Your biggest investment: home improvements you should make this summer
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Security and self-sufficiency have become key features for homebuyers, according to the Seeff Property Group.
New houses are increasingly offering excellent security and features which reduce energy usage. Seeff says although these can be quite costly, there are accessible options which will improve your quality of life while ticking the value-adding boxes for prospective buyers should you decide to put your home up for sale.
The five home improvements that buyers are increasingly looking are:
Feature #1 – Security. This includes protective boundary walls, electric fencing, burglar bars and security gates. Additionally, buyers now want an added layer of security such as an alarm system, cameras, beams in the garden and good exterior lighting. Upgrading the security of your home provides safety for your family and adds value to your home, says Seeff.
Feature #2 – Energy-saving lighting. LED lighting is now necessary for homes as they use significantly less power. Given that power outages are here to stay for the near future, there is now more demand for homes with lighting which use rechargeable globes so that the lights can stay on when the power is out and reduce electricity usage at the same time.
Feature #3 – Gas for cooking and heating. A gas stove helps reduce the reliance on electricity. Woodburning fireplaces offer cost savings and are regarded as renewable energy usage. Ceiling insulation is another desirable feature as it helps keep the home cool in summer and warm in winter, thereby reducing reliance on electricity for air-conditioning and heaters.
Feature #4 – Solar heating. A solar geyser is a great investment as it will reduce your power usage and add value. Solar panels can take care of all your household hot water needs. You could also use it to heat your swimming pool which will add further value. While a full solar heating system can be costly, you can start small and build on it.
Feature #4 – Back-up power system. A back-up power system can keep necessities such as the internet and computers on during a power outage. Generally, systems range from a basic inverter system which can power your internet, laptop and television for a few hours to a sophisticated 3000-5000 watt system, fully integrated with your home distribution system.
Feature #5 - Rainwater harvesting. A substantial amount of water can be harvested from your roof by modifying your home’s guttering to direct rainwater into tanks. This water can feed all non-potable needs such as watering the garden, washing cars, outside cleaning and the swimming pool. You could also instal a feed to your toilets or other high water users, but must instal a filter to avoid potential damage to your sanitaryware. The water will also need to be treated.