The Top Energy Efficient Home Trends That Home Buyers Want in 2019

Apr 1, 2019 by

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As the cost of energy continues to rise, many home buyers today are looking for homes that are going to be easier and less expensive to run long term. I’ts important to know the trends to look for, whether you’re helping a seller update their home prior to selling or you want to keep an eye out for the perfect property for a buyer. Not only would following these trends allow you to better advise sellers, it also can help you ecuate buyers on to what to look for.

Each year, the home remodeling site Fixr polls industry experts and leaders in their field to help determine some of the top trends in the home improvement industry through their Energy Efficient Home Design Trends report.

Here are some of the most relevant findings to help you maximize your clients’ potential when buying or selling a home.

Energy Star Dryers

One key trend to watch for in properties is an Energy Star rated dryer. Of all the various appliances with the Energy Star label, experts felt that the dryer made the biggest change in energy usage when switching to a more efficient model. This is due in part to the fact that dryers use nearly as much electricity as central air conditioning.

Home shoppers today are focusing more on the laundry room, as well as where it’s located and what it contains more so than they ever have before. An energy efficient dryer can have a big impact on monthly energy budgets. 

Heat Pumps

When it comes to heating a home, the heat pump is the most recommended method of heating for providing consistent heat and energy savings. Heat pumps work by exchanging outside air for inside air. It extracts the heat energy from the air outside–even in cold weather–and transfers it indoors.

An electric heat pump is 50 percent more efficient that other forms of heating. It’s also the most frequently installed energy efficient heating system in homes today.

Day Lighting for the Kitchen and Living Room

While experts agree that the best way to save money on electric bills without reducing the amount of usage is to use LED lights, there are still important things to consider when looking at a home for sale.  

Day lighting is an important component of reducing electricity. This has to do with how much natural light a room gets. The kitchen and living room are two spaces that use the most electricity. As such, it makes sense that home buyers may want to opt for homes that have sufficient natural light in these areas either through windows or skylights.


Tankless Water Heaters

While the heat pump is the most popular way to heat a home, a tankless water heater is the most popular method of heating water. Tankless heaters are installed inside the walls of a home, and heat the water as it’s being used. This is in contrast to a heater that is constantly maintaining the temperature of any gallons of water at a time. Households that use this method of heating water can expect to save $ 100 a year on their energy bills.

Heat pumps and tankless heaters are both popular, but hybrid heat pump hot water heaters tend not to perform as well universally. Tankless heaters can be installed in more places, and perform better in cold-weather climates in general.

Low Flow Fixtures in Full Bathrooms 

Households use a lot of water each day when they aren’t using low flow fixtures to try to restrict this usage. Experts felt the place that made the biggest difference when installing these items is in full bathrooms.

This makes sense, as the full bathroom will include a tub and shower, as well as a sink and toilet. Installing low flow fixtures in full bathrooms can help reduce the load on the water supply.

Solar Panels 

If home buyers are looking at homes with renewable energy sources, experts say that solar panels are by far the most popular method. Renewable energy is increasing everywhere, with millennial homeowners leading the biggest push into this sector. Experts also reported that millennials were the most likely to invest in cleaner energy sources, with Gen X taking second place.

Saving Energy Means Saving Money and the Environment


Homeowners and home buyers today are motivated to make energy-efficient changes in their homes due to the potential to save money as well as energy. More people generally aware of a need to protect the environment so it makes sense that protection coming from within the home ranks second place.

Homeowners and home buyers that want to maximize their potential in both these areas should seriously consider paying attention to these and other important trends in energy savings. While individually each of these factors may not save much, added together, they can have a significant impact on both the homeowner’s wallet, and their overall comfort inside the home.

Help your clients by pointing out these trends ,and how they can make them work to get better results for everyone involved.

To learn about the cost of household remodeling projects, visit the Cost Guides.

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A New Way to Find the Right Home

Mar 23, 2019 by

Home Partners of America Offers Flexible Solution to Homeownership

Like many real estate pros, Adrian Riehle got into real estate because he loves helping people. A broker with Best Choice Realty Washington in the greater Seattle area, Riehle thrives on building relationships with his clients.

