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Eco-Friendly Property Upgrades for Investors

 

Living green is not only beneficial for the environment and future generations, but it can also be an investment opportunity for homeowners and property investors. Eco-friendly upgrades can potentially increase property values and appeal to potential buyers or renters.

To get started, conduct a home energy audit to identify solutions tailored to your property. By researching home improvement grants, rebates, and incentives from all levels of government and private organizations, you can take advantage of cost-saving programs and maximize your investment. 

For those who prefer DIY upgrades, some suggestions to improve your property’s ecological efficiency and value include installing energy-efficient windows, opting for sustainable natural flooring (such as cork or bamboo), replacing your roof with a metal one, and landscaping with native plants to conserve water and cut costs. Read the full article:

We all know that living green is better for the environment and for our future generations. It’s widely believed that ecological efficiency and fiscal responsibility are in conflict. Are they really, though?

We at Canadian Real Estate Wealth wholeheartedly disagree with this notion.

With many homeowners and investors looking to upgrade their existing properties or turn over good-quality ones that they have renovated, it can be difficult to know how to get the best bang for your buck. From large-scale projects to smaller ones, smart home improvement projects will make your home more enjoyable to live in and more attractive to potential buyers or renters in the future. For this reason, we believe eco-friendly property upgrades are worth the return on investment for homeowners and investors alike.

 

Eco-Friendly Property Upgrades
Newly build houses with solar panels attached on the roof against a sunny sky Close up of new building with black solar panels. Zonnepanelen, Zonne energie, Translation: Solar panel, , Sun Energy.

Where to Begin?

It can be difficult to know exactly where to begin, as the options for eco-property upgrades may seem endless.

Our first recommended step is to have a home energy audit done on the residence. This will give you solutions that are curated uniquely for your property and likely come with some information on available grant programs. 

An experienced energy advisor will offer insight into the rebates available to homeowners and investors who undertake improvements and, in many instances, complete the application – making it as turnkey as possible.  

Grant You that Rebate

 

To ensure that our investor readership doesn’t leave any money on the table, our recommended step two is research. 

Research the home improvement grants and rebates available to you not only at the federal or provincial level but also at the municipal or county level. Several retrofit incentive programs are available to help homeowners achieve sustainable energy cost savings and comfort improvements, which is an enticement to potential renters and future home purchasers. There are several offered by private organizations, as well as government initiatives.

Enbridge Home Efficiency Rebate Plus offers eligible residents of Ontario up to $10,000 for energy efficiency upgrades and up to $600 for pre- and post-retrofit energy audits (as a one-time rebate). This program, often referred to as HER+, is the co-delivery mechanism of the Canada Greener Home Grant, offered in partnership with Natural Resources Canada.

As of January of this year, Ontario property owners must apply through the HER+ to be considered for both the provincial grant program and the federal grant initiative, the Canada Greener Homes Grant.

The Canada Greener Homes Loan from Natural Resources Canada is a relatively new interest-free financing program designed to support homeowners in retrofitting their homes to be more energy efficient. Property owners are eligible for a loan (unsecured personal loan on approved credit) in an amount between $5,000 – $40,000 through the abovementioned program. An eligible property/ homeowner is only able to have one loan, and it can be repaid over a ten-year period. An advance portion, up to a maximum of fifteen percent of the total loan, is available to engage contractors as a means of deposit and begin retrofit work at your home. The full sum will be made available after verification is completed through a post-retrofit energy audit. 

 

living room with exposed beams and wooden floor
living room with exposed beams and wooden floor

Although we certainly advocate for a home energy audit as the first step down the path of eco-friendly upgrades, we recognize that others may choose to forge a more do-it-yourself path. For those investor-individuals, we have included a list of upgrades that we, subjectively, feel offer the best return on your investment (ROI).

Investing on the Inside

Shiny New Windows: Okay, they don’t have to be shiny, but if your property’s windows are more than 15 years old, there’s a high degree of likelihood that they are energy inefficient. Additionally, they may be sagging or bowed, prone to leaking both moisture and heat, accumulating condensation, or have frost between the panes of glass. Although window replacement is costly to an investor’s bottom line, experts report a return on your investment of at least 70 percent, and that’s before any grants or other incentives.

Walk All Over It: Sustainable Natural Flooring done right is the investment that keeps on giving, both in terms of an investor’s pocketbook and the longevity of the lifespan of the upgrade. When we look at other types of flooring, such as tile or carpet, they not only show signs of wear and tear, but can also fall out of fashion. While wood ranks highest when it comes to ROI for flooring, there are still plenty to choose from when it comes to green flooring options. Try cork, which is durable and resistant to spills, or turn your mind to bamboo, which offers premium sustainability while feeling and looking like wood. 

 

Eco-Friendly Property Upgrades
Bright living room with a hardwood floor and rocky background fireplace. Furnished with classic sofa and chair, table and bookshelf

Get Outdoors

Metal Up: If the roof on your home or investment property needs replacing, consider a metal roof. Metal roofs are moss and fungus-proof, fire-retardant, and can help improve the cooling of your home or property in the warmer summer months. Metal roofs are also known as “forever roofs” because they last and last with regular maintenance. So, say goodbye to the reoccurring replacement cost of the 20-year asphalt shingle! Plus, they’ll offer more than a 60 percent return on investment.

Landscape with Native Plants: and, by extension, curb appeal is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to improve your home’s resale value or to entice tenants. First impressions matter! This can be achieved without the exorbitant water bills associated with having a lush, green lawn. Instead, try adding native plants as an eco-friendly alternative. The reason for this is that they use less water because they’re used to that specific climate. They also boast a natural resistance to area pests and diseases, whether you’re in Vancouver, Calgary, Yellowknife, or Halifax. Plus, most are perennials, so they’ll come back year after year without replanting.

 

Eco-Friendly Property Upgrades
Brown corrugated metal profile roof installed on a modern house. The roof of corrugated sheet. Roofing of metal profile wavy shape. Modern roof made of metal. Metal roofing

In Conclusion

Just like deciding between a cell phone or a personal computer and a landline, gone are the days when investors had to choose between being eco-conscious or fiscally responsible. Investors can have the best of both worlds. While we maintain our earlier assertion that the savvy investor or homeowner starts with an energy audit to ensure a solution that is customized not only to your unique property’s eco-deficiencies but also your specific financial situation, we have also given you a few ideas as a jumping-off point for the handyperson in you who is itching for a project.

About the Author

Heather McDowell is a mother and a REALTOR®. Heather has spent most of her real estate career selling residential real estate, and its leasing and has dealt with the additional complexities of the cottage, timeshare and rural properties, and condominiums. She has dabbled in new construction and is expanding her portfolio to include commercial sales and leasing. Heather is also a dedicated volunteer for both the local women’s shelter and a national hospice organization and is an emerging playwright. Heather describes her focus as diversifying real estate content that not only addresses national matters but explores those issues unique to each province and territory. You can contact Heather at heather@crewmedia.ca or find her on socials at: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/thestoreytellingcompany/ LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/in/heather-mcdowell-98134118b Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/hmcdowellrealty/  

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