Beating the Heat War When Purchasing Property
It is no surprise that changes in weather can dramatically change the buying behaviour of homeowners. Record-breaking heat waves and soaring temperatures have simply enforced the important of a house’s cooling elements.
Certain elements like pools were regarded as a drawback, and the existence of one degraded the value of the house, even as recently as the past few years. The pool was seen as a nuisance with upkeep, safety regulation and the red tape involved in owning one. Now not only are pools seeing a comeback in popularity with buyers, but they are also being built more in new and existing homes. Pool builders are reporting as many as three times as many sales as the past few years. Now the pool is seen as desirable as the new car or family holiday. With the consistent rise in temperature, it is no wonder that families are seeking to buy houses with pool or installing one.
Another emerging priority for heat-stricken homeowners is air-conditioning. Not only is it rare for new homes to not have air-conditioning it is also considered almost inconceivable to live without it. It has become a prerequisite for any dwelling and with temperatures across the nation ever reaching new averages, it is almost inhumane to live in many areas without it. When your average temperature reaches 45 degrees, it is easy to see when many home buyers would insist on air-conditioning. In fact, it is becoming so important, that buyers are negotiating prices down to the tune of the installation cost. If a four-bedroom home will incur a $20,000 installation fee, it understandable why they would attempt to negotiate the house’s total cost down by at least that fee.
Another area, which many people would not initially expect to be affected by the temperature, is the energy efficiency level in buildings. Some of the biggest draws for a house in NSW is simple things like windows with double glazing. While initially used to keep the cold out in winter and the heat inside, recent temperatures have flipped this reasoning. Now, increasingly people are looking for better sustainability and natural alternatives to keep cool. If double glazing can help keep the cool in during summer, then it is important according to the homebuyers in the recent market.
While many homeowners are refusing to accept green, environmentally friendly houses which, due to their roofing shape, do not allow for air-conditioning installation. Traditionally sustainable houses use techniques like cross-ventilation for cooling the interior. In the heated crowds at auctions, this is a deterrent to purchasing a green home without at least the option to later install.
In this area, someone who knows a bit about some solutions is Mick Fabar, the founder of Australia’s fastest growing sustainable construction company. In today’s market, many builders and buyers are turning their attention towards energy efficiency alternatives. The difference is that a true ‘green’ home might only contain cross-ventilation. An energy efficient house, however, will contain the facilities for air-conditioning but will run instead on solar or alternative energy sources.
While nothing will help beat the heat this summer, these areas do make life more comfortable for general living. But if you are looking at sustainable designs, consider planning for energy efficient air-conditioning rather than ignoring it completely. You will thank yourself later.