Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Is Solar Worth It?

Solar Panels seem to be everywhere these days. You may have noticed neighbors who don't drive Prius' and otherwise don't fit the 'green' stereotype now have panels beaming off of their roofs. Have you considered installing solar panels on your home? If so, like me, you may have also wondered what impact it might have on re-sale when the time comes, whether solar is worth the investment, and even wondered where to start...so I set out to get some answers on what buyer's and seller's might need to know. 






Solar is almost everywhere we look, what questions should you ask a prospective solar contractor?


  • What homes has your company installed on in my area? Get the addresses, drive by, and even ask if you can call these past clients, you might thank yourself later. 
  • Will I be leasing my panels or purchasing them? What payment options are available? 
  • What kind of warranty will my panels have? 
  • How long have you been in business, ensure the company is licensed and insured. It seems there are new companies everyday, make sure you're comfortable the company will be around throughout the life of the warranty. 

What if I want to sell in the future? 

Solar panels are becoming more and more common, many of us wonder if we are going to recoup our investment if and when we decide to sell. While it is a tricky question to answer solar is becoming more commonplace and the answers are coming. After combing through the information out there the majority of the studies I found indicated buyers are willing to pay a premium for a home that has solar panels installed. 

Electricity rates and other marketplace factors will impact the extent of the overall benefit for solar on your home but there is enough research out there to give it a thought and I feel add a check in the "proceed box"....while of course balancing all of your other life decisions in the mix. 

What if I lease my panels? 

It is a great idea to get ahead of the game and call the company you lease your panels from. Explain your situation and know before you even put your home on the market if you will be able to transfer the lease to a new home owner, buy out the lease, or what other options you have.


Ask questions when interviewing prospective Realtors and find out if they are familiar with selling homes with solar panels and what additional training and education they have been exposed to. 

I'm Buying a House with Solar Panels

Find out if the panels you are seeing on that house you fell in love with are leased or owned

If the seller is leasing the panels, you should factor in the lease payment when budgeting for  future home ownership expenses. You will likely have to qualify as well, it is always better to ask ahead of time and find out exactly what you will be dealing with. 

Additional Resources 

Solarsimplified.org has what I felt was a very useful return on investment calculator and an abundance of information that sheds light on many questions we have as consumers. I have attached a link here go ahead and try it out. It is customized for our area and helpful. 


Until the next time...


Reference

http://energy.gov/eere/sunshot/homebuilders

http://bcapcodes.org/new-energy-efficiency-resource-for-realtors/

https://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/lbnl-1002778_presentation_0.pdf

http://www.greenresourcecouncil.org/members/resource-newsletter#tips

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