TAX CREDITS END THIS YEAR
On December 31, 2010 it’s lights out for the federal tax credits for energy-efficient windows, doors, insulation,roofs, hot water heaters and HVAC systems. So if you’ve been putting off making some energy efficient improvements to your home it’s time to stop procrastinating and as the Nike commercial says, “Just do it!” Until December 31st you can get a tax credit of 30% of your costs up to a maximum of $1500.
Now if you want to really trick out your house with solar panels, residential wind turbines or geothermal heating there is no upper limit to what you can spend to get a 30% tax credit. And this credit is in effect until December 31, 2016. This link will tell you what you need to know to get the tax credit.
BUT before you rush to do any of these things, have an energy audit. Getting a tax credit for spending money you don’t need to spend is like buying something on sale that you already have and don’t need just because you’ll save money. When you have an energy audit which will cost you around $300-400, you may find out that you don’t need to spend that $20,000 on new windows–you just need to do some serious air sealing with caulking and insulation.
Speaking of insulation–the best and the most cost-effective insulation aren’t necessarily the same. In a recent blog on the Green Building Advisor website, Carl Seville, an advisor who certifies green homes, discusses the downside of fiberglass insulation. This is the insulation that most of us are familiar with and the least expensive choice for insulation. The biggest problem seems to be that it’s hard to install properly. If you’re thinking about doing some insulation before it gets really cold, you might want to check out his post. Foam and blown in cellulose insulation are considered better choices but do cost more.
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE
This is a motto we would all do well to live by to reduce the burden on our fragile planet. But this philosophy can do more than save green trees–it can save green backs too. So maybe you have some home improvements you want to make. Most people would head for Home Depot or Lowes, right? Well how about heading for ReBuild Warehouse or ReStore where you can buy new and gently used home improvement products and save more than 50%! These are both Northern Virginia locations so if you’re reading this blog from another area, check the web to see what’s available in your area. ReBuild Warehouse is affiliated with a company call Deconstruction, LLC, an environmental company that disassembles homes for builders or home owners doing major rebuilds or remodeling. ReStore is affiliated with and run by Habitat for Humanity
“BABY IT’S (GETTING) COLD OUTSIDE”
I have a great Energy Saver booklet to share with you. If you email or call me with your address (if I don’t have it) I would be happy to mail it to you. It has wonderful cost effective advise on energy savings for homes, appliances, cars, electronics, etc.
My purpose is to serve my clients and advocate for their highest and best good, so they attain their real estate goals.