly, but there are many homeowners who run their entire house on solar energy, paying nothing or next to nothing to the utility companies. There is some upkeep with batteries and the like, but when the home goes on the market, the selling point of being able to supply a significant portion of the house 鈥 檚 power through solar energy, the savings can add up very quickly. Wind energy Just like solar panels, wind turbines can be an asset for many homeowners, especially those who live in high wind regions. Wind turbines for home use can be small and unobtrusive, and many are even ornamental in nature so that they fit in with the natural surroundings. In most cases, the wind turbines won 鈥檛 produce as much energy as solar panels, but any savings adds to inherent home values and the homeowner 鈥檚 pocket at the end of the day. Going green doesn 鈥檛 have to be a major expense. In fact, simply changing out traditional incandescent light bulbs with new CFL lights can increase savings and add a selling component to the house. David David Reinholtz is a professional .David is also a sales and marketing expert and trains professionals in every career field. David has personally trained tens of thousands of loan officers, mortgage brokers, real estate agents and individuals through The Close More University Seminar Series, , Correspondence and On Line Learning, and countless private engagements and training events throughout the country. David is the Founder and CEO of LoanOfficerSchool.com, an approved education provider for The Conference of State Bank Supervisors and The National Mortgage Licensing Systems' (NMLS) required pre-licensing education and continuing education.
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