Homeowners can be a funny bunch. They might spend an exorbitant amount of time pulling weeds, blowing driveways, researching solutions like, “How to remove calcium deposits from granite,” and maybe even wondering how to stop weeds from growing to begin with! Another thing most homeowners do is figure out ways to save money and also add value to their homes.
If you fall into this category, you should seriously consider investing in a solar system for your home, because research shows that buyers are paying more for houses with solar installations.
This type of addition to a home is called a premium. But unlike upgrades to your counter top, solar pays back from day 1. Your home value increases, but you don’t have to wait to sell your home to enjoy savings. You’ll see the benefits every month, and a large payoff whenever you sell the house.
Adding Value to Your Home
Let’s check out a few numbers. One study by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab found that a home with a solar installation could see a rise in value by $3 per watt. That doesn't sound like much, but consider that your home’s solar system is measured in kilowatts, so it takes a thousand watts to reach one kilowatt.
I can imagine a third-grade teacher quizzing her eager students. Now, boys and girls, say you have a 5-kilowatt system. How much extra money will your house be worth if you decide to sell it? There’s silence as the children work out the math. A confident hand is raised, and Johnny is called upon. “Ms. Hoover, I’ll get another $15,000!” Johnny gets an A for the day. It’s probably much harder to get an A in today’s classroom, but you get my drift.
Fun fact! The cost for solar in Florida is below the national average, and Orlando is currently below the Sunshine State’s average. If you live in Orlando, you’re probably going to pay around $3 per watt, which means as soon as that solar energy starts getting collected, you’re in the green on your investment! That’s why you often hear people say green improvements can pay for themselves. Not only will your electric bills be slashed to nearly nothing, but you are also boosting your home’s value by a lot of dough.
The Appraisal Game
Now, I hate to be a Negative Nancy, but appraisers are just now getting up to speed on how to properly rate energy efficiency, and not all appraisers are knowledgeable yet. Also, it takes a pretty large sampling before numbers or comps can be established, but a few states are now able to supply that sampling, including Florida.
It’s worth asking if your home’s appraiser has experience with solar premiums before they make the trip. Nothing would be worse than not seeing anything related to your energy-saving system on the final appraisal. You can also ask if they’ll be filling out the G&EEA Addendum, which accompanies the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report. This addendum is an optional form appraisers use as a worksheet to identify energy efficiency improvements, renewables, and other “green” characteristics. This helps them properly assess the value of your home.
Finally, make it a common practice to document your utility bills before and after you install a solar system. Potential buyers might ask questions about how much you saved.
Solar is a Good Investment
Half the battle of spending money on your home is wondering if your investment is worth it. Will it pay off? Stop wondering and go for solar. It’ll give you one less thing to ponder as a homeowner, so you can get back to the fun stuff – killing weeds!