These Home Features Could Make Ownership Cheaper

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KEY POINTS

  • There are certain features you might look for in a home.
  • It pays to focus on those that might result in lower ongoing bills.
  • Look for well-insulated homes with natural light and newer appliances.


Keep an eye out for them while house-hunting.

If you're looking to buy a home, there are certain features that may be on your wishlist. You might prefer a house with a nice updated master bathroom, or a kitchen with lots of cabinets and sleek granite countertops. You may also want a home with hardwood floors because they look nice and won't stain as quickly as carpet does.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with going after the aesthetic features you want. But you may also want to focus on those features that can help make homeownership less expensive for you on an ongoing basis. Here are four specific features that can lead to lower utility bills.

1. Lots of natural light

The more natural light your home gets, the less dependent you're apt to be on artificial light. The result? A lower electricity bill.

Plus, if your home gets a lot of sunlight, that could help keep it warmer during the winter months, making it so you don't have to run the heat quite as much. That can save you money on not just your natural gas bill, but also on maintenance and repairs. That's because heating systems that don't run as often tend to last longer than those that get constant use.

2. Updated appliances

Updated appliances won't just make your life more pleasant. They might also result in lower utility costs. An energy-efficient washing machine, for example, might use less water than an older one. And a fridge that runs well may not use the same amount of energy as an older model.

3. Good insulation

The more insulated your home is, the less dependent you're apt to be on your heating system during the winter and your air-conditioning system during the summer. In fact, solid insulation might make it so you can avoid turning on the air or heat during those "in between months" where the weather is moderately warm or cool.

4. Blackout shades

The right window coverings can make your home look more attractive. But they can also lend to lower utility bills.

If your home's windows are outfitted with blackout shades that do a great job of blocking sunlight, it can result in massive savings during the summer, when the last thing you want is the warmth of the sun bearing down on your home. And remember, you can always lift those shades up during the winter, when you do want the sun shining in and warming your living space so you can give your heating system a bit of a rest.

Owning a home can be an expensive prospect. You have to not only cover a mortgage payment every month, but also, pay for things like property taxes, homeowners insurance, and standard upkeep. So it's in your best interest to seek out home features that make your utility bills less of a burden. These are actually only a few of many home features that could end up being money-savers, so it pays to do your research and see what other features to seek out.

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