What Is Greenhabbing?
Sustainability matters in real estate. Increasingly, renters and homebuyers report that eco-friendly construction and sustainable home upgrades are top priorities when looking for a new home. Rental investors, home builders, and property buyers of all sorts can get top-dollar on a house by ensuring it adheres to environmentally friendly protocols. Do you have to build a new house from scratch to enjoy the value-appreciating perks of energy-efficient homes? No! Greenhabbing is an exciting new trend that brings state-of-the-art sustainability to even the most outdated homes.
What Is Greenhabbing?
Greenhabbing is the term used to describe renovation projects that prioritize green features. A greenhab can be as simple as adding new energy-efficient appliances or as involved as a gut renovation that swaps out conventional building materials for sustainable alternatives. Greenhabbing is popular among do-it-yourself homeowners and professional contractors alike because it offers an easy way to add value to a property while reducing the home’s ecological impact.
There are a few reasons to choose greenhabbing. First, sustainability is in high demand in every industry. The 2021 Global Sustainability Study showed that more than 30% of consumers say they will pay more for goods or services that are considered eco-friendly. What’s that mean for real estate? Private homeowners can drive up their property values, landlords can earn more in monthly rent, and developers can enjoy higher profit margins.
Examples of Green Home Renovations
Even if you’re already sold on greenhabbing, it can be hard to know where to start. Property owners must choose eco-friendly home improvement projects with a high return on investment to get the best value. Here are a few greenhab project ideas at every price point.
Upgrading to ENERGY STAR Home Appliances
One of the most common and affordable greenhabbing projects is replacing conventional home appliances with ENERGY STAR-certified models. These devices use 10-50% less energy than traditional alternatives, so they’ll help slash your monthly utility bills while reducing your ecological impact. You can find ENERGY STAR appliances for every room in your house, from your kitchen fridge to your bathroom showerhead.
Conduct a Home Energy Audit
If you need to figure out how to reduce home energy consumption, consider conducting a professional home energy audit. Many utility companies offer this service for free or at a reduced rate. An auditor will visit your house to inspect your insulation, windows, doors, heating and cooling system, and appliances. They’ll provide you with a report outlining which areas of your home need improvement and how much you can save on your utility bills by making the recommended changes.
Home energy audits can be crucial, even if you’re not paying the energy bills directly. Using these audits, multi-family investors can increase their overall earnings by reducing operating costs.
Install Solar Panels
Solar energy is a popular choice for greenhabbing because they offer an excellent return on investment. In some cases, solar panels can even earn you money! Many utility companies offer net metering programs that credit solar panel owners for the excess energy they produce. Even if your utility doesn’t offer this program, you’ll still save money on your monthly energy bills by generating your own power. Solar panels can be a significant investment, but government incentives are often available to offset the cost.
Rebuild With Sustainable Materials
If you’re planning a total home rebuild, take the opportunity to use sustainable building materials. There are many eco-friendly alternatives to conventional materials like concrete, wood, and plastic. For example, bamboo is a popular choice for flooring because it’s durable and rapidly renewable. Hempcrete is another great option for walls and insulation. It’s made from a mix of hemp fiber and lime, so it’s completely natural and non-toxic.
Choose Greenhabbing For a More Sustainable Future
Greenhabbing is a sustainable home improvement method that has many benefits. It can save you money, increase your home’s value, and make it more comfortable. Most importantly, it’s the best way to update your property for long-term sustainability. Making your home more sustainable is a rewarding experience that will leave you feeling good about your environmental impact.