Even after you have saved up enough money to put a 20% down payment on a house, you still want to have money left over to handle any medical, house, or car emergencies. Getting affordable real estate does not always mean that you will be rewarded with lasting savings if you don't maintain efficiency. It is best to look at energy-efficient features to keep long-term costs down.
Landscaping without Grass
Grass is attractive, especially when maintaining throughout the year, but it is also unnecessary and expensive to keep looking good. You either have to water it on your own or get an irrigation system installed, and then you have to increase your water bill just to keep it green. The best way to avoid this predicament is to look at properties that do not have grass as part of the landscape.
Radiant Floor Heating
Tile, stone, and laminate are a few flooring types that you can find with radiant floor heating. Not having to install such a feature on your own is great as it can be costly, but the potential savings ranges from 10% to 30% depending on where you live, how well you manage its use, and how high the ceilings are.
Exterior Paint Color
If you are planning on buying a home in a warm climate, you should look for homes with light-colored exterior paint as it will help reflect the sun and maintain a comfortable temperature inside. However, for a cool climate, a dark-colored paint is ideal as it will absorb heat and keep it warmer in the home.
Type of Flooring
Whether a house has radiant floor heating or not, you should pay attention to the floor types. Carpet is the best option for cool climates because it is naturally warm to the touch. But, for warm climates, you can pick almost any other type of flooring, such as tile, hardwood, concrete, or laminate that stay cold.
If you want to save 30 to 50 percent on your energy costs, double-paned windows are an ideal choice. However, since these windows can have such a wide variance in quality and play an enormous role in how much energy your home consumes, you should get a professional inspection to determine window quality. It is also helpful to ask about the previous homeowner's energy bill to get a better idea.
Although your mortgage will be the primary expenses as a homeowner, you should also pay attention to the features that can save you money on your gas, electric, and water bill before buying a home.