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In this week’s podcast, we answer the question of what to do with your solar panel system when you are moving to a new home.  As with most things solar, there are things to make sure to do, and things to avoid.  Many considerations in the new home as well!  If you know anyone in the real estate business, or if they are planning to sell their home that has solar already, this podcast is for them!

About Jamie Duran &
Solar Harmonics
Brought to you by Solar Harmonics in Northern California,  who invite their customers to “Own Their Energy” by purchasing a solar panel system or their home, business, or farm.  You can check out the website for the best solar energy equipment installer, Solar Harmonics, here.   Each episode we discuss questions facing people making the decision to go solar. The solutions to your questions are given to you –  straight  – by one of the leading experts in the solar industry, Jamie  Duran,  president of Solar Harmonics.   Feel free to search our library for answers to questions that you’re facing when considering solar.

Produced by
Magnified Media
Solar Cast is produced by Adam Duran, director of Magnified Media. Based in Walnut Creek, California, Magnified Media is an internet marketing firm focused on getting Google local Maps placement, digital marketing, website design, local search ranking and reputation management for businesses of all sizes. Check out their podcast, Local SEO in 10 here!
Magnified Media helping business owners master their marketing by:
– getting them more online reviews,
– getting their website seen and
– creating engaging social media content.
In his spare time, Adam enjoys working as the volunteer director of the Delta Education Foundation and practicing Jiu-Jitsu.

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Selling My Solar Home [Transcript]

Listen to the Episode Here

Adam ([00:00]):

Hello. Hello

Jamie ([00:00]):

Jamie. Alright How’s it going, Adam? It’s going great. It’s a funny day here in Northern California. Oh, I got this beautiful, perfect weather. Yes. Woo. Yes, yes. Alright. How’s everything going in your world? Oh, it’s going great. You know, every, you know, people who, we just got another client, you know, paying $1,800 a month for electricity and it’s just like a, wow. It’s a, anyway, so they’re, they’re finally moving forward with solar and that’s that’s great. And wow. You know, does he have a pool on the roof or something with them? Now? Know 7,000 square foot house didn’t mow on solar panels on the roof. But it’s highly motivated by the PG&E power shutdowns. So yes, yes. Very big. A very big house. Didn’t want to anything on the roof, but now has decided that solar and batteries is the way to mitigate going you know, going without power.

Adam ([00:58]):

Yup. Good job. I like that.

Jamie ([01:00]):

Thank you. PG&E yeah. All right. What’s on the docket for today? So, yeah, we’ve, you know, we’ve been in business now for this, our 11th year going, I might be going on our 12th year. And so we’re starting to have a lot of our clients out a lot, but clients who are now selling their house that we installed solar on and they’re planning to buy a new house. And so I thought that’s a good topic of, you know, what do you do with your solar panel system? Do you take it with you? Do you, you know, you know, leave it there or you know, you just kind of you know, hope everything goes well. But yeah, I thought that’d be [inaudible]

Adam ([01:39]):

Really long extension cord.

Jamie ([01:42]):

Yeah, exactly. Plugging in. No. Yeah. So the client was asking, you know, Hey you know, what would it take for you guys to remove everything and then bring it to the new house and then install it? And so, you know, explained, you know, with a buyer most likely they’ve seen the house with the solar panels on it and they are expecting those solar panels to be included not removed unless you specifically said a solar is not included in which case they would probably have a big problem with.

Adam ([02:13]):

Yeah. And they’d probably lower the, their prolife probably not want to pay the full price.

Jamie ([02:19]):

Well, and that’s interesting because there’s so many real estate agents that say solar does not add anything to the value of the house, but the Institute of appraisers and the association of realtors has made a distinction that owned solar, so not least, a no power purchase agreements. That definitely adds to the value of the house

Adam ([02:40]):

And that don’t mix. That makes no sense that it wouldn’t, it makes, I’m buying a house that is unencumbered with one big giant monthly bill

Jamie ([02:50]):

And it’s going to lower the cost of homeownership going forward. So, yeah, I recommended to my client that he goes with an agent who is you know, very familiar with solar and owned a solar. And really the only ones who are, are the ones who own solar. So I’m going to say, and so you know, assigning the value though is always tricky because the agent wants to get the most for the house, whether it has solar or a pool or anything like that. And so they, you know, they know what the comps are in the area and comps mean comparables. And so if there’s, I say five houses that they’re looking at, two of them have solar, don’t know if they’re leased or owned. And then three of them do not, then they’re, you know, it’s, it definitely leaves things for open, for interpretation. So, yup. It is really, really important to go with an agent that not only understands home values but understands the value and difference of owned solar versus leased solar.

Adam ([03:52]):

Yeah. I obviously that, I think maybe that’s one of the questions you should ask, right? For sure. Yeah. Do you have solar on your house? Yeah. And

Jamie ([04:01]):

Well, the first thing they should ask when they see solar on the, on the roof is, Hey, great job going solar. And do you own it or do you lease it? Because a lot of times clients don’t even know they, they just have a bill, you know. So in which case that’s probably least, but yes.

Adam ([04:20]):

Yeah. I, I, I have a, I’ve heard I had a friend, I have a friend who they sold their house and it was leased solar and they agreed upon a price and then the new buyer found out, Hey, this is leased solar, so we’re gonna shop off, you know, whatever, $30,000 off that price and then we’ll go forward. Okay.

