Do not think for even a minute that the people who buy your house with solar panels on the roof won’t need every bit as much electricity as you are using … and it’s possible they’ll need a whole lot more! Think about how we are all using more and more power with each passing year. We have more electrical appliances and use more air conditioning because it really is getting hotter out there. The thing we notice whenever we put solar panels up for a new customer is that they immediately start using a bit more power. It’s natural. We were all raised to conserve but now that the power comes freely from the Sun, there is no need and we indulge ourselves with another click or two on the thermostat.
Plus … wait for it … here it comes … whomever buys your house will be driving an electric car either when they come to sign the contracts or very soon thereafter. Once that happens, they will need all the panels they can get along with a big technology boost or risk simply not having enough roof real estate to get all the juice they will need. Actually, this blog should be more about how our roofs are not big enough even here in the desert than what happens when you sell your solar house … but you see what we are talking about. You will need more power tomorrow and so will the nice folks that buy your house.
Solar owners in California are a few years ahead of us here in the Valley and they are reporting two wonderful things … their houses are selling faster than houses without solar and they are selling for more. So, why aren’t savvy investors buying houses, putting solar panels on them and then selling them for a profit? The answer to this is that they are. It’s a great idea and real estate mavens are taking advantage of the tax benefits and depreciation gains.
Let’s take a look at this for just a moment. Let’s say you take $25,000 to buy a solar array for your roof (we call this the “big” number). Within a year, you will get back $8,500 in tax credits (not deductions) and $5,000 from the utility. Subtract $13,500 from $25,000 and you get $11,500 (we call this the little number). Okay, now it gets interesting.
This array will create about $150/mo in electricity. How much money would you have to have in the bank to give you $150? You would ask, “What interest rate?” Pick one. The lower you go the better this calculation gets … but let’s pick 5%. At 5% interest, you would need $36,000 in the bank to pay you $150/mo. Good luck finding that today! Even at 10%, you’d need $18,000! See where we’re going with this?
Go ahead and sell you house, but leave the solar panels out of the contract. Then do this calculation with them and maybe settle on $24,000. Sell them the panels at for $24k and you double your $11,500 little number while still getting your $150/mo in power. It’s a very sweet deal for you and they get to put their power bills in with their mortgage and deduct a part of them. Win-Win!
And that’s why it works so well. You make money. You get power while you own the house and then you get even more money when you sell. The new owners get cheap power when they buy your house and their get to put their electric bill in with their mortgage and all the goodness that goes with that. This is why your house will sell quicker than one without solar. Real Estate agents are getting trained on this right now, but if yours isn’t up to speed, send them over and we’ll be happy to splain’ it to them.