WRITTEN BY LUCY WYNDHAM
There is a chance you are living in a million dollar Seattle neighborhood and hardly realize it. According to a recent study by Trulia, Seattle joins the ranks of top U.S Metro areas for percentage of homes worth $1 million or more, coming in at #10. It is typical for this kind of news to be reserved to one or two affluent neighborhoods, but this study revealed that the wealth is spread out across 10 different neighborhoods and many different Seattleites. It may be time to assess your own property and see what it takes to raise the value and join the neighbors.
Going Green Means Being High Performance
Taking the steps to make a home green, by installing solar paneling and efficient ventilating systems is a way to raise property value, not just be trendy. Prospective home buyers tend to get excited when they see that solar add-ons will drastically decrease their energy bill. In 2015, certain neighborhoods in the Northeast, such as the zip code 20015, saw an increase in home purchases because of energy-efficient measures taken by sellers.
Old on the Outside, New on the Inside
It doesn’t matter if the bones of your house are old and creaky. Often, that gives the property character. What matters the most is the obvious effort that is put into the sustainability, livability, and efficiency of the house, on the inside.
“Some of the most sustainable characteristics of older buildings, such as daylighting, operable windows, and natural ventilation, were built into buildings from these earlier eras,” writes Kathryn Rogers Merlino, director of the Center for Preservation and Adaptive Reuse in the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington, in her new book, “Building Reuse: Sustainability, Preservation, and the Value of Design”. While Merlino tends to focus on residential projects, rather than homes, she raises points that are universal to both kinds of structures.
Small Ways to Increase Value
There is no need to go to extreme lengths right away. This can be the type of project to be built upon, over the years. One of the easiest ways to make the neighbors green with envy is to rip out those old, water-guzzling toilets and shower heads, and install smarter, more efficient ones. There is nothing better than knowing that some small steps taken today, for the environment, can produce a larger than life outcome for the property value of your home.
There are an abundance of things one can do for a healthier, more green-based lifestyle, from personal diet to volunteering at beach clean-ups. But, the best way to start is where you wake up.