Q: Our custom, four-story English Tudor has 3,600 square feet with an average electric bill of $200 per month. It was designed to be energy-efficient, with high-end windows, steel doors, etc. We also have about $500,000 worth of mature azaleas, rhododendrons, and other plants in the garden; it is a mini-version of the National Arboretum. We are looking to sell and have had lots of listing agents who want our house to be like everyone else's, but we don't have 10-foot ceilings and don't want to change our ceramic foyer for oak floors. What is the best way to proceed? --Valerie A: I feel your pain, but want to caution you about a couple of common home-seller danger zones I fear you may be circling. First off, it's a major fallacy to think that the things you value will have the same level of value to prospective buyers of your home. While your energy-efficient design and amenities may be important to you, they are not upgrades of the highly visible, sexy variety that make ...
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