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Tips for Creating Your Home's “Must-Have” Features List

Smart Home TechnologyWhether you are looking to purchase land in Vermont to build your dream home or getting ready to remodel and update your existing home, it is wise to consider features that will contribute to the resale value of your home down the road. Green architecture and smart technology features are sought after by homebuyers and can provide a very positive ROI. 

There are also area specific features that will contribute to the resale value of homes. Partnering with a real estate agent from Coldwell Banker Classic Properties will provide helpful insight into what features buyers are seeking out in specific areas in and around Central Vermont. It’s a good idea to plan ahead, and do your research when creating your home’s “must have” features list. Here are some tips to get you started. 

Plan Ahead for a Future Sale 

Real Estate Agent: Building strong working relationships with real estate and building professionals are in your best interest when considering renovations to an existing property, and indispensable when building a new home. 

You will want to plan for the future. Homebuyers generally expect to live in their homes for 16 years before selling and moving (and many do in New England). The average time is much lower in many parts of the country. In either case, it is always good to plan for the future.

You will be spending time and resources to build or renovate the home of your dreams. You will want your home to reflect your personality and meet all of your needs with creature comforts and features. But you will also want to ensure your feature list will provide a healthy ROI down the road, which may be much sooner than you originally anticipated. The best way to plan for a future sale is to create your list AND talk to the professionals about your list. 

Popular Features • Green Architecture 

High Performing Windows: High performance windows will keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. A proper window will reduce energy consumption and save a homeowner money. It’s that simple. When shopping for windows refer to the NFRC label to understand how well a window will stop heat flow, block solar heat gain, allow in visible light, and how well it performs in regards to air leakage in a 25 mph wind. The NFRC is a non-profit industry group that tests window performance. Participation by manufacturers is not required, but it is a requirement for windows to receive an Energy Star rating from the United States EPA. 

Energy Star Appliances: Energy efficiency is the name of the game when talking about green architecture. In addition to the strategic placement of windows, walls, and roofs (to provide shade in the summer and solar gain in the winter) to lower energy consumption homeowners are well advised to purchase energy efficient appliances when building new homes or updating their existing appliances. They are designed to use less energy and save you money. Look for the Energy Star rating. 

Insulation: R-Value is the keyword when it comes to home insulation. This is the measure of how well insulation prevents heat from escaping. You will want a well designed insulation plan for your new home to tighten up the “building envelope”. The insulation plan will include double or triple-paned windows, Energy Star doors, and lots of quality nontoxic insulation.

Popular Features • Smart Technology 

Smart Home Assistant: Planning Your smart home starts with selecting an ecosystem. The three big players in the field are Google Nest, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit. When selecting an ecosystem consider which will work best for you during the build, and what will provide the best ROI when selling your home in the future. There are many third-party smart technology devices that support multiple platforms, though things tend to operate more smoothly when choosing one ecosystem for the majority of operations. 

After selecting an ecosystem, you will select several smart speakers and smart displays around your home that are able to respond to user commands (ie “Hey Google, turn on the living room lights). You can control your devices with your smartphone, but it is important for other household members to have access to and control basic home functions (ie “Hey Google, turn off the living room lights). 

Smart Thermostat: A well designed smart thermostat is a wonderful way to tap into modern technology and save on energy costs. There are many to choose from. The New York Times Wirecutter website updated a previously posted article “The Best Smart Thermostat” on December 1st, 2022. The article is a great resource to familiarize yourself with what to look for when choosing a smart thermostat including compatibility (with your HVAC system) and control options (most are set up with a smartphone app, but can also be voice controlled within your chosen ecosystem) remote sensors (many thermostats will work with sensors placed around your home) and geolocation (enabling the thermostat to save you money by adjusting your HVAC when you are not home). 

Smart Security System: Home security systems have gained a significant amount of functionality with the advent of smart technology. In addition to a smart doorbell (which gives household members a significant upgrade to the traditional front door peephole), security cameras can be placed throughout your home and accessed simultaneously on enabled devices. Sensors on doors and windows can alert you, and law enforcement when a break-in occurs. 

Smart Smoke Detectors: Traditional smoke detectors are very good at alerting the presence of smoke when someone is home to hear the alarm. Smart Smoke Detectors take it up a notch. They alert you by your smartphone too and can be set up to alert the fire department when you are not at home. 

Creativity and service drive our business at Coldwell Banker Classic Properties. Whether you are shopping for land to build the home of your dreams, or updating your home and thinking about ROI, we are here for you. We look forward to helping with all of your real estate needs in Central Vermont. Contact us today!

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