Congratulations, Seattle. You got a raise. The bad news is that during roughly the same time, your median home prices shot up three times more than your “big” salary boost.
Mortgage Rates Drop Even Lower This Week – Freddie Mac
Ticket for a green card isn’t too pricey for many in China – Seattle Times
Don’t Blame Investors For Unaffordable Housing – Seattle Bubble
As a homebuyer, you are probably most focused on a home’s price, location, schools, and size. How comfortable a house feels in the middle of the winter, and what it costs to heat it are likely not your top priorities. You will definitely care more about these things if after you’ve moved in you realize the house is cold and drafty all winter long, despite your high heating bills.
Before energy codes were put in place in 1980, homes had little, if any, insulation. Since that time, the codes have come to require stricter standards. Today’s new homes that meet these minimum requirements are fairly energy efficient. Most of the homes you will see on the market, however, will fall far short of current energy efficiency standards.
With a little investment, most homes can be upgraded to perform at a comparable standard to new homes built today. Projects that bring an older home’s insulation and air tightness up to speed with current standards typically cost around $10,000. Government and utility rebate programs vary, and currently cover about 10% to 50% of these costs. Projects that include a new heating system, water heater, windows, or doors can add significantly to this cost.