“The process of home-buying is super exciting, but I also know it can be stressful at times. Being with people and helping them find the perfect fit is not only a challenge, but also exhilarating,” says Riehle, who received his real estate license in 2017. “All of us are unique, so each client I help is a new experience.”

One way Riehle helps his clients is by working with Home Partners of America, a unique homeownership solution that offers potential buyers who need time to secure their financial future the option to rent the home of their dreams, with the exclusive right to purchase the home if and when they’re ready, using the company’s Lease Purchase Program.

Through this program, Home Partners of America purchases the home a potential buyer is interested in and then allows that potential buyer to lease the home, while also providing them with a right to purchase the home back from Home Partners of America during the initial term of the lease and any renewal terms (residents are permitted to renew the lease for up to four one-year renewal terms—two rental terms in Texas). This way, the renter has a bit more time to build their financial portfolio, all while making sure the home is the right fit in the meantime. It’s also a helpful option for those relocating for work, notes Riehle, who says that many of his clients want to test an area out before they buy.

“I chose to work with Home Partners of America because of all the options it opens up for people, especially families that haven’t quite figured out the best path for them but know purchasing a home is in their future,” says Riehle. “Home Partners of America gives the option of choosing a home that’s for sale and living in it without the commitment of purchasing. It gives people peace of mind, as they can get a clear idea as to which option is best for them in the process.”

This option is particularly helpful in difficult markets. “The [Seattle] market has cooled down slightly, but sellers are still receiving multiple offers, and are choosy about which buyer to work with,” explains Riehle. “In my experience, sellers like working with Home Partners of America as an ‘all-cash’ buyer,” adds Riehle. “In a hot market or a multiple-offer situation, this can sometimes be a competitive advantage over buyers with financing contingencies.

“I pride myself in taking care of my clients,” says Riehle, who has closed 32 transactions since he began working with Home Partners of America in early 2018. “Home Partners of America offers people choices they would never have on the rental market and the ability to work with a dedicated agent to help find a property that suits their needs, all while being backed by the strength of a nationwide company,” concludes Riehle, who has received positive feedback from everyone he supported with Home Partners of America transactions.

For more information, please visit

The Lease Purchase Program (“Program”) is offered and administered by Home Partners of America, Inc. Resident and property must meet eligibility requirements, which are subject to change. Resident must qualify for a mortgage from a third-party lender or pay the purchase price in cash to exercise the right to purchase a home. Home Partners does not provide financing for the resident to purchase a home. Home Partners’ approval for the resident to lease a home does not mean that the resident will later qualify for a mortgage. Home Partners, the Home Partners of America, Inc. logo and “A New Path to Homeownership” are pending or registered trademarks and service marks of Home Partners of America, Inc. or its affiliates.

Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at

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Preparing Your Home for the Spring Market

Mar 13, 2019 by

In March, there’s still plenty of places around the country experiencing unwieldly winter weather and record snowfalls, but spring isn’t too far away. Many people are readying their homes for what promises to be a strong house selling season.

Usually around this time, potential buyers start planning their weekends around searching for houses and you need to be ready. So, before that happens, now is the time to think “spring cleaning” and make sure your home is in perfect shape. Thankfully, there are a number of DIY jobs you can view on YouTube that can help you prepare.

Start easy by cleaning all windows and opening them up to let the air and sun shine through. Nothing says spring as much as a bright living room, and most buyers are attracted to rooms with natural light.

Set a reminder to switch out batteries on smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Since you’ll be taking out the stepladder anyway, you might as well use that day to also replace any lightbulbs that are failing and dust in some of the corners you normally don’t get around to.

Spend a day cleaning the kitchen, doing a full clear-out of the foods you don’t need in the fridge or cabinets. Defrost the freezer and add baking soda to your fridge to eliminate any odors. Don’t forget to clean the oven so when people examine them, they are as new looking as possible.

