Although Easter is one week away, let’s talk about Easter eggs of a different kind. Urban Dictionary defines “Easter eggs” as “A hidden item placed in a movie, television show, or otherwise visual media for close watchers.” In the context of real estate, Easter eggs would be something unexpected and a “great find”, possibly tipping the scales on the home you’re considering. Let’s get into some examples of some awesome home-buying Easter eggs.
TANKLESS WATER HEATER
Why is this such a great find? Because tankless water heaters don’t pre-heat water, requiring a large tank, they take up less space and are typically wall-mounted. They work by heating water on-demand and in return, are more energy efficient.
These types of water heaters generally last longer than traditional tank water heaters at an average of 20-25 years. In addition, because they don’t require a gas line or hot water plumbing, they’re easier to install.
GEOTHERMAL HEATING & COOLING
The longer an investment can be put to use, the better. A typical furnace will need to be replaced every 15 to 20 years, and a conventional air conditioner will need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years, not to mention the ongoing care that each system demands.
The ground loops of a professionally planned and constructed geothermal system, on the other hand, can endure over 50 years and require little maintenance over the system's lifetime. The heat pump, which will likely need to be replaced after 20 to 25 years, is the only component of a geothermal system that will need to be replaced sooner. With a price range of $1,500 to $2,500, this heat pump may be replaced for a fraction of the expense of building a whole system.
Geothermal systems also have lower operating costs, saving you money overall. In addition, because the hardware is buried in the ground, there are no propane tanks, A/C condensers, or window units to destroy the beauty of your home and property.
Programmable thermostats operational via a mobile application like the one by Nest not only make life easier, but your home is more efficient. In addition to the programmable feature, the device learns your habits and can program itself. When the Nest Thermostat detects that you are no longer at home, the system switches to Eco Temperature mode. The Nest Thermostat links to your phone and can detect your position to save energy when you're not at home.
In addition, being able to adjust the device remotely, say on an evening when you won’t be home until later than usual, contributes to its efficiency. As long as you have your phone handy, you can adjust the temperature from anywhere. Which can come in handy when you’re too cold to get out of bed at night.
Nothing can make a property look better at night than well-placed outdoor lighting. In addition to added security benefits, exterior lighting can accent specific features of a home or landscape. And if you find these are hardwired lights, even better because they’ll not only appear brighter but can be programmed to come on at dusk and off at dawn. Outdoor lighting can create nighttime entertaining areas such as decks and patios, adding task lighting and mood lighting while extending the living space in the home.
FLEXIBLE LIVING SPACE
Finding a hidden hangout space such as a loft, bonus room, or finished basement can provide additional living space beyond the basic types of rooms. These added areas provide room for hobbies, a home office, a reading nook, or room for guests. And they add value to the home. Now that so many are working from home, these extra spaces help families avoid feeling like they’re living on top of each other.
WHOLE-HOUSE BACKUP GENERATOR
Finding this as part of a home for sale is definitely a “win”. In the mountains, power lines could go down for many reasons including strong winds, electrical grids mishaps, and the occasional snowstorm. So finding yourself without power for an undetermined amount of time can be scary. Especially if you’re reliant on WiFi to make phone calls. A whole-house backup generator has larger, more powerful liquid-cooled engines for longer run durations with less maintenance, advanced programming for improved load management, and better fuel sources such as natural gas, liquid propane, and diesel.
A whole-house backup generator offers peace of mind to those who work from home, use medical equipment at home for ongoing care, or have small children at home. There’s nothing worse than having the power out for a prolonged period of time.
BURIED PROPANE TANK
Nothing corrupts a beautiful outdoor setting like an ugly propane tank. Typically these units are the property of the propane provider and cannot be painted. And even tho you can plant shrubs and bushes around it, if you can find a home with a tank that’s buried in the yard, that’s definitely an “Easter egg”.
However, the nicest thing about underground propane tanks is that they may be adjusted in temperature. This is due to the fact that they are less exposed to excessive heat and cold in the winter. The propane in the tank can be affected by extreme temperatures, and being underground protects the fuel from the impacts of the environment.
If you're looking carefully, you may find some "Easter eggs" that ultimately make a particular home "the one".