Home Sweet Home Value

Is solar really that big of a deal when it comes to your home’s worth? There’s always talk of it in the lists of advantages of solar energy, but just how much does solar add to property value? Whether you are considering installing solar on your home or thinking about buying a house that already has it, this is an important aspect to consider.

Renovations to a bathroom, kitchen, or backyard have been around a much longer time. This makes it easier to quantify just how much they can raise the value of your home. But green technologies, like solar energy, don’t have all the same qualities to take into consideration. An updated kitchen might look nicer than before and could be easier to use and more energy-efficient with new appliances. But, solar panels have more of an effect on your home than just its appearance.

The appeal of solar to someone thinking of buying your house is hard to predict. However, there are many resources that can prove what kind of positive impact a solar array can have on your real estate. One of the most enticing for homeowners is the decrease in cost of electricity. Saving on utility bills and having that money go toward something that is guaranteed to be better for the environment (when the utility company’s power generation might not be) tends to be a pretty big positive for most people.

A solar photovoltaic (PV) system might not be at the top of a buyer’s house-hunting wishlist, at least not in the same way as things like the floor plan and location. Yet the value can be more apparent when factored into a comparison between similar homes. Energy efficiency is an appealing component of a home to the right people, especially those who like to save money on their electricity bills and/or want to help the environment by decreasing their carbon footprint.

Appraisal adjustments for solar panels are more common now that there has been a growing market for solar PV installations. They’ve had a lot more practice figuring out the answer to the question, “how much value does solar add to your home?” Both real estate agents and appraisers can help give you an estimate.

On the solar company’s side, they will assist you in figuring out how you’ll pay for the system, which might change depending on if you’re staying in a house for a while or will be moving on in a relatively short time. As a home buyer, you’ll be able to find out what sort of payment system you’ll be taking on when you check with your real estate agent. There are a multitude of options to choose from when installing solar. If you’re the current homeowner, you’ll have to decide if you want to connect to the local utility grid and/or buy battery storage so you can be even more independent. If you’re considering becoming the future homeowner, these past decisions will influence your choice on how much value you’re placing on these solar PV installations.

Personal value can be subjective when it comes to opinions about something like a solar array, but monetary value is a more solid objective. Try to figure out how much energy you would use each month by checking the details of your current utility bills, and consider the costs. Would the kilowatt-hours of a solar array, whether already installed or not, be enough for you? Most likely the answer is yes, and if not, adjustments can be made.

So how much do solar panels increase the value of your home, if at all? One study shows that “home value increases $20 for every $1 reduction in annual utility bills. In other words, a solar energy system that saves $400 per year would add a value of $8,000 to your home”. While this may not apply everywhere, it’s pretty much guaranteed that a solar PV system will add value, even if there aren’t exact calculations for every neighborhood yet. As powering houses with solar becomes more and more popular every day, it will soon be easier to develop a standard. Either way, as a buyer or seller, a house with solar panels will inevitably have some sort of value. As they save money on electricity bills and reduce polluting practices, solar arrays can only continue to be good for you and your wallet.

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