Spring months are also great times to think about the yard. Plant some foliage or shrubbery and give the outside of your home a new look. Bring bursts of color with beautiful annual flowers, perennials, trees and shrubs.

If you have a deck, rent a power washer and remove any dirt, debris or moss that may have seeped in from fall and winter. You can also use it on your driveway, side of your home or anyplace that could use a good wash down.

Take the time to fix anything that’s broken or may have failed during the year—blown over fence boards, squeaky doors, or even the air conditioner—and make your home problem free.

By springing into action on these ideas, you soon could be spending the next season in your new home.

The post Preparing Your Home for the Spring Market appeared first on RISMedia.


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3 Reasons Why Staging a Vacant Home Is Critical

Mar 4, 2019 by

By Audra Slinkey, Home Staging Resource

When you see before-and-after photos of spaces not staged versus staged, it’s easy to quickly become a believer in home staging! Vacant spaces, in particular, absolutely need to be staged for these 3 HUGE reasons…

  1. An empty room EASILY SHOWS its flaws.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of strutting around in my bikini these days … are you? Why? Because with very little on, you can see every flaw on my body. Empty rooms are no different!

No room is perfect and empty ones especially are like walking around naked. Look at this room below which in its naked condition appears dark, dreary, small and what is that THING under the window?

Buyers walking into this space would immediately think it’s far too dark and notice the under window contraption. Then, they would walk out.

But look what happens when this room becomes professional staged by a certified home stager (Stephanie White Interiors)…

Staged by Stephanie White Interiors

If you were not a “staging believer” before … I bet you are now!  You don’t notice the under-window contraption, darkness, or dreariness in a room staged and styled with warmth, texture, and well … fully dressed.

This room was brought back from the dead, literally!

2. An empty room almost ALWAYS looks smaller than it really is.

People have no imaginations and let’s face it, how could buyers intuitively even know if furniture will fit into a space. Empty rooms almost always appear smaller than they really are because without furniture … it has no frame of reference.

This empty room had doorways everywhere and a small fireplace that would make buyers feel like their furniture would absolutely not fit.  More importantly, buyers would have no idea how to do a furniture layout in this tricky living space. Why allow your rooms to look smaller than they really are?

Now, take a look at that same space with furniture …

By cleverly floating the furniture around the focal point and creating a seating area, Stephanie leaves nothing up to the buyer’s imagination.

Finally, here’s the number one reason it’s critical to stage an empty or vacant home…

2. Empty rooms are cold and lifeless (i.e. not exactly an emotion you want buyers to feel!)

Imagine the cost of putting up a lifeless, cold, sterile photo online of your empty home! In our 2018 staging statistics of over 4,200 professionally staged homes, the average increase in value to the home due to professional staging was more than 8 percent.

Vacant homes typically take twice as long to sell and go for even less than unstaged, “occupied” homes. So,  imagine the true cost of not staging a vacant home!

What emotion do you feel when you look at this empty, unstaged room?

3. Every room gives a stager the opportunity to add “emotional connections” to the space, so that buyers fall in love, aspire to live there and can actually imagine their family in that home.

Staging is merchandising and marketing in its purest form. Home stagers learn who the buyer demographic is and what they envision for a home will draw on those emotions with a carefully styled room…

Staged by Stephanie White Interiors

Can you believe this is the same dreary room you saw in the photo above?  Yep, that’s the power of staging and the importance of not leaving anything up to the buyer’s imagination.

For a quick guide on how to understand home stager pricing and proposals, check out: How to Understand Home Staging Pricing and Proposals: Do’s and Don’ts.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Audra Slinkey is president and founder of the Home Staging Resource, a home staging and redesign certification training company. Slinkey’s training program has been awarded the Most Innovative Product of the Year Award three times. She serves on the board of the Real Estate Staging Association. Slinkey is also a published author and international speaker on staging, color, and design. She is proud and privileged to help create and mentor thousands of staging and design businesses across the globe. To find home stagers that do the kind of work featured above, visit Directory of Certified Home Stagers and Designers.

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