With tax credits expiring, are “green” home improvements worth it?by Tim Manni
Just the other day, we shared an article from our Library on home improvement projects you can do to your home during the winter months. Today, we’re going to focus on energy-efficient home improvements.
Many tax credits for home improvements are expiring at the end of 2010. What energy-efficient improvements are still worth the money? As expert Matt Grocoff points out, there are quite a few.
As the year draws to a close, many homeowners are scrambling to complete home improvement projects that would earn a federal tax credit. Homeowners who want a more energy-efficient home might be surprised to learn that there are several home improvement projects that can still bring a large return on investment (ROI), even without that extra tax boost from Uncle Sam.
Energy-efficient improvements that boost your bottom line
“The first $6,500 that you spend on energy improvements are the biggest bang for your buck,” Grocoff points out. “The simple things like insulation, sealing up your house and more energy-efficient lighting could cost you $6,500 or less, but may cut about 30 percent off your energy costs.”
To determine the best places to spend that initial investment, Grocoff recommends a home energy assessment. This assessment will help you determine where you are losing energy and what improvements can make a quick but lasting impression on your bottom line. Since there are many incentives for utility companies to help pay for an energy assessment, you might even get the job done for free.
Once you have the assessment in hand, what’s next? Put the money where it matters. “If you had $500 to invest right now, and you could choose a CD, a savings account, stocks or home improvements, energy-efficiency would win by a huge margin when it comes to return on investment,” Grocoff says.
It is important to plan smart, however, when deciding which home improvements have the most impact. For instance, Grocoff points out that installation of granite counter tops can return 80 percent of every dollar that you spend when it comes to the value of your home. Yet, for every dollar that you save in energy costs, you can improve the value of your house by $20. That’s definitely a good ROI!
To learn more about “green” home improvements that provide a good return on investment, be sure to continue reading our article “Save green on energy-efficient home improvements, even without a tax credit.”
The Library section of HSH.com is filled with countless articles on everything from ‘how to save for a downpayment,’ to ‘how to appeal a HAMP denial,’ to ‘how to shop for a reverse mortgage.’