How a tax break of up to $3,200 can help heat your home more efficiently this winter

Winter is almost here, meaning the year’s coldest temperatures aren’t far off. But homeowners can take advantage of recently enacted tax breaks to help boost their home’s efficiency, thereby trapping more heat inside and better defending against winter’s chill — and saving them money in the process.

The Energy Efficient Home Improvement tax credit, offered by the Inflation Reduction Act, can help defray homeowners’ costs on such projects — such as installing energy-efficient insulation, windows, doors and electric heat pumps — while also likely reducing the size of future heating bills, experts said. It’s worth a maximum $3,200 a year.

The average American spends $2,000 on energy bills each year, and $200 to $400 may be “going to waste” from drafts, air leaks around openings and outdated heating and cooling systems, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Home heating accounts for 45% of the average person’s energy use, and water heating for another 18%, the agency said.

Home efficiency upgrades can also reduce people’s planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, at a time when climate change is already fueling more extreme and financially costly weather events.

How the tax break works (more…)

 9 small home improvement projects with high ROIs

 9 small home improvement projects that achieve amazing ROIs and really pack a punch.

1. Decluttering and cleaning

When you go to sell your home, depersonalizing it goes a long to show home buyers a blank slate in which they can imagine living their lives—rather than a lived-in home where you’ve lived yours. Decluttering and deep cleaning is a great place to start to remove the lived-in look. With low costs and huge visual impacts, deep cleaning and decluttering are recommended the most by real estate agents. According to HomeLight’s research, 98% of agents recommend decluttering and 91% recommend deep cleaning to prepare for market.

2. Landscaping and curb appeal updates


Property Insurance Costs Too Much? 7 Ways to Reduce It

When is the lowest-cost insurer not the lowest-cost insurer? When another company actually charges less because you bundled or installed security or did something else.

NEW YORK – The price of homeowners’ insurance is on the rise, and many owners may be looking for ways to reduce their high premiums. While discounts can vary greatly based on location, size, and age of the house, some credits may be available that could reduce some homeowners’ premiums by as much as thousands of dollars per year, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The average premium for a homeowner’s insurance policy increased 3.1% to $1,249 in 2018, the latest year for which data is available. Luxury homes tend to be much more costly to insure than standard homes since they’re larger and have more decorative features within.

Here are some ways homeowners may be able to save on their homeowners’ insurance costs: (more…)

Is Your Home (and Home Insurance) Ready for Extreme Weather?

Hurricanes. Heat waves. Earthquakes. Tornadoes. Today’s headlines are awash in extreme weather, and whether you blame climate change or just plain bad luck, the simple truth is that the damage from these disasters is impossible to ignore.® teamed up with HarrisX to conduct a poll of 3,026 adults on their extreme weather concerns and homeowners insurance know-how—and the results suggest that many Americans may be more vulnerable than we think.

Here are some of the key highlights: (more…)

Why Is the Market White Hot? No, It’s Not the Pandemic

Today’s market problems – a shortage of affordable housing, historically tight inventory of homes for sale and rising prices – weren’t caused by the latest pandemic-caused economic slowdown. It goes back to the Great Recession.

Experts say the U.S. housing market was already being roiled by forces fueling the current housing-price explosion even before the pandemic.

Matthew Murphy at New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy said supply shortages were evident heading into the pandemic, adding that “the context here to this current housing moment is that we were still recovering from the 2008-2009 foreclosure crisis.”

Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors® has been pointing to an “underbuilding gap” of between 5.5 and 6.8 million housing units since 2001. (more…)

Smart Home Gadgets to Help Lower Your Utility Bills

Photo by Halfpoint via Shutterstock

When it comes to conserving energy, homeowners wanting to go green often spare no expense. Here are a few ways to upgrade your home without lightening your wallet. (more…)