Going green can cut your maintenance and utility costs. In addition to saving you money, this can make your home more valuable to potential buyers, and increase your equity accordingly.
Here are some simple ways to boost your home's value by reducing its environmental impact.
1. Local Plant Landscaping
Start by literally going green! If the natural habitat around your home could benefit from some extra foliage, consider planting some new shrubs or bushes. For best results and easiest maintenance, pick native plants that are naturally suited to your region's weather and patterns.
If you decide to spruce up your yard to bump up your curb appeal, do so responsibly. Avoid plants that require a lot of water if you live in a drought-prone area, for example.
If you like supporting birds and other local wildlife, consider offering them some protection and food with plants they find especially appealing.
Another great way to maximize your garden's value is to practice permaculture, a low-maintenance landscaping approach that emphasizes decorative edibles and diverse, intermingled planting.
On the opposite end of planting things is a concept called hardscaping. More popular in areas like Arizona where there's not enough water they keep grass alive, the idea of hardscaping has begun spreading across the country as a way to go green.
Hardscaping removes grass and shrubs that require heavy watering and replaces them with rocks and other features. This saves you money, and it can be good for the environment by reducing the drain on local water resources.
Hardscaping isn't as ugly as it may sound on paper, in fact, we've seen some pretty breathtaking hardscaping in the past few years. If you want your yard to look intentionally hardscaped, be creative about the rocks and plants you use.
3. Greywater Diverters
If you want to go green inside the home, consider installing greywater diverters. Greywater diverters can be used with appliances in your home like washing machines, dishwashers, and sinks. Essentially they save the excess water from those appliances so it can be recycled and used in your garden.
If you choose to use a greywater diverter, consider switching to more natural cleaners in those appliances as some of those cleaners may make their way through the greywater divider into your yard.
4. Solar Systems
No, you don't need to bring the whole universe into your house to go green, but solar panels—your own home solar system—will save you money and help you go green.
Not only do solar heaters and other solar equipment cut back on your electricity and gas costs, but it's a great way to improve the value of your home relatively quickly. With tax write-offs available in certain states for solar panels, you can save money on this green project.
5. Tankless Water Heaters
Another great way to save water is by using a tankless water heater. More expensive than a traditional water heater, but much more cost-effective to run in the long-term, tankless water heaters last a long time and save water in your home.
Because these tankless water heaters are relatively new, you give yourself the edge if you're looking to sell your home because a tankless water heater isn't something you come by every day.
6. Replace Your Windows
You may be using more electricity than you realize keeping your house cool or hot because of old windows. Loosely sealed windows, and poorly insulated rooms in general, are a big culprit when it comes to overspending on your electricity bill and overusing electricity.
Replacing windows can be expensive, but it saves you a ton of money in the long run and it's good for the planet when you use less electricity to heat and cool your home. At the very least, you should consider weatherizing the windows you already have to cut cooling and heating costs.