Long-term property renovations do more than just boost values

Many of the improvements a homeowner can institute to boost the value of his or her home before putting it on the market, listed by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), might also lead to energy-efficient homes.

Several of the projects listed by the news source, including replacing windows, substituting wood doors for steel doors and upgrading exterior siding, all eventually provide homeowners with at least 69 percent of the money that they originally invested in those particular improvements.

"This year's [report] shows the value of putting your home's best facade forward, so to speak," NAR president Moe Veissi told CBS News. "Inexpensive exterior replacement projects are not only crucial to a home's regular upkeep, but are also expected to recoup close to 70 percent of costs."

In addition to these improvements, all of which may also help reduce energy costs anyway, homeowners should consider enhancements that are specifically intended to slash energy bills, including installing high-quality heating and insulation, LED and CFL bulbs and fixing roofs that may have been compromised by years of weathering. 

Industry blog Green and Save provides a reference table on its website for consumers who are interested in comparing the costs of energy-efficient products and renovations. The table features information related to the return-on-investment involved with tenets of energy-efficient homes, including up-front costs, how much time will be needed to pay back the initial investment and savings generated over both one- and 10-year periods.

Using that resource and information from a home inspection service unique to an owner's property, consumers can assess which investments are worth paying for. These costs, coupled with the cost of a home inspection, can be easily justified if a homeowner is able to achieve long-term energy efficiency and reduced utility bills.