Financing solar panels for your home isn’t cheap. The good news is that there are many options.
Based on the average house paying $75 per month for electricity, a solar system that generates that much power costs around $25,000 to $35,000, according to the Solar Power Authority.
Utility company incentives, tax breaks and other subsidies can cut the cost in half, but even then it can take years for the solar panels to pay for themselves in energy savings.
A system that costs $18,000 — which includes installation, labor and the solar power system — has a payback period of about 20 years, the Solar Power Authority estimates.
Here are some ways to finance solar power for your home:
Tax credits, rebates and other ways to save on renewable energy can be searched by state at the U.S. Department of Energy website. County and state governments have programs to make solar power affordable, as do local utility companies.
In 2016 the federal solar tax credit, also known as the investment tax credit (ITC) was extended for five years. It allows 30 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system to be deducted from federal taxes. There is no cap on its value.
Solar lease or power purchase agreement
For people who don’t want to take out a loan or otherwise pay upfront for a solar system, leasing can be an easy way to get solar power.
A solar provider installs the system and is responsible for maintenance, monitoring and repairs. The company also gets the tax credit. Many leases have the option to buy the solar panels after the contract is up, which can be as long as 20 years.
The customer pays the company each month for the amount of solar power their system generated, usually at a lower rate than what their electric company is charging them.
Another type of solar lease, called a power purchase agreement, or PPA, requires customers to pay a set amount for every killowatt hour the solar system produces.
Home equity loan
A home equity loan or home equity line of credit uses a house as collateral. Interest rates are generally low and the loans can make sense if the homeowner will save more on their electricity bills compared to their loan payments. Mortgage interest can usually be deducted from federal taxes.
There are many home loan programs for solar power systems. Some are listed in a federal overview of how to finance solar energy systems by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (PACE)
Some states offer a PACE program, which allows municipalities such as a city, county or state to loan money for solar energy that is repaid by the homeowner through an additional assessment on their property taxes for 15 to 20 years.
The programs don’t reduce equity in a home. If the home is sold, the tax liability is transferred to the new owner.
Feel free to contact me for more real estate information.
South Bay Real Estate Market Intelligence Report for March 2019
Jack McSweeney – REMAX Estate Properties – DRE#01027223
Here are all the Stats you need for the South Bay Real Estate Market. Call me if you need my help to sell your property!
If you’re buying a home, you’ll more than likely be obtaining a mortgage, which you may not know much about. In fact, unless you’ve been involved in a home sale before, there are many things you will be learning about for the first time.
Here is a handy list of some of the key terms that every person involved in a real estate transaction should understand.
Appraisal: The written analysis of the estimated value of a property, as prepared by a qualified appraiser, which often determines if you will qualify for the loan.
Closing: One of the last steps of any sale. This is the meeting where the lender, buyer and seller complete the sale and mortgage process. Once the home closes, the home officially belongs to the new buyer.
Closing costs: This term refers to the money paid at closing to the lender and consists of a loan origination fee, points, appraisal fee, title search and insurance, survey, taxes, deed recording fee, credit report charge and other costs assessed at settlement. Closing costs usually average between 2 – 6 percent of the total mortgage amount.
Credit report: Simply a report of your credit history that a lender will use to determine if you are a good risk for a loan.
Interest-only mortgage: A loan whereby you only pay the interest portion of the mortgage payment each month.
Interest rate: The annual interest on a loan. The lower your interest rate, the lower your monthly payment will be.
Lock-in: The lender’s guarantee that you will be granted a certain interest rate for a specific time period, such as 30 days before closing.
Origination fee: The fee charged by a lender for processing a loan.
Points: The amount that can be paid to a lender to lower the interest rate on your loan at closing. Each point is equal to 1 percent of the loan amount.
Private mortgage insurance (PMI): For those buyers who put less than 20 percent down on a home, lenders will require you to take out PMI, which is then added to your monthly mortgage payment. This protects the lender in the event that you default on the loan.
Title: The home document that proves ownership of the property.
If you recently put your home on the market, you want it to sell quickly. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. When a house is slow to sell, it’s usually because of one of three things: price, appearance or marketing strategy.
You need to set a reasonable price for your house. When determining an asking price, consider what comparable homes in the area were sold for recently, which may be less than the price you would like to get.
When you set a price, you need to consider the current condition of your house and any renovations the buyers would likely need to make. If the kitchen or bathrooms are dated, the roof needs to be replaced, or the HVAC system needs work, those are costs the buyers will need to incur. Those things need to be considered when you set your asking price. You can sell a house that needs work, but you need to be fair and realistic and not expect people to pay more than it’s worth in its current condition.
Curb appeal is critically important when selling a home. The first thing people will notice is the condition of the exterior and the yard. If the paint is peeling, the grass is overgrown or the hedges need trimming, that will create a negative first impression that will be difficult to overcome.
You also need to consider the condition of the interior of your house. If it looks cluttered or dirty, it will be difficult to attract buyers. Even the lighting can have an impact. A brightly lit home is much more appealing than one that is poorly illuminated.
The way you’re advertising and promoting your home can be making it difficult to sell. You should hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your house, but only after you have cleaned up, decluttered and landscaped. Since many people begin their home-buying process online, they will rely on pictures to decide whether a home is worth looking at in person.
You need to make it easy for people to view your house. Prospective buyers want to move quickly. If you place a lot of restrictions on when people can view your house or require a lot of notice, that can make it difficult for potential buyers, and they will likely look elsewhere for their dream house.
Talk to Your Real Estate Agent
If your house has been on the market for several weeks, or even months, these are a few likely reasons why. A real estate agent will be able to tell you why your house has been slow to sell, and may recommend lowering the price, improving the curb appeal or making changes to your marketing strategy. Heeding an agent’s advice can speed up the process of selling your home.