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4 Sustainable Real Estate Renovations to Complete Before Renting Your Home

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Most renovation projects aren’t a good investment when you’re renting your home. For example, if you remodel your kitchen with new cabinets and granite countertops, you won’t be the one enjoying your new kitchen. Yet, you’ll be the one paying the bill.

Unless your home is in terrible shape, upgrading your kitchen won’t get you more monthly rent. Even if it could increase your monthly rent fees, it would take years to recover your expenses. You’d have to charge an extra $350 per month for twelve years to recoup a $50,400 remodel expense. That’s not profit – that’s just recovering expenses.

The only remodeling projects that make financial sense are ones that add sustainability and eco-friendly features. Here’s a list of 4 sustainable remodeling projects that will allow you to raise the rent and make a profit.

1. Alternative heating methods

Equipping your rental property with alternative heat sources is crucial, especially when tenants can expect cold winters. Electric HVAC systems are expensive during the winter. Alternative heat sources, like a wood stove or geothermal coils, are cheaper and more eco-friendly.

Installing a wood stove is cheaper than geothermal coils. However, you may want to use a combination. You can also install radiant flooring to capture and retain the heat in the house.

2. A composting toilet

Composting toilets are a great way to make your rental property sustainable. However, you probably shouldn’t install a composting toilet unless your entire property is sustainable. The average tenant won’t embrace a composting toilet. Although, it does make sense to add a composting toilet to an already sustainable and self-sufficient property.

If you like the idea of installing a composting toilet, check with your property management company to find out if any homes in the area already have composting toilets. If you don’t have a property management company, it’s a service to consider, especially if you own multiple rental properties.

Most property management companies will provide a free property analysis to determine what services you’ll benefit from. However, no matter what services you sign up for, you’ll benefit from their decades of experience helping landlords manage tenants and generate income.

3. Energy-efficient windows

You can’t have a sustainable home without energy-efficient windows.

Nearly 30% of a home’s heat is lost through drafty windows. Heat loss through windows can be caused by several factors, including single panes, crooked frames, and poor insulation.

Renovating your windows before renting your house is a wise move. Tenants want to know they won’t have to increase their heating bills to accommodate drafts that should have been fixed before they moved in.

Instead of trying to patch up existing drafts, it’s better to replace your windows altogether. If you’re not sure what windows are best, refer to the official Energy Star website for ideas. For example, vertical slider windows have been determined to be the most efficient style of window in 2020.

Plenty of brands and styles are reviewed on the Energy Star website, so you can see for yourself which windows you should install.

4. Solar roof tiles

Solar energy doesn’t need to come from giant panels spread out across your yard. You can harness the sun’s energy right from your roof by using solar roof tiles.

Although several major companies manufacture and install solar roof tiles, you may want to check out the options from Tesla. Tesla’s solar roof tiles are tested to be three times stronger than standard roofing tiles and are built to withstand rain, extreme heat, snow, and ice. They also come with a 25-year warranty.

Hook up your solar roof to a solar storage battery, and your tenants will have solar energy available 24/7. Depending on what your tenants power inside the house, they may not need to use much electricity at all and will be completely shocked when they receive the lowest power bill they’ve ever seen.

Converting your rental home to be energy efficiency is a worthy investment

In addition to being able to charge higher rent for a truly sustainable home, there are financial incentives to make your property energy-efficient. These incentives apply to the following improvements:

  1. Exterior windows, doors, and skylights
  2. Roofs and roofing products
  3. Insulation
  4. Heating and cooling systems
  5. Water heaters
  6. Biomass stoves

All of these improvements might be a luxury today, but will be a necessity tomorrow. In the not-so-distant future, the majority of tenants will prioritize living in environmentally-friendly, highly sustainable homes.

Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer and researcher who contributes to a number of reputable online media outlets and news sources, including Entrepreneur.comHuffingtonPost.com, and Business.com, among others. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he’s also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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