What is entailed when you move from your home and have purchased and installed solar.
Well, couple things you need to make sure, first of all, you want to make sure that you actually bought your panels.
If you leased your panels, unfortunately, you’re not going to get any equity back because you never own the panels. There can be benefits for a new homeowner to take over a solar lease, mainly that it potentially could be a monthly bill less than regular electricity bills would be. But there are additional steps and approvals needed when transferring a solar loan, and many homeowners can be turned off by the additional liability without gained equity for doing so.
Secondly, you have to make sure you get a real estate agent that knows the energy efficient world. All solar is not created equal. And this is where really comes down to what the deal was that you’d got when you bought solar, and the increase in property value by adding solar has nothing to do with how much you paid. But whether or not you get a good return on the investment does heavily depend on the cost of your system, and every company charges differently.
What does determine how much is helps your home value has everything to do with the size of the system, and how much it generates. Unfortunately, a lot of realtors when they think of solar, they’re relating to solar back in 2002 to 2010 to 2015 when leases were very popular where you would just lease out your roof a company would slap some panels on it. They would give you a reduced bill, but you don’t own the equity.
However, if you own the panels it’s a very different ballgame. And not all realtors are familiar or know how to determine or communicate the value. There’s a couple things you can do when you’re under contract. And when you’re the one selling make sure that you get the right appraisal standard by the buyer, including requesting a green certified appraiser (a simple thing that few agents know of or are aware can be done).
In addition, you want to make sure you know how much energy the solar panels are producing. You can multiply that amount over the length of time that the panels have existed and how many more years they’re warrantied or guaranteed to operate, usually between minimally 20-30 years. Depending on which study you want to go by, you can either take that amount of energy and multiply it by the cost of electric for the area, and multiply it by 20 years, and that gives you the value of the home. The other way is that you take the kw size of the system and multiply it by $3.50-$4.50 depending on your location and that will also give you an equity value you can use.
For more detailed explanations of these, read our HOMEOWNER’S GUIDE TO BUYING SOLAR IN COLORADO on our website at www.ConsciousEC.com
These are the main ways you can help determine the value of the panels. And there’s some independent third party studies that were used to establish these values. But this is why you have to make sure you get a realtor that knows what they’re doing. When you do ove, you have two ways in which you can value solar and this is really up to your realtor as to how you are going to value your home and how you plan on marketing and selling. So this is where you want to make sure they know their stuff.
First option is if there’s an increase in value in the property and the panels are paid off. Let’s go with a house worth $500,000, and with third party studies that are out there, the value of the solar system added to the home is worth $20,000. Still an increase in property value.
However, let’s say you’re making payments, you got a solar loan, and you’re still paying it off. Let’s say you owe another $10,000. Well, you have two options if the house is worth $500,000, you can either price the home at $510,000 and pay the difference off when the house sells and have that the additional money gained pay off the remainder of the loan of the solar panels. Or you can transfer the payments to the new homeowner and they take over payments, which depending on where you purchased that and what your loan is, should in most cases still be less than if they were just paying the electric bill anyways. And in that case you price the home at the $500,000.
One thing that the buyers can and should know is you can bundle in the cost of solar into the mortgage as well. That’s always going to be your best option, usually needing to be done as a HELOC or second mortgage if you do it with the purchase of a home. If you are doing a refinance of your home, you can do a cash out and pay for the solar that way, fully paying off the system and bundling it into the overall mortgage, by far the BEST way to get solar if possible.
Now a realtor who knows what they’re doing can make sure to put these details in the property description and educate even the buyers on the value. Or if you’re buying a house that has solar, it gives you a lot of negotiating power one way or the other. So these are things that you want to consider when you’re selling a house that you put solar on, or whether you want to buy a house that have solar on be prepared for a lot of negotiation and a lot of options if it comes down to it.
But it’s always going to come down to what the original contract was for the solar, how much energy is provided by the system and how much is still left on the loan. Once you have those factors, that gives the realtors an opportunity to either negotiate or to value the project properly.
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