Home Repair Topics
Invest in Your House and Beat the Stock Market
The stock market’s been making news lately, and the news isn’t good. With so many people agonizing over when and what to sell or buy, the dream of a solid and significant return on investment seems a long way off. But it could be closer than you think. If you plan to stay in your house for a few more years, you don’t need to keep rolling the dice on Wall Street. Instead, think seriously about investing in your house.
Hold on a minute. I know what you’re saying: “How does home improvement make sense in our current real estate market? There are still plenty of foreclosures out there. Home prices are stagnant or even falling in many parts of the country.”
Right you are. But I’m not talking about expensive home improvements with dramatic visual appeal, like new kitchen cabinets, bathroom makeovers and hardwood flooring. No, most of these improvements are actually out of sight. You won’t notice them unless you go up into the attic or down to the basement.
Energy Saving Improvements
The home improvements that really pay off these days are based on the increasing cost of energy in the form of electricity, fuel oil, natural gas and propane. We depend on these energy sources every day to keep our homes comfortable and to operate innumerable devices; from washing machines and water heaters to laptops, lights and microwave ovens.
In Connecticut, where I live, we have some of the highest energy costs in the country, so there’s a great deal to be gained from energy-saving upgrades. But energy costs will continue to rise everywhere because of conditions we can’t control –like political instability with oil-producing countries, severe weather events that shut down refining operations, and speculation about global energy resources.
To hedge against these inevitable price increases, it’s smart to invest in home improvements that can, collectively, transform an energy hog of a house into a model of energy efficiency. Below are just a few of the ways that you can put more money in the bank by paying less money to utility companies.
If you already know that your house needs some or all of the above-mentioned improvements, it’s a great idea to seek help from qualified contractors. But to get the total picture on how your house uses and loses energy, you’ll need a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Energy audits subsidized by local utilities tend to be less comprehensive than those performed by home energy specialists like Dr. Energy Saver®. What you’re looking for is a complete profile of your home’s energy consumption and specific recommendations on improvements that will cut energy costs in numerous areas.
To sweeten the deal on these energy-saving investments, you can take advantage of different incentive programs offered by local, state and federal agencies. To find out what incentives apply in your area, check out the Database for State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.
This article has been read 2,528 times
To find a local Home Energy contractor, select your state below: