Over the years, I’ve had many clients ask me what they should look for in a home that will help them save money over time. While buying a home will always be a major financial investment, there are ways a buyer can cut out costs if they do the research prior to putting down an offer.
To make your life easier, below are 3 key features you should look for when buying a home that will save you money down the road.
When looking at a new home, first ask your realtor if the appliances are included. If the appliances do come with the home, your next question should be — are the appliances energy efficient?
To conserve energy and save you money, check for the EnergyStar Label located on the front of the appliance. This label indicates that the product is certified to increase energy efficiency. If, for example, a refrigerator has an EnergyStar label on it this means it uses up to 15% less energy than other refrigerators. Washing machines with this label use 20% less energy and up to 35% less water.
Also, check to see if the water heater is EnergyStar certified. This item is often overlooked but can save you a lot of money if it is new and efficient.
Did you know 50% of the energy in your home is used up by heating and cooling it? To help lessen future costs, check to see if the thermostat in the home is new and programmable. With a smart thermostat, like the Ecobee3, you can turn heating and cooling equipment on and off based on the energy profile you create for your home. A connected thermostat will also change the temperature depending on the weather outside and can sense when someone is or isn’t in a room to determine if it should be on or off.
Ask your realtor if you can take a look at the thermostat to see if it fits your standards as this attention to detail could save you up to 10% on your utility bill!
As mentioned, heating and cooling amount for half of the overall cost of owning a home. Along with a new thermostat, take a good look at the windows throughout the home. Check to see if the windows have recently been replaced with new energy-efficient windows. If not, ask your realtor if the windows have storm windows installed or when the last time the windows were caulked. This will prevent air from coming in and out, therefore reducing heating and cooling costs overtime.
Depending on where you live, exterior programmable window shades can also be a game-changer to your home costs as this special feature can balance outdoor temperature changes such as shade and sunshine.
Buying a home comes with lots of hidden costs that many buyers don’t see from the start. Having a realtor to point out for you what those hidden costs are could help you save more than you can imagine.
Have more questions on how to save money over time when purchasing your home? Contact me today!