It’s very easy to go into the home buying process with a list of “must-haves.” For new home buyers, this may include amenities like granite countertops, a gourmet kitchen, a big backyard and maybe a specific architectural style, such as Ranch, Southwestern or Tuscan. Although these are great wishlist items, more seasoned home buyers know there are other important facets of a home that can make a big difference in comfort, health, and of course, cost. Here are some items to get on your must-haves list:
We live in one of the warmest areas of the country with many sunny days; this can lead to extreme heat in the summer. Although our weather is excellent for fun outdoor activities like golfing, swimming, and running, when lounging at home in Las Cruces, it is important to maintain a cool temperature for maximum comfort. Building a home or purchasing a newer, remodeled home can be an excellent solution. You can opt for state-of-the-art materials and installations that keep your home cooler while saving money on air conditioning costs. If you are drawn to an older home or neighborhood with more character, there are ways to retrofit or upgrade the energy efficiency to today’s standards. For major retrofits, it is best to consult an energy professional to find out which solutions will be most cost-effective. Simple solutions such as a programmable thermostat can aid in maintaining your home temperature preferences and ensuring you don’t needlessly keep your A/C or heater on longer than you need to for optimum comfort. Cool roofs, which reflect light and heat away from the home, are also an excellent upgrade to keep you cool in the summer. Think of it as wearing white instead of black on a sunny day.
Air quality is not always the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of purchasing a home, but it is most definitely should be a consideration. Consider your overall health. Often, homes that keep in a lot of moisture are conducive to mold and other bacteria. This can cause chronic allergies and lung problems that can be dangerous and can cost a fortune to correct. That’s why when you house hunt, make sure to keep an eye out for how the home is ventilated. This includes fans and windows in vulnerable areas like bathrooms and kitchens. Also, if you’re viewing an older home, pay special attention to signs of possible leaks.
Ever heard the phrase, “Cheap things cost more?” This is true when it comes to home buying if you only look at upfront costs. Having a trusted builder using the latest building science to construct your home is priceless in the long run. Even the upfront cost can be more affordable if you have the right agent representing you. Nothing is worse than realizing how much repair costs add up because of a shoddy build or weak materials. Not only do building materials depreciate over time in existing homes, they become outdated too. There have been many improvements in building science and materials in the last few years that can improve durability and extend home value.
Think about your lifestyle needs and decide what type of layout works best for you. Do you have young children? If you or your partner need to keep an eye on them while cooking, you may want an open concept to have a view of the living room from the kitchen. Do you work from home? Having a closed off, quiet study will be important to your productivity. Home layouts also impact the heating and cooling factor of your interior. A big, open two-story living space may sound attractive on paper, but just keep in mind: the bigger the space, the tougher and more expensive it is to keep it cool or warm it up. Selecting a layout that optimizes energy can save you big!
With a significantly decreased electric bill and a credit check from the New Mexico government and Federal government to reward your responsible choice of going solar, there really aren’t any reasons to add this to your must-haves list.
If you’re not sure how to find homes with these cost-saving qualities, Smart Living can help you get started and walk you through every step of the way to help you Buy Smart, Sell Smart, and Live Smart. Click here to get started or call 575-496-7727.