Buyers Seek Solar Homes

home plugging into the sun's energyThere is an increasingly high demand coming from today’s home buyers for homes that utilize solar energy. Popular with Millennials to retirees, this green source of energy is something these eco-savvy buyers are willing to pay a lot more to have.

One recent study shows the average price for homes that have solar panels has an extra $14,329 added to the sales price- versus comparable homes without solar panels. According to a new study from The Appraisal Journal, a professional publication for appraisers, this represents 3.74 percent increase in the average sales price of these solar energy homes.

With numerous rebates available, more and more homeowners have been investing in solar, and companies boosting the affordability factor by waiving much of the upfront costs in some cases. Some offer financing that is very reasonable and can be paid off with the rebates the homeowner can earn from the project.

One example is Solar City, who partnered with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and funded an estimated $400 million in solar power projects between 2014 and 2015. The program they offered allowed home owners to install solar panels without paying any upfront costs.

Other companies are allowing home owners to lease solar panels to waive the potential $35,000 installation investment.

It is reported that U.S. Solar jobs have increased 86% in the last four years. Over 174,000 solar workers are employed in the United States.

Other Things to Know

Another way homeowners can save on the costs is by way of a tax deduction for the improvement during the year they were purchased. It is considered part of the Energy-Efficiency Updates to the Home, and all of the improvements you make to your home in any given year, which provided for greater energy efficiency, can qualify for the residential energy tax credit. The credit is filed on the IRS form 5695 with your tax return and has a lifetime cap of $500 but that is still a nice tax deduction.

Home owners can also ask their local town office if there are any programs available to assist with the cost of going solar. Derry was chosen as a pilot community for the Solar Up NH program, an initiative that is meant to cut a homeowner’s electricity costs and also help the town be a green, clean community.

Residents of the chosen community can pick from different options to assist with buying into the project including a financing plan for payments. They program offers rebates, tax credits and other incentives that are meant to offset the cost of purchase and installation.

How much do homeowner save by using solar energy? According to the website of Revision Energy, with offices in Maine and NH, homeowners are shocked to learn that often, the savings outperform investments in the stock market.  Northern New England is no exception. From a financial point of view, solar offers an 8-10% IRR over 20 years, or is immediately cash-flow positive (or neutral) if financed.

Incentives change periodically, but you can check on the latest with through an updated guide to ME, NH & MA solar rebates. You can expect a 30% federal tax credit taken when you file your yearly taxes, and some sort of state rebate that arrives as a check a few weeks after your system is installed.

With financing available, rebates and other initiatives to waive a homeowner’s upfront costs, going solar is a wise investment to make, especially when it is time to sell and your home holds greater value and appeal with buyers.

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