Are eco home improvements worth it if you're selling a house? Yes, they definitely are, according to recent research.
While until recently, property advice for sellers rarely included eco improvement because of their reputation for being too niche, a recent survey of 2,000 potential homeowners by the loan comparison website, Money.co.uk shows that giving your home a green refurbishment could add over £29,000 to the value of your property. The research compares the average cost of popular green home improvements with how much buyers are prepared to pay for them. The results are more than encouraging.
Don't worry – this doesn't mean you'd have to spend tens of thousands of expensive insulation or heat pumps. It turns out that some of the simplest – and cheapest – upgrades are best where it comes to increasing your house value.
Farrow & Ball paint adds £3k your house value
One of the most striking findings in the survey is the fact that home buyers are truly on board with the concept of low-VOC paint. VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are found in high concentrations in many commercially sold paints and have been proved to be bad for our health and the environment. Many companies are now moving away from standard paint manufacturing in favour of methods that reduce the need for using VOCs. Farrow & Ball paint is a very good example of low VOC paint, which only adds to its iconic status as one of the best paint options for both modern and traditional homes.
The survey found that highlighting the fact you've painted your home with Farrow & Ball (or another low-VOC paint) increases the perceived value of your home by almost £3,000, which means buyers are prepared to pay that amount extra just for the knowledge that they will be moving into a house painted with a more environmentally-friendly paint. Consider that it costs on average just £96 to update your house with low-VOC paint, and this home improvement is even more worth it.
Other eco home improvements that add value
Paint, of course, is not the only home improvement that buyers value highly. Draft-proofing your home, which will only cost about £200, also adds around £3,000 in value. If you're looking for the cheapest eco-home improvement that will add value, it's installing an energy metre – it will only cost you around £50, but home buyers are prepared to pay £2,796 extra for one. Replacing all your lightbulbs with energy-saving ones will cost around £175, but will add on average £2,294 in value. LED lightbulbs are one of the best energy-saving tips for any home, but it's even more attractive if you're selling, it turns out.
In fact, even relatively more expensive eco improvements are still worth it financially. Transforming your garden into a biodiverse garden will cost you around £500, but can add £2,522 to the value of your home. The most expensive addition on the survey's list – a tankless water heater – will set you back £900, but is perceived by buyers as being worth an impressive 3,163.
In other words, you can easily spend only a few hundred but recoup many thousands on selling your house if you invest in eco home improvements. Far from being niche, they are highly sought after by buyers.
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Anna Cottrell is Consumer Editor across Future's home brands. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening.
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