Are solar panels going to increase the value of my home?

Thank you My Friend for asking me this question the other day, because it inspired me to write about it in the Discovery Islander where I will share my findings with all the readers.

The usual answer I came up with right away is the usual in real estate: “it depends”. I have done some reading and even asked my fellow real estate agents if they had any experience with this.

The answer is not black and white, as expected.


I think it’s a wonderful technology and I am a big fan of trying new ideas. The three most obvious benefits of using this technology is reducing our carbon footprint, less reliance on the grid, and most importantly cheaper utility bills.


I can see an argument in favour of a solar panel system to supplement your power usage. Cost of energy is going up as we have all been noticing over the years. The way that BC Hydro calculates your power bill is a 2 step system, where you pay one rate up to certain level and then anything above that costs significantly more. In winter for example my hydro bill triples, and I think solar panels integrated into my home could potentially reduce that electric bill shock.


The main things to keep in mind:

Cost - Although cost of panels and all the components have come down in price lately, the cost will vary depending on performance, durability and warranty. Other factors such as installation, permits, inspections, and any modifications related to hook up to your existing grid may add up to the cost.


Maintenance- what are the maintenance costs over time. The efficiency of solar panels degrades over time so the older panels will be perceived as less valuable and less efficient, and also will need more maintenance costs.


Efficiency- How efficient is your system, is it really worth installing it if you live in an area like Quadra Island where sunshine is a rare commodity for six months out of the year? I wish we had “rain panels” on the west coast; Or winter grey sky panels!


Location- Do you have the south facing roof top for best exposure of the sun, does your property have enough sunshine? A lot of the houses in our area of Cortes Island, Campbell River and Quadra Island have a lot of trees around the houses. A lot of efficiency of solar panels depend on unobstructed view of the sun. The panels are supposed to be facing the sun at all times for maxium efficiency; not always possible.


Permits- What are the local guidelines and requirements? It’s always best to hire a local contractor that has experience and knows how to plan a successful installation.   


All things considered, is your property going to go up in value if you install a system?


Large installations on valuable homes tend to add more money to the value of the home than smaller and less valuable homes. Some studies indicate that some properties can benefit up to $6000 for every 1kW installed and working systems. Other sources suggest 2-4% increase in property value, but these numbers are based on hypothetical scenarios.


Most of the time however solar panels do not add significant value to most properties. Even off-grid properties may not increase the value because you’re trading the benefits for all the maintenance costs and unreliable service. For example, when temperatures drop down in the winter the panels don’t produce as much electricity.


The way I look at it is, if you can justify paying $30,000 for a system that will save you $100 in monthly electricity bill then go ahead, but don’t count on the value of the house to go up significantly. I think it’s a great idea of “free” electricity but just how free is it. The panels will provide most amount of electricity when your monthly bills are typically the lowest. In the winter when the panels are not quite as efficient unfortunately due to weather, is when you need to have a good source of supplemental power source.


From a numbers point of view if someone had $30,000 to increase the value of a property I would suggest redoing the kitchen first, then bathrooms, windows, insulation, but if all these options have already been covered then consider adding an additional dwelling on your property. Is there a way to build a rental suite?

The return on investment on the $30,000 invested in a rental suite that can be rented for $800 vs $100 saving on your electric bill is a no brainer in my opinion.

  

In conclusion, based on all factors the installation of solar panels is a fantastic way of reducing your cost of power and it’s an extra added feature for a property. Theoretically the more features a property includes the more attractive it could be to certain potential buyers. I remember when hot tubs were a great feature for buyers until that trend went away and now selling a house with a hot tub can be a bit tricky these days. As more information about solar panels become available more people will be able to make more educated decisions.


I personally, would definitely consider buying a brand new house with a renewable energy solution built in from the beginning because I can safely assume that all other systems in the house like insulation and windows have a high efficiency rating. As a buyer of an older home with only certain components that meet the efficiency level, I personally would not feel too thrilled.



The Canadian government is offering home owner grants that aim at helping home owners in saving energy costs. This could be a good first step in doing some research.


https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy-efficiency/homes/canada-greener-homes-grant/23441


As you read through that government website you will realize that the promised "up to $5000" grant given to home owners doesn't mean what we think. There are a lot of limitations and conditions that one has to meet in order to take advantage of any of these programs. 



 


Are you thinking of selling your home? Call me for a free home evaluation.

