If you are a typical American, you can expect to move once every five to seven years — whether it be for a job, adjusting for family size or other reasons. Keep this in mind as you decide which home improvements to invest in this year. Ideally, you’ll want to choose projects you can enjoy now, but that will also help you get top dollar for your home if and when you decide to sell.
One great example: Solar panels.
No reason to be, according to real estate agent and green home expert Julie Jacobson. “Many homebuyers appreciate green home features such as solar panels,” she says, citing a recent study by real estate brokerage Redfin, which found that green homes sell for $47,600 more on average than homes without green features.
Immediate value, long-term payback
Besides raising home values, solar panels are also a great way to save money on monthly utility bills. The panels pay for themselves over time, and in many cases you won’t have to pay for electricity at all (except for a nominal charge to connect to the local utility grid in most areas.) In utility districts with “net metering,” you can even earn a credit if the panels produce more energy than your home consumes.
Being the proud owner of a solar electric system has additional benefits. You will feel good knowing that you’re using clean, renewable power and reducing the country’s reliance on imported fossil fuels.
An easy investment
Many homeowners are pleasantly surprised by how easy solar has become to finance. The cost of solar panels dropped 80 percent between 2008 and 2013, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Financial options are also now available to make going solar incredibly affordable.
“There are purchase and lease programs for residential solar with flexible down payment and monthly payment terms. You’ll likely pay less each month than your utility bill would be, and you will lock in monthly payments rather than being subject to utility cost inflation,” explains Jacobson, adding that some lease options make it possible for homeowners to go solar with zero upfront costs.
Solar incentives available
Many federal, state and municipal tax rebates and incentives are available to help pay for the cost of solar. The best way to learn about these is to contact your solar contractor, suggests Jacobson. “Most solar companies offer a free consultation. They’ll tell you how much you can save and answer all of your questions. And the solar company often takes care of the permits, inspections, rebates, processing and other paperwork before installing panels on your roof.”
To find out more about investing in solar panels for your home, simply fill out the contact form to the right. Don’t forget to check the box if you would like one of our qualified solar assessors to call you for a free solar evaluation for your home!