How Do Solar Panels Affect Home Value
Having solar panels installed on your home? It may be great while you live in the home, but what happens when try to sell?
Truthfully, it is can be both beneficial and harmful because the solar panels affect both marketability and value of your home.
Below we will layout the pros and cons of selling a home with a solar panel contract from SolarCity, FirstSolar, or any other alternative utility company.
Solar and clean energy are very “in,” kind of trendy features for homes. People are conscientious about the “green” movement and the benefits of having solar panels and the reduction it can be on your energy bills.
A 2014 survey showed 62% of homeowners would like to have solar power for their homes.
Buyers may be influenced to purchase a home based on the fact that the panels are already in place and the benefits are already available to them.
Energy is what powers our lives. The more gadgets created, the more energy is needed. Consumers are open to having inexpensive and clean options for their power.
The 2014 survey found 69% of homeowners wanted more options for purchasing their electricity, and 73% would welcome an inexpensive alternative to their current utility provider.
Homes with solar panel energy are reported to save between 10-20% on their energy utility bill. Over the course of a year that can add up to $150-$300 or more for a household where monthly consumption averages $130/month.
Being self-reliant is another one of the reason many are turning to solar power, and why it can make a home with solar panels more desirable then their neighbor. The 2014 survey reports 50% of respondents were interested in solar panels as a backup power source for their home in the event of a power outage.
So why aren’t more homeowners buying solar panels? There is a perceived price barrier to purchase and install the panels. The same survey noted more than 65% of consumers believe solar products to be less affordable today than they were three years ago. However, the reality is the cost for solar panels has dropped by more than 50% over the same time, and most states provide up-front incentives to homeowners to adopt solar power.
You usually don’t own the panels. Even the statistics above of a 50% reduction in the cost is skewed due to the fact that many solar providers are leasing you the equipment that will be put up on the house and therefore provide you a reduced rate to get the panels similar to a phone company offering free phones to sign up for their service.
Typically when you lease the solar panels you are actually buying the power from that solar company as opposed to your local utility. Naturally the utility companies do not like having their millions of dollars in infrastructure go to waste so they will actually charge you a fee for NOT using enough of the utility’s electricity in lieu of the solar power. When this is the case the saving on the solar power are largely wiped out.
Then of course there are many homeowners who simply find solar panels to be downright ugly and unattractive on their home. Which brings us to the HOAs in communities that are less solar panel friendly.
HOAs are not allowed to prohibit the use or installation of solar panels; however, they may place “reasonable” restrictions on their placement. The problem with this policy is the loose definition of “reasonable.”
Fortunately the Arizona appeals court have found that “effectively prohibiting” the installation of solar panels is a matter of the additional cost placed on the homeowner to have the panels installed which extends to any modification to the home (i.e. adding an addition) and the feasible alternatives available to the homeowner. The best method is to seek the HOA approval before installing as the courts have already determined failure to do so will eliminate the homeowner’s claim of being “effectively prohibited” as they never asked in the first place.
At the end of the day the presence or lack thereof of solar panels is not going to have a negative effect on the value of the home – it will also not have a positive effect on value.
The presence of solar panels with all their pros, cons, and controversy will ultimately effect the marketability of the home.
This is to say it is rather unlikely a home will appraise or be viewed as having a higher value or lower value with solar panels; however, the consumer will consider it a plus or minus depending on the needs they are looking for in their new home.
All of that being said, if you are looking for a home with solar panels, We have included a few below:
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