Phoenix Housing Market
Phoenix's rapid growth in recent years has left it vulnerable to overspeculation by developers. That has helped spur a falling housing market today. The region is also extremely hot and arid, creating even more challenges for homeowners.
Install Low-Flow Fixtures
Arid Phoenix is well known for a lack of water. So, many residents have come to expect conservation of the precious resource, especially since they know water bills may be high. Reassure them with efficient, low-flow hardware, like this elegant design from Toto. Don't worry: there will still be more than ample water pressure.
Similarly, a low-flow showerhead can slash bathing water consumption 50 to 70%. The devices are simple to install and start around $8. Many styles and features are available, including flow-adjusting dials and a pause button.
Put in Low-Water Plantings
'Green carpet' grass lawns take a huge amount of water in dry climates, which leads to both high water bills and a lot of hassle and worry. Plus, the possibility of mandatory water restrictions means the yard may end up looking like a barren wasteland.
Instead, plant drought-tolerant native shrubs, trees and grasses. They won't require nearly as much water and will serve as habitat for local wildlife. Using low-water plantings even has a catchy name: xeriscaping.
In desert climates, cacti and similar plants, especially native ones, can add great beauty. You can also use stones, rocks and other features to add interest.
Get an Energy Star Air Conditioner
Phoenix is one of the hottest places in the country, so it's crucial to both provide some comfortable cooling when potential buyers come calling and to demonstrate that they aren't going to spend a fortune to maintain a reasonable level.
By purchasing Energy Star-certified cooling equipment, you can demonstrate substantial savings in energy bills, as well as high quality of operation. Buyers appreciate that. Room air conditioners (like this model from LG) must be at least 10% more efficient to achieve Energy Star, and central air 14%.
Put Up Some Awnings
Awnings decrease cooling loads, making rooms feel more comfortable, and slash energy bills. They also can add value to the house, as many people appreciate their character and look.
These awnings from Deluxe Awnings of Ashland, Oregon, are so effective that Darlene Beckett, the company's co-owner, says she doesn't use any air conditioning to keep her own home comfortable all summer.
Install Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans use 90% less energy than central air and make rooms feel 7 to 10 degrees cooler simply because of the process of evaporation. Even if you already have central air, fans can make things more comfortable and are good for getting ventilating currents moving through your home.
Fans add value and are very inexpensive. They are easy to install and can even be tackled by do-it-yourselfers. If you are in doubt, though, there's no shame in calling an electrician.
Kenmore Ultra Dishwasher
Upgrade to Energy Star Appliances
Energy Star was designed by the EPA to take the guesswork out of appliance buying. Look for the blue-and-white label, which means the item is at least 10-50% more efficient than standard models (depending on the class of product). That means lower energy bills and less pollution.
This stylish, Energy Star-rated dishwasher is in Kenmore's Elite series. The Ultra WashHE technology eliminates the need for prerinsing, saving additional water.
More than 18,000 products in 35 different categories are covered in the Energy Star program, and most major manufacturers participate. Energy Star has become a fixture in the showrooms of most retailers coast to coast.