Environmentalism has always had a place in the public consciousness, but it’s fair to say that a focus on eco-friendly living has particularly blossomed over the past decade or so. As warnings over climate change continue to escalate, “green” issues have come to dominate politics, protest groups have escalated their calls for action, and many people have taken steps to be more environmentally conscious.
For a real estate investor, the newfound focus on environmental issues is well worth taking into account. The larger the movement grows, the more likely it is those those engaged in flipping houses will encounter a buyer who places the environmental credentials of a property at the very top of their considerations.
What does this mean for real estate flippers?
There are two different ways that the “green” issue can be dealt with by property flippers. The first is to simply set it aside, deeming it an issue to look at again at some point, but perhaps not a major priority for now. While there is not necessarily an immediate harm to delaying eco-friendly considerations, it could be problematic in the long-term. It is not unfeasible to imagine a future scenario where a property is upgraded and ready for sale, fails to sell, and then needs to have green measures retrofitted in order to appeal to ever-more eco-conscious buyers. This would, of course, significantly increase the renovation budget and lead to costs related to a delayed sale – which in turn could negatively affect profits.
In order to avoid these issues, flippers may be better seeing the increased environmental concerns as a genuine paradigm shift – and one that they need to get ahead of as soon as possible. By incorporating eco-friendly ideas into your property immediately, you will be set for a future where environmental issues are certain to become a major concern.
It is also worth noting that there is a definite demand for more eco-friendly properties, so choosing to focus in this area could also offer benefits in the present as well as in the future. For example, 82% of buyers are already willing to pay more for an eco-friendly home, so adopting green-focused measures can definitely be seen as an investment that offers a significant financial return today, while also providing the chance to adopt practices that will stand you and your flipping activities in good stead over the course of the years to come.
Eco-friendly ideas to consider
Choosing to look at ways of improving the eco-friendliness of your investment property is important, but you are now faced with a question: how can you make a property as eco-friendly – and thus modern, green-focused-buyer-friendly – as possible?
Thankfully, there are multiple different measures to consider implementing, and we have outlined some of the most popular – and the most sought after – below.
Solar panels have been around for several decades, but remain steadily popular thanks to the benefits they provide both for the environment and ongoing energy costs. Admittedly the installation can be expensive, but it’s an investment worth making given that solar panels are one of the most visible eco-friendly measures, and can thus even be considered a way of enhancing “curb appeal” geared towards environmentally-friendly buyers.
Insulation plays a vital role in energy consumption, helping to keep properties cool in summer (and thus reduce the need for air conditioning) and warm in winter (so there is less need for central heating). Ensuring that a property is well insulated is therefore essential for any flipper, and it’s particularly worth considering environmentally-friendly insulation materials such as cellulose, cotton, or even sheep’s wool.
Water waste is a hot topic for those with environmental concerns, and many buyers will also want to grow their own fruit and vegetables in the name of sustainability – so the ability to collect and reuse rainwater could be a real selling point for your property. Thankfully, it’s relatively simple to provide a method that allows for the simple collection of rainwater; companies such as Clark Tanks can supply suitable vessels that will likely be met approvingly by potential buyers.
Most people may associate wind turbines with large wind farms, but it is possible to apply the same technology to a domestic setting. If your property, or any properties you purchase to flip in future, have the garden space for a wind turbine then this addition could really help to impress potential buyers.
Smart thermostats have risen in popularity over the past few years, and many buyers will be attracted to properties that already have these useful gadgets installed. If you do decide that you want to install a smart thermostat, then it may be worth doing so at the very start of the renovation process, so you can take advantage of the lower energy bills these devices are thought to be able to provide for the duration of the renovation.
It is not just technological advancement and construction materials that eco-conscious buyers will be on the lookout for; interior decoration will also be a factor. Choosing to use materials such as reclaimed wood and tiles will definitely be a plus, and using eco-friendly or natural paint paint can also be beneficial – just make sure that you highlight these benefits when advertising or showing the house.
Energy efficient appliances
We’ve left this one until last because it will only be applicable to flippers who are selling a property that features built-in appliances. However, if this applies to you, ensuring that these appliances are energy-efficient will be another feather in your property’s environmentally-friendly cap.
When it comes to environmental issues, attitudes are changing, and property flippers should consider how this change may impact their ability to sell their properties in the future. By becoming familiar with the eco-friendly measures mentioned above, and providing for these in all budgets and plans, flippers can be confident that their properties will be able to appeal to even the most eco-savvy of buyers.
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