Home buyers split on energy efficiency

Once a hotly partisan topic in this country, both sides of the aisle now seem to agree on both the importance and practicality of energy efficiency. But as the lifestyle gains more popularity and support among Americans, the subject of owning energy efficient homes of their own has left many potential home buyers split. 

For some, like Ron Afdal of Concord, California, going green not only helps cut down on the utility bills, but also improves the value of the home. Over the years, Afdal has replaced his property's HVAC system with a more efficient model, used fans to cool the building in the summer, installed improved attic insulation, replaced the lighting fixtures with LED bulbs and even used solar panels to generate energy. 

"I'm investing money in the home to increase its value," the retired 73-year-old parole officer told The San Francisco Chronicle, a local news publication. As he explains, Afdal's plan is to pump more equity into the property by "futureproofing" it with green upgrades, then sell it to a growing marketplace of eco-friendly buyers.

But as Julie Rebert, a Zephyr Real Estate agent, tells the source, many buyers aren't necessarily looking for high-end green homes like these. The reason for this is not because buyers don't appreciate environmentally-friendly design, but because the higher cost – or, for still-conventional homes, the expenses required in making such upgrades – can offset the gains made by reduced power bills.

This is what makes a home inspection a more viable and appealing service: It helps identify weak points in a building's energy usage and how these trouble spots can be improved for greater efficiency, without having to call for costly investments and renovations. Homeowners in the Maryland area are encouraged to schedule an appointment with Maryland home inspectors for an energy audit of their own.