January Video Link
Do Solar Panels Increase Home Value?
Energy efficiency is a growing concern among homeowners, and solar panels are a well-known resource in improving efficiency and helping the environment. The amount of money a homeowner can save by using solar power is attractive enough, but how do solar panels affect property value?
Solar Adoption is Growing
Two years ago, the U.S. had hit 2 million solar installations and the researchers at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables expected “…solar installations to double by 2023.” In fact, Pew Research found that 46% of U.S. homeowners are considering residential solar panels.
High demand can lead to a faster sale and/or a higher sales price, but there are still a few other factors that will impact the value of your home on paper.
According to a 2019 Zillow Economic Research report, “During the past year, homes with solar-energy systems sold for 4.1% more on average than comparable homes without solar power. For the median-valued home, that translates to an additional $9,274,”
The report finds, however, that the increase in home value varies, sometimes substantially, by region. If solar panels are popular in your area, they may provide a bigger boost to your home value than in less popular areas.
Owned or Leased?
When you sell your home to a buyer who will need financing to purchase it, the appraiser has the final say in what the home is worth. Whether the solar array on your roof increases the appraised value will depend largely on whether or not you own the system.
The most common solar panel ownership scenarios, according to the appraiser guidelines at fanniemae.com, include:
- The panels are owned. Owned panels may be included in the appraised value of the property.
- The panels are leased or covered by a Power Purchase Agreement. Leased panels may not be included in the appraised value of the property.
- The panels are financed as personal property. If the solar panels are financed as personal property (and therefore serve as collateral for the loan), they will do nothing to increase the value of the home.
- The panels are financed as fixture to real estate. Panels that are considered fixtures (permanently affixed to the property) can be used in the appraisal but only if they can’t be repossessed should the seller default on the terms of the financing agreement.
If you decide to purchase solar panels, you will likely be able to someday recoup the money you spent on them. If you’re located in an area where solar power is popular, your system may just help you to sell the home quicker. If you’d like more information on our local market conditions, reach out to me anytime.
Home Tips to Help Banish the Winter Blues
Ok, who’s the genius who thought that turning our clocks back an hour, prolonging winter’s darkness even more, was such a swell idea?
Turns out, it was Benjamin Franklin, in 1784, when he proposed it in a satirical essay. According to scholars at The Franklin Institute “He merely suggested Parisians change their sleep schedules to save money on candles and lamp oil.”
Regardless of the tongue-in-cheek nature of the suggestion, the idea of “daylight-saving” was kicked around for more than a century until New Zealander George Hudson took it and ran with it.
Fitting more daylight into our days is typically welcome, but the sudden switch to darkness when we “fall back” in autumn causes trouble for some folks. Fortunately, there are some simple tricks to help us get through it.
Let Lighting Do the Heavy Lifting
Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD for short, “…is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons,” according to the professionals at MayoClinic.org. “Symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months…”
One of the treatments for SAD is a bright, light-emitting box. But you don’t have to suffer from seasonal affective disorder to benefit from increased lighting in your home this winter.
Open heavy drapes when you’re home during the daytime. Ensure windows and screens are clean to allow maximum levels of natural light to flood the home. You can also add more lamps and other lighting to the home to banish the darkness and gloom. For an added punch, increase the number of mirrors on the walls. They’ll help reflect existing light.
Bring the Outdoors in
The houseplant trend has been going on for years, and the pandemic put it on steroids. If you haven’t already joined the plant party, this winter might be a great time to give it a try.
“Indoor plants have drawn the attention of the scientific community because of their various benefits,” according to Min-sun Lee, Juyoung Lee, Bum-Jin Park, and Yoshifumi Miyazaki, authors of a study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology.
These benefits include:
- Stress reduction
- Improved mood
- Enhancement of cognitive health
Interaction with your plants is key to receiving these benefits, so go plant shopping, then vow to transplant, water, and generally hover over your leaf babies all winter. For an added boost in mood, add some colorful, flowering plants to your shopping cart as well.