Real Estate Blog

The Importance of Having a Home Energy Assessment Before You Buy

Choosing a new home is a lot like starting a new relationship. Although initially, it’s the appearance that catches your attention, for you want to be involved on a long-term level, it’s important that you find out as many details as possible. When it comes to a house, this would include how energy efficient it is.

That’s why it’s imperative that you have a home energy assessment conducted before you buy a new house; by having the place thoroughly inspected, you can find out where the home works at an optimal energy level along with the places where it could stand to use a bit of work.

Yet whether you’re planning to conduct the home audit yourself (or better yet hire someone to do it), we wanted to share with you some tips on what to look for in a home energy assessment along with many of the other benefits that come with having one below.

What to Look for When Conducting an Assessment

Typically, when you’re looking at a potential home to buy, you’re looking at the kitchen, how many bathrooms it has and if there’s a large backyard. But when you’re conducting a home audit, your inspection is a bit different. First, you should check for the window sills, sides of doors and baseboards for any leaking air or cracks. Next, you should look through the attic and on the pipes to see if there are any signs of worn insulation. Another important thing to inspect is the heating and air unit. Ask the seller about how often they tend to change the filters and if their unit is close to 15 years old. If they say “yes”, that means it’s about time to get a new unit and that should definitely be factored into the negotiating process should you choose to make an offer. Also, look to see how much natural light comes into the home and what kind of light bulbs are used. It doesn’t hurt to see if they have a low-flow showerhead or toilet or any Energy Star appliances. And finally, don’t forget to ask them how much their energy bill is each month. Remember, should you purchase the home, you’ll be inheriting that too.

The Benefits of Conducting an Assessment

There are many benefits that come with conducting a home energy assessment. For one thing, it helps to uncover any hidden issues that the house you’re interested may have. For instance, once you’ve conducted an assessment and you’ve noticed that the HVAC unit may have ductless systems and zoning but there are some leaks in the bathroom, you can get a better understanding of how much energy is being used (and wasted) within the house. That can help you to figure out how much the repairs will cost and how to make a fair offer on the home. But more than anything, by knowing just how energy efficient a house is, you can decide beforehand what kind of improvements you’d like to make or even if you’d prefer to look elsewhere for a home that already has more “green upgrades”. Either way, the main benefit that comes with having a home energy assessment before you buy a house is that it provides you with peace of mind—well before making an offer for it.

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