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When you think of home improvement, most homeowners opt for visual upgrades like refinished cabinets, new flooring, or retiled bathrooms. While aesthetically, these upgrades are nice, there are many other less flashy but highly worthwhile upgrades to consider for your home. You don’t want to overlook these six home performance upgrades that deliver a high return on investment (ROI). To boot, these upgrades will also transform your everyday house into a high-performing home—a marketable distinction that confirms your home provides a safe, healthy, energy-efficient, and comfortable environment to live in. Win-win, right?

Here’s your hit list of high-performing home upgrades to consider for your home:

1. Smart Home Devices 

Smart home systems are now being factored into appraisals for home sales. According to Coldwell Banker Real Estate, 71% of buyers in a sample of 1,250 American adults want a “move-in ready” house and 61% of millennials would favor smart-tech homes, as would 59% of parents with children living in the house.

2. Solar Panels 

Energy self-reliance, energy security, and sustainable living are three reasons why solar panels are gaining in popularity. According to a 2015 report by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, that premium can be $4/watt ($5/watt in California), while in 2019, Zillow’s researchers found that solar panels increase a home’s sales price by an average of 4.1%.

3. Heating, Ventilation & Cooling System 

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported in their recent Remodeling Impact Survey that HVAC remodels have a higher average ROI than most other types of remodeling projects, yielding a return of up to 71%. While this survey ranked HVAC replacement as the third-most valuable home project you can perform in terms of appeal to buyers and resale value, not all HVAC systems improve indoor air quality or protect against common pollutants and airborne chemicals that in some instances are 2-5 times more common in homes than outside. Don’t skip this upgrade when evaluating your HVAC system.

4. Insulation 

Insulation is not a flashy new technology, but it’s still very important. Proper insulation plays a key role in keeping your home at the right temperature—warm enough in the winter and cool enough in the summer. NAR’s Remodeling Impact Survey found that an insulation upgrade can yield a return of up to 83%.

5. Air Sealing

Most homes have a lot of gaps and cracks that allow air to rush in and out of the home. Often, there are so many gaps and cracks it equates to leaving a window open 24x7x365. A Cost vs. Value report from Remodeling magazine found that the average attic air-seal and fiberglass insulation job costs $1,268, with an added value to the home at resale within a year of completion of $1,482. That amounts to a 116% ROI.

    Ready to get started? Pearl is here to help!

    Kickstart your high-performing home journey by downloading Pearl’s Homeowner’s Guide to High-Performing Homes.

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    And while you’re at it, be sure to check out all the great resources for homeowners — including custom improvement recommendations and how to find a qualified contractor for your next home performance upgrade — inside Pearl’s Green Door app!

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