In the discussion of the pros and cons of having solar, I find there definitely more PROs to having a solar owned system on a home when selling it than there are CONs. As an experienced real estate broker that has worked both the buying and selling side for solar homes, I can attest to both sides of the discussion as outlined in this article. Both the pros and cons will be considered from the aspect of selling a solar home in the Phoenix area with a solar owned photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof.
The PRO side of Solar in Phoenix
Increase in Property Value. A solar system that is owned by the home owner becomes a fixture on the home and like any other fixture, it can add or subtract to the value of the home. Since solar is one of the few fixtures that reduces utility costs and increases the energy efficiency of a home, appraisers will assign a higher value to the home. Of course there are different variables that could affect how much value a property will increase such as the size of the system, type of equipment installed, orientation of the panels, and the efficiency of the system.
The Buyer Saves Money. In the current real estate market, I have yet to find a solar home seller that is not saving money each month from their solar system. Without a lease payment, the buyer’s savings does not have to be offset by a monthly payment. As utility rates increase, the savings will increase too. Who doesn’t like to save money?
Homes with Solar Sell Quicker. Looking at sales data in the Phoenix area for August 2014, homes with a solar sold an average of 74 days compared to an average of 88 days for all homes on the market. Less time on the market equals quicker sale.
Smaller Carbon Footprint. For those that factor the environment as a factor for having solar, each kilowatt generated by solar offsets 1.37 pounds of carbon that would have been produced by the local utility (based upon EPA estimates), a fact that can be effective in the solar-focused marketing of the home (see below).
Enhanced Marketing of Home. I believe in a three tiered approach to selling a solar home: 1) traditional marketing, 2) internet based marketing and 3) solar-focused marketing. While most real estate agents will employ aspects from the first two tiers to market a home, solar focused marketing allows me to reach out to an entirely new audience of home buyers while educating the existing pool of buyer on the benefits and savings that solar has to offer. Solar focused marketing allows me to promote a distinctive feature that most other homes in the neighborhood do not have and use it against the competition.
The CON Side of Solar Homes
As I’m scratching my head and trying to figure out a downside, I am a bit stumped. As a home buyer purchasing a home with a solar owned PV system, the only downside is the maintenance factor which requires the occassional washing of the panels with a hose. Solar panels generally have a 25 year warranty while the other components tend to come with their own warranties as well. Solar panels add value to a home while reducing your monthly utility bill as well. I guess if you don’t like using a hose, having to wash your panels off once or twice a year would not be worth saving hundreds of dollars off of your electric bill each month.
Thinking about selling a solar home in the Phoenix area that has a solar lease? Give the Solar Home Broker a call at 480-888-1234!