Going solar is a significant investment, not only for your family but for the environment.
Installing solar panels lowers your electricity bills. They help you keep your lights and appliances running when the power grid is down, and they also help you do your part to lower Florida’s reliance on fossil fuels.
But what effect does having solar have on your home when you decide to sell it? Does a solar installation boost your bottom line? And what if you decided to lease solar panels?
Solar is profitable short-term.
The good news about solar energy is that the benefits to your bank account kick in almost immediately.
When you buy your solar system, the tax credit against your federal taxes typically pays you $7,500 to $15,000 no more than 16 months later.
And when you start powering your house with solar, your electricity bills will go down 40 to 70% that very first month. In the summer, your rooftop or stand-alone solar installation may generate enough electricity that the power company pays you.
When you lease your solar system, you don’t have to make any down payments. You won’t get a tax credit. But even after you pay your monthly lease fees, you will still be 10 to 20% ahead of what you pay for utilities.
Solar is profitable long-term.
Just about every potential homebuyer in Florida is looking for lower energy costs. Homebuyers recognize the value of solar power.
The majority of potential homebuyers factor in your solar installation when they are settling on the price they are willing to pay.
How much more are buyers willing to pay for solar?
Online realtor Zillow tells us that homes with solar panels sell on average for 4.1% more than comparable homes without them. That translates to an extra $11,092 on the $270,560 median sales price on a Florida home.
But it’s also close to $11,092 on that bungalow, casita, or cabin you sell for less than $270,560. Homes that are otherwise competitively priced but below the average asking price for their market get an even bigger boost in their sales price.
What if you need to make a fast sale?
Not every single buyer in the Florida real estate market wants solar. Only about 80% do. As a study by the Lawrence Livermore National Energy Lab found for the USA as a whole, that’s enough buyers that house with solar sell as fast or faster than houses that don’t.
What if you had to get creative with your financing to get solar?
Solar loans and solar leases won’t stand in the way of selling your house. Even if you had to get a lease or a loan to go solar, your solar installation still puts you ahead.
You pay off your solar loan in escrow when you sell your house. The extra cash you have coming offsets the extra cash you have going out to pay back your loan, but the net effect is positive cash flow.
If you lease your solar, you can buy out the equipment in the financial negotiations leading up to the sale (your real estate agent is experienced with this). In many instances, you can just transfer the lease to the new buyer. Your lease contract will have more information about what you will have to pay from the sale proceeds to convey the panels to the buyer or what the buyer needs to do to pick up your lease.