Homeowners have reasons to prepare for the future of homes—eco-friendly, innovative, and sustainable. These are the types of homes designed to improve carbon footprint and upgrade environmental standards for a better quality of living.
But why shift to eco-conscious housing? The United Nations estimates that 40% of the world’s energy consumption and 38% of all carbon emissions come from real estate. In the United States, its residential sector accounted for about 22% of its total energy consumption in 2020. These figures could significantly impact the overall global ecology, giving rise to the clamor for environment-friendly housing in recent years.
However, some homeowners think that eco-friendly homes are just an industry trend, and those who advocate it are only up for modern appeal in the market. A common misconception is that preparing rental homes to be future-ready entails a lot of investment without practical returns.
It’s worth noting that as early as five years ago, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) have acknowledged the rapid growth of demand for green homes. Even in today’s fierce housing market, consumer demand for eco-friendly homes has remained consistent.
Therefore turning your rental into a sustainable home benefits not just the environment but your investment as well. Here are five good reasons why transitioning your home to become eco-friendly can make your rental business future-ready.
1 – Sustainable Homes Drive Profitability
In a study by GreenPrint, 77% of American consumers want to know the environmental impact of products before buying them. This concern also transcends to the homes they choose. A home designed to help protect the environment and contribute to the green movement is the new home of choice among homebuyers and renters.
Here are two relevant surveys that support this idea:
- A study of 1,000 respondents by Eurocell indicated that 49% would likely buy or rent homes built using sustainable products or provide sustainability features.
- The Sustainable Living Index report of AMLI, a real estate investment trust company, showed 85% of 2,800 respondents believe that living in a green building is beneficial to health. In the same survey, 64% said they are willing to pay more to live in a green community.
Eco-friendly home upgrades will foster health and make your renters feel safer. It will also show your support for their lifestyle choices. In return, you should be able to increase your rent to compensate for the cost. As you keep upgrading to add more eco-features, these will start to become the value drivers of your property, attracting high-quality renters or homebuyers willing to pay for your home with higher resale value.
2 – Green Homes Provide Renters a Better Experience
As you integrate sustainable innovations in your rental homes, you allow your renters to enjoy the benefits they give.
Safer and Healthier Indoor Environment
Homes built using eco materials are devoid of harmful chemicals, such as volatile organic compounds, and require fewer finishes that are potential pollutants. As a result, green homes have healthier air quality. Plant-based polyurethane rigid foam, recycled wood, bamboo, and precast concrete are among the most popular eco-materials used in building sustainable homes. These materials have the natural capacity to insulate homes from heat and cold, reducing the usage of natural resources such as oil and gas to warm or cool the house.
Savings from Energy Conservation
Electricity, water, and natural gas are the three most expensive utilities renters pay monthly. The cost may vary per state and can also depend on how many people live in the household. But the combined average expense of these three utilities is $253 per month, with electricity as the top contributor of the cost. Innovation has made houses more energy-efficient. Green insulating materials, programmable thermostats, and eco-friendly heating systems help lower the cost of cooling or heating systems. Low-flow toilets reduce water usage. Using solar panels and employing designs that increase natural lighting help save on power costs. A 20% to 30% reduction in the monthly energy bills translates to substantial savings over time.
Efficient Living With an Automated Home
The term “smart home” has more to it than just being a buzzword associated with homes of the future. Among the top benefits of home automation to your renters is being able to monitor their homes remotely. They can operate and set preferences for devices in their homes like locks, security cameras, lighting, phone, thermostat, appliances, garage doors, and even the irrigation system for their lawn. With this much control in their hands, they can easily counter potential dangers if they forget to turn off devices or leave doors unlocked. It also gives your property a layer of protection.
3 – Green Homes Lower Your Maintenance and Repair Costs
Using eco-materials requires less maintenance, repair, or replacement because of their durability. Employing home automation allows you to remotely monitor your property condition, analyze issues and malfunctions (boiler, natural gas, and water systems), and check its overall performance. It gives you the ability to arrest any potential major breakdown of home systems or attend to them ahead of repair requests.
4 – Sustainable Home Upgrades Mean Tax Savings
Your rental income is taxed and can go anywhere from 10% – 37% depending on where that falls in your income bracket. Any deductible you can think of is a dollar left in your wallet or an additional operating fund. The state now incentivizes homeowners who support the green movement by upgrading their homes using sustainable and innovative measures. You can look through the State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) database to see how many tax incentives you can get for each type of sustainable upgrade.
Suppose you have already made any home modifications that promote renewable energy or installed energy-efficient home systems. In that case, you may be entitled to claim tax credits on those projects. Through the federal government’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiatives, you can claim 22% tax credits if your property is placed in service after December 31, 2020, but before January 1, 2022.
5 – Eco-Friendly Properties Have Higher Market Value
As green living becomes a healthier lifestyle change, consumers are now committed to employing this practice in their homes. It makes sustainable homes gain a marketable distinction. Green homes sell or rent faster because of their added appeal of built-in savings, health benefits, and efficient living. According to Freddie Mac’s research, they sell 2.7% faster than their non-green counterparts. As for renters, 61% expressed paying more in rent for eco-friendly home features.
Sustainable homes can help mitigate the negative environmental impact caused by conventionally constructed homes. Although green homes have not yet reached mainstream recognition, they are consistently gaining ground as homebuyers and sellers continue to be influenced by how environmentally friendly and cost-efficient the houses are in the market.
To protect your investment properties and make them future-ready, consider planning home modifications to bring it at par to green standards. It is a winning strategy to increase the value of your investments and make your property more attractive in the rental market.