Monday, September 26, 2016

Solar Buying Power...The Current Reality

Hello again everyone! I wanted to continue the solar series here on the blog. A series I haven't officially started until this exact moment, but I still had questions surrounding solar so I figured I would continue to look for answers and share my findings with you. Hopefully there is something helpful in here for us. In particular I wanted to share with you some thoughts from a lender perspective on solar. Are you going to find appraisers and lenders who value the solar panels on that home you're buying as much as you do? What are the benefits exactly anyway? 

I have talked quite a few times with one lender in particular, Todd Libby, who pays attention to green trends and is more tapped into this market than most lenders I have ran into. He broke the situation down in the following way (and of course it is important to keep in mind interest rates change as well as circumstances, it is always good to double check figures and rates before relying on our opinion...but, in my opinion at least, it is a good perspective nonetheless)

Here's a good rule of thumb for mortgage payments...

Every $10,000 change in price will change the payment by $50/mo.

So if you have a client looking at a $300,000 home versus one for $320,000, they can know that the $320k home will have a mortgage payment of about $100 more per month.

But what if that home for $320k has solar panels that offsets an average $100/mo off of their electric bill? Now that home that is $20k more in price has the same exact overall payment as the less expensive home.

You may think, well that's all fine and dandy but when it comes down to underwriter and appraiser time will those professionals agree with our thinking? Unfortunately, the answer may be a doubtful one. Not all professionals recognize these benefits in the same way. While solar has been around for decades, only now is it becoming more cost effective and practical for us "everyday people". Personally I feel the more we talk in the industry and as consumers the more answers we will reach, and the more change we will see. 

The population in many of the Western States, Utah in particular is booming. Energy has to come from somewhere, and with potential rate hikes on the horizon, many of us want to get off the traditional power Ferris wheel and make a change. 

So whether you own your home and have solar panels and would like to point this out to potential buyers who may not understand why your house is worth more than the neighbors with no solar panels, or if you are a buyer in the market looking to find the most cost effective investment long term, I would definitely take the current and future power savings into account when talking to your lender and making a decision. 

This is a good conversation to start with your personal lender, bank, or credit union you are considering working with if solar is important to you. 

If you have questions for a lender with green experience feel free to give Todd Libby a call at (801) 319-3502 or email at

As always if you have any questions I may be able to help you with feel free to call or email me at

Until the next time...

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