Part of the investment of owning a home is saving money wherever you can.
We are told time and time again that a real estate investment is one that will never really fail. Even though markets go up and down, if you manage to hold onto your property, chances are good that you will eventually be able to sell it and recoup some cash, if not turn a profit.
Part of being a responsible homeowner however, is knowing how to maximize your investment by putting time and effort into your home, and making upgrades where necessary. There are also things you can do now, to put some money back into your pocket as you pay down your mortgage, and some of them even add value to your home.
These seven tips will help you save a little cash, and ensure that your home investment gets you the maximum return in the future, should you ever decide to sell.
READ MORE: Five Reasons to Buy a New Construction Home
Go Solar. Even though some states are fighting it, many states are offering subsidies to install solar panels, including the possibility of a free installation. Solar panels can reduce your electricity costs, in some cases saving homeowners over $150 per month, which adds up to big savings in the long run.
Switch out your light bulbs. Regular old incandescent bulbs use a lot of energy, and create heat in your home, which then needs to be cooled by the AC. LED bulbs use only about 10-15% of the electricity as their incandescent counterparts, and they are better for the environment to boot.
Lower the temperature of your water heater. Check out the temperature settings of your water heater, and lower it to 120 degrees. This is pretty much the idea temperature for hot water, so you can save your heater from working overtime and wasting energy.
Install an alarm system. There are plenty of benefits to having an alarm system nowadays. Not only does a security system work as a thief deterrent, but it will save you money annually on your homeowners insurance (generally between a 10-20% discount).
Replace any old windows. There is no excuse to have old, leaky windows, when there are so many good energy-efficient options on the market. If you have an hold home, you can save up to 40% on your utility bill by making the switch, and there are plenty of companies out there to make sure you get the best deal.
Deduct your mortgage interest on your taxes. If you pay more than $600 in mortgage interest per year, you can use form 1098 to deduct your mortgage interest from your tax return. This amounts to big savings year after year, and a larger return that you can then invest back into your property.
Check the insulation in your attic. One of the biggest ways energy escapes your house is through the attic, especially if your attic is unfinished. If you have less than six inches of insulation up there, or if your insulation is old or damaged, replace it. Some states offer incentives, and even refunds up to 75% for assistance to help better insulate your home.[ via ] [ via ]