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Now Is the Time to Winterize Homes, Appraisal Institute Says
press release, Appraisal Institute
   

How should you prepare your home for winter? When should you begin? To increase the chances of improving your home’s value, ask a real estate appraiser before starting.

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, encourages homeowners to begin winterizing their properties now to benefit from reduced household costs and enhance comfort.

“Now is the time for consumers to make changes to their home that will be beneficial throughout the cold winter months,” said Appraisal Institute President James L. Murrett, MAI, SRA. “Home renovations can possibly increase the value of a property and potentially improve an owner’s quality of life.”

According to Remodeling magazine’s 2018 Cost vs. Value Report, the projects with the highest expected return on investment are garage door replacements, manufactured stone veneer installation and entry door replacements.

Other winterization steps that homeowners might consider are protection for lawns, decks and roofs, which can potentially add to property values.

The Appraisal Institute encourages consumers to check with a qualified, competent appraiser before making decisions on which winterization projects to complete. “Home improvements can add to the enjoyment of a property and might increase its value,” Murrett said. “An appraiser can share ideas on renovations, keeping in mind community norms.”

For an unbiased analysis of what their home would be worth both before and after an improvement project, a homeowner can work with a well credentialed real estate appraiser – such as a Designated Member of the Appraisal Institute – to conduct a feasibility study.

According to the Energy Saver Guide, produced by U.S. Department of Energy, weatherizing a home can save money and energy. For example, by sealing uncontrolled air leaks consumers can save 10-20 percent on heating and cooling bills which comprise approximately 35-40 percent of a property’s annual energy use. The Energy Saver Guide also says homeowners should:

  • Use smart and programmable thermostats, which can help lower energy bills by as much as 10 percent per year.

  • Replace the home’s heating system if it’s more than 15 years old.

  • Use heat pumps instead of electric furnaces or electric baseboard heaters to reduce electricity used for heating by up to 50 percent.

  • Determine their eligibility for weatherization and home energy assistance.

 

For additional information on home improvements, see the Appraisal Institute’s Home Improvement Tips fact sheet.



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