Now Is The Time To Make Homes Eco-Efficient
With the winter lurking just around the corner, thoughts begin to turn towards warmth and shelter.
This is an opportune time, as homeowners begin to retreat indoors as the colder weather comes, to consider ways in which to make homes more airtight- and energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Similarly, for Real Estate and Mortgage Professionals, there exists an opportunity to guide and be a source of information- for both the how and why behind these home renovations.
Daryn Young, a mortgage broker with MortgageIntelligence, there is no time like the present to both add value to your home, and in the process reduce housing costs associated with energy consumption and the like: “A home that needs upgrades can still be your perfect home as long as you’re willing to put in the work,” says Young.
“With some careful planning, making your home more energy-efficient can save you money in the long run.”
There are several compelling elements that are currently present to incentify homeowners to consider upgrading their homes.
There can be real impact in increasing cash flow towards the family budget, as there are a couple of financial incentives. As Daniel Natareno, Mortgage Agent, Mortgage Intelligence told Propertywire.ca, this kind of investment in a property can contribute substantial cash flow into a household: “By investing in home upgrades, many people in the long run are saving on expenses…I had a client who saved, on average $250 on monthly expenses after making upgrades.”
Natareno suggests that the changes need not be major to make an impact either. Every little bit counts: even things like windows, caulking, new insulation and a new furnace.”
Adding to the savings too are several tax rebates and programs available to those that are so inclined- that will do much to offset costs. The Federal government offers a tax rebate through their ecoEnergy Retrofit program for homes that undergo renovations to upgrade their energy efficiency. Similarly, homeowners who upgrade their homes may be eligible for refunds of 10% on mortgage loan insurance premiums- and the surcharge for amortization extension is waived as well, supplying savings from several different avenues.
Natareno says, “These rebates can be put back into the mortgage, and the debt paid down relatively quickly.”
Also, for clients who are interested and who qualify, the current interest rate environment provides an optimum opportunity to leverage equity in a home at a reasonably low cost to actually increase the value of the asset.
With the changing of the seasons, as well as increased availability of a myriad of incentives for homeowners to go green with their homes, there exists an opportunity for both mortgage professionals and realtors alike to be able to share this information with clients, present themselves as a knowledgeable resource, and contribute to a client’s perception of value-add.
Natareno, agrees: “It all goes towards making a home more marketable. It goes a long way to be able to say that a home has gone through an eco energy audit, or is an energy star rated home… This is a chance to educate clients about what is available (i.e. Renovations, purchase +improvements mortgage).”
Natareno also says that this is a great chance to sit with prospective sellers and build a cost analysis – to see what it would cost to make these eco friendly changes- and consider doing them to make a property more marketable.
For purchasers, Natareno says that he recommends that, as part of an offer, purchasers request two visits prior to closing date, and that for one of these visits they should bring a contractor or even an eco energy auditor to consider doing a purchase +improvements mortgage, so that a home can be energy and cost efficient right from the start.
Property Wire Canada Newsroom