Green can Improve Your Property Value

Green can Improve Your Property Value

South African home buyers are increasingly placing more emphasis on environmentally-friendly features when choosing a home, highlighting the importance of going green not just to protect the environment but also to improve the value of your property.

According to a recent poll by ooba, South Africa's leading bond origination company, 49% of respondents said existing green features such as insulation, solar panels and water-conserving facilities are very important factors when choosing a home. 18% of respondents also said they were important, 20% of respondents said they were of some interest and only 13% said they were not important at all.

Jenny Rushin at ooba says the results indicate that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of being environmentally conscious. "It is very important that we all begin taking steps to protect and conserve the environment and making eco-friendly improvements to your home is an ideal and easy way to start."

Steps by the government such as the Department of Energy's commitment to installing one-million solar water heaters by 2014, with the aim of increasing this to 5.6-million by 2020, have also put green initiatives at the forefront of consumers' minds.

However, Rushin says making a home eco friendly does not have to be an expensive exercise as there are there are other cost effective measures homeowners can take.

Rushin has the following tips to help green your property:

Energy Efficient Appliances - Water heating consumes almost 50% of the electricity in a household, so it is wise to make your geyser as efficient as possible. Install a thermometer to regulate the heating so that hot water will only be used when it is needed and turn off the geyser when you go on vacation.

Conserve Water - A single flush of the toilet can use 11 litres of water. Installing a pump system can result in significant savings as it enables one to utilise water from the bath, shower and washing machine.

Eco-Friendly Products - When purchasing household cleaners, be sure to read the labels to check if the ingredients aren't potentially toxic to you and your environment. Many supermarkets now stock eco-friendly product ranges.

Energy Efficient Lighting - Energy efficient light bulbs use 66% less energy and last up to ten times longer which can mean dramatic savings in energy costs as well as helping to make a home more energy efficient.

Green your garden - Instead of gardening with synthetic fertilizers, use compost which provides soil organisms and the balance of nutrients needed. A healthy soil will minimize weeds and produce healthy plants which will prevent pest problems from developing.

Hello ooba news

When applying for a home loan, one of your most important considerations should be securing the lowest interest rate possible. And when the home loan is granted, you should do everything you can to reduce the term and the interest that you pay.

It came as some relief to homeowners when the prime interest rate was cut by 50 basis points to just 8.5% last month. Although this provides a welcome reduction in the monthly costs of repaying a mortgage, ooba, the South African home loan experts, say it would be wise for people to keep their repayment levels unchanged.

Despite the buyer's market in the property industry at the moment, in the wake of the global economic downturn, banks are still wary of granting 100% home loans. In light of this, if you're considering buying a home, it's a good idea to start saving up for a decent deposit.

If you're thinking about buying your first home, get your financial affairs in order as soon as possible. You need a clean credit record to secure a home loan. Unless you have a clean record of servicing debt, your bank will be unlikely to grant you a home loan.