Roman Krzaczek REALTOR ®

Home number: 250-285-2141

Quadrarealty.ca

http://www.islandphonebooks.ca/


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August in Real Estate

Another month has gone by and it seems like not much has changed in terms of pricing or demand for real estate in BC or across the country for that matter. It seems like things have been slowing down a little bit but the demand is still strong and the supply end is lagging behind. I love Real Estate and it's also part of my job to be informed so I can serve my clients better. Every month when statistics are released I analyze and review what's going on in the market and share all my findings. The sources of this information come from the Real Estate Boards that release it to the media. It's all public knowledge and easily accessible by anybody. All i'm doing is compiling a brief summary of each area to give my clients a snapshot of what's going on in the market. I could expand and provide you with much more information on each sector but I think most people are just interested in how much their home is worth today and also if the market is strong or if the sky is falling. Some of my clients have experienced some market corrections back in the 1980's but I was fortunate enough to witness just a short lived bump in 2009. Do I think we are way overdue for a correction? Maybe. I just don't believe things can go on indefinetely and one day there will be a correction but for now I don't think we are seeing any signs of that. The most current development is the news headline coming out of China regarding the Chinese property giant #evergrande   I will be paying closer attention to this developing story because it's related to global real estate. The company's share price has dropped over 80% from it's 52 week highs. Apparently the company is in financial troubles, and it has as much as 3 times debt as the Lehman Brothers did before the whole thing colllapsed. Will this company pull the global markets down? I personally believe that it may cause big ripples in the markets in the next couple of months. 

 

Campbell River
Slight cooling due to historically low inventory.
Inventory remains extremely tight in the VIREB (Vancouver Island Real Estate Board) area, tracking at a 21-year historical low. Active listings of single-family homes and row/townhouses dropped by 51 per cent from July 2020. In the condo apartment category, inventory decreased by 60 per cent from one year ago. Based on the demand VIREB (Vancouver Island Real Estate Board) is seeing, there is no doubt that sales would be higher if there were sufficient inventory.

In Campbell River, the benchmark price of a single-family home hit $639,100.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) forecasts that market conditions may begin to even out somewhat by the end of the year. However, it would take approximately 2,500 new listings in the VIREB area to create an actual balanced market if activity continues at this pace. The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) in August saw sales of 450 single family detached properties compared to 531 in June.

 

Quadra Island
In the month of August we saw two listings “sold”, two were “pending” and three “new” listings. The lowest price was a 10acre empty lot that sold for just under $400,000. The highest Sold price was an Ocean front property in Drew Harbour that sold for $860,000

Cortes Island
August showed some activity on beautiful Cortes Island as well, with one sold listing, one pending and two new listings. The only sold listing was a 10acre lot with buildings that sold over $800,000.

 

Calgary

Market continues shift toward more balanced conditions after torrid start to the year.

“Sales have far exceeded expectations throughout most of the pandemic, driven mostly by demand for detached homes. At the same time, supply could not keep pace and conditions shifted to favour the seller, something that has not happened in over six years,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

Detached Homes prices remained relatively stable compared with July figures, but were more than 10 per cent higher than levels recorded last year. Price gains continue to vary significantly based on location. Prices have risen across all districts relative to last year, but prices trended down In the City Centre, North West, West and South districts compared to last month. Detached homes benchmark price was $538,700

The semi-detached homes benchmark price was $430,000. Despite strong price gains across all districts, prices still have not recovered from previous highs in the South, North East and City Centre districts

The row benchmark price in August pushed above $300,000, eight per cent higher than last year.

Apartment benchmark price $253,300 nearly 16 per cent lower than previous highs.


Vancouver

While home buyers have remained active in Metro Vancouver* throughout the summer, the supply of homes for sale has declined steadily since June.

Last month’s sales were 20.4 per cent above the 10-year August sales average.

“August was busier than expected, and listings activity isn’t keeping up with the pace of demand. This is leaving the market under supplied.” said Keith Stewart, REBGV economist.

The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,807,100. This represents a 20.4 per cent increase from August 2020

The benchmark price of an apartment property is $735,100. This represents a 7.6 per cent increase from August 2020

The benchmark price of an attached home is $952,600. This represents a 16.5 per cent increase from August 2020

 

Are you thinking of selling your home? Call me for a free home evaluation.

Roman Krzaczek REALTOR ®

Home number: 250-285-2141

Quadrarealty.ca


#quadrarealty #realestatestats #romankrzaczek #campbellriver #cortesisland #quadraisland

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