Jamie ([04:44]):

Well, and then the seller probably should’ve jumped at that because a lot of times, you know, this wasn’t the purpose of the podcast, but it’s yeah, it’s the, it’s not the amount of the, and not the value of the solar panel system. It’s the remaining lease payments.

Adam ([04:57]):

Right. Yeah. That’s what they did. They said, you’re going to have to buy out the lease. Yeah. We sell the house in that [inaudible].

Jamie ([05:04]):

I know. It’s brutal. So we, so anyway, our client, he has owned solar and he has an agent that unfortunately is his wife’s friend who doesn’t know anything about solar. So he is trying to get as much information as possible. So we educated him, but the, the best thing to do is to leave the solar on the house because it will increase the value and it helps the house sell faster when there is owned solar on the house. And it’s not just me saying that, but if you Google does solar add value to my house, you will see lots of articles, not just from solar companies of course, but from independent, you know, money magazine and Lawrence Livermore labs at a big study on it. And they, everyone concluded that it adds four to 5% of the home purchase price to the value of the home, which is pretty significant.

Jamie ([05:56]):

So we think a definitely great. And that’s another big reason to own your solar, not lease it. And then once they do move though what’s the process for them? Let me so I say, I said to my client, you know, send me the the address and I’ll let you know, you know, how good this house is for solar. So he’s actually buying a house that hasn’t been built yet. So it’s a brand new house. And we’ve talked about solar on new homes in California on a previous podcast that builders are now required to put solar on a house, a brand new homes. And so we talked about that a little bit. And you know, the new home builders not so excited about this new added costs that they have to incur. So they tend to go with the smallest amount of solar they can, and with the, the, you kind of the cheapest solar equipment.

Jamie ([06:50]):

And so that’s great news for the builders and terrible news for the homeowners who are expecting their, you know, Ooh, we have solar. So it’s a whole panels up there. Yeah, I’ve got seven panels and I, you know, that’s going to be enough for my entire family and all that kind of stuff. So anyway, so we’re we are very happy to help him and I really appreciate that he’s proactive in this. So he did come to the conclusion that he’s gonna leave the panels on and then once his house starts in construction, he’s going to send me the information that the builder is proposing and then I can make my recommendations from there. But if if someone was just moving into an existing home I definitely look for a great South facing roof and that’s because we can get more output out of a South facing roof than we can from, you know, a North-South or if it’s covered in trees or if there’s, what about tree or if there’s an existing solar panel system too.

Jamie ([07:48]):

I can also help them with that too. But you know, and we tried to do this with our own clients, so our listeners out there kindly contact your own solar company that put it up because your market conditions are probably different than California’s or at least Northern California. But anyway, it’s a, it’s a definitely something to consider when you are preparing to sell your home is a, what do you do with your solar? So so and then once you’re in that new house, do you say, you know, you have to, don’t you have to get some kind of idea about their electric use, their electricity use before you can say, okay, do you need a system of whatever size? Absolutely too. Yeah, that’s another great, we definitely recommend, you know, two to three months if they can be there for the summer months and, but it’s just, that’s an expensive experiment.

Jamie ([08:36]):

And you know, I’m not 100% sure, but I do think that with the new home, the solar has to be installed before they can move in. So I think they have to have something in there. So we can, we can do a guest based on, especially if they’re our client, we can see what their previous usage was with, you know, if they’re adding a swimming pool or adding a electric car or anything like that, then we can, we can get pretty close. And then we can also, you know, if in a year they don’t have enough, we can certainly add more. Most like most of the time.

Adam ([09:05]):

Yeah. I thought don’t the inverters have a limit to the, how many panels can be connected to them, can always upgrade the inverters. Ah, okay. Yup, yup, yup. So if they move into a new house, if there’s already panels there from the builder, then see how it goes for a couple months, then call you

Jamie ([09:26]):

Or, you know, do not have the builder installed. You know, it’s, it’s a, because like I said, they’re, they’re trying to put in the least expensive equipment and you know, the solar installation I’ve, I’ve seen, they generally put them smack dab in the middle of the roof as if there’s never going to be another solar panel installed. And so, and some of them, you know, they might be using older solar panels and we can’t get, the new ones aren’t going to match the old ones. So it’s, it’s just kind of a, you know, well-intentioned mass. But we try and work around it. But we, we definitely prefer to be the first ones up on the roof and give the client the solar panel system that will work for them rather than what works for the builder.

Adam ([10:09]):

Yeah, I guess I would imagine you can’t even move those panels. Like if they’re already there

Jamie ([10:14]):

You can, it’s just, yeah, we’ll, we’d rather just do it right the first time and not have to charge for removal. And then you know, we’re my 99 times out of a hundred, we’re going to be replacing the inverter cause we use the most expensive inverter you can because it gets the most output and, and so forth. So, but yeah, so selling the home definitely consider your solar what’s going on with the solar panel system.

Adam ([10:40]):

Hmm. All right. Good tips for today’s solar camps. Yeah, I think everyone can agree on that. All right. Do you want to wrap it up here to for today? Definitely. It’s been almost 11 minutes. Alright. Okay. So thank you very much for listening. If you have a question for a future episode, make sure to visit our Facebook page. It’s straight talk, solar cast. Also, if you have a couple minutes to spare, go to rate us on Apple Podcasts or wherever you’re listening to this podcast. Give us a five-star review. That’d be great. And we’ll see you on the next episode already. Excited.

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