Implications of California Mandating Solar on New Homes by 2020

California has become the first state to require new homes be built with solar power systems. Bloomberg says, “California just sent the clearest signal yet that rooftop power is moving beyond a niche market and becoming the norm”.

California is a trend setter, so Bloomberg might be right on the money. Its graph on the fast rise of solar in the decade ending in 2017 makes the case very emphatically.

The law applies to single-family homes and multi-unit residential buildings less than four stories high. It requires those built after January 1st, 2020 to be outfitted with a PV solar energy system.

The mandate is one of four key Building Energy Efficiency Standards released by the California Energy Commission.

  1. Solar PV systems with smart inverters with optional battery storage
  2. Demand/Response compliance options including battery storage and heat pump water heaters
  3. Healthy indoor air through controlled home ventilation and filtration
  4. Tighter home envelopes with house wrap, more insulation in the attic and walls, efficient windows and more

Implications of Mandating Solar Power in CA

The immediate impact was a rise in solar stock prices (Sunrun rose 15%, e.g.) and a fall in prices for residential construction companies.

No wonder. A lot more solar power systems are going to be sold. The demand for a new home might fall, while the costs are likely to rise.

Positive Implications

Carbon emissions will be reduced: California’s goal is a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. This legislation will produce small steps in that direction each year.

Utility costs will fall for solar homes: The CEC expects homes equipped with solar to save $19,000 over the projected 30-year life of the systems.

Negative Implications

New home cost will rise: The CEC states that average cost of these solar energy systems will be $9,500. The average home in CA uses a 2.5kW to 4kW system.

At current prices of $2.80 to $3.22 per watt, the Commission is estimating the average system to be 2.95kw to 3.4kW, so the estimation seems low on the upper end. Systems for homes with 4+ bedrooms are often more than 4kW, so cost for them might rise to the $11,000 to $13,500 range.

Jimmy Pethokoukis, American Enterprise Institute economic policy analyst told CNBC:

This is great for wealthier homeowners, but for everybody else it’s one more reason to not go to California or to leave ASAP.

Maybe that’s part of the California Energy Commission’s design! 😉

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How to Sell Your Home Fast While the Real Estate Market is Still Hot

This guide outlines the top 10 ways to sell your home fast. Before we delve into the specifics, I would like to preface this guide by saying two things; there has never been a better time to sell a home, and pricing your home right is the key to generating a lot of interest in your property and ultimately selling your home fast.

Why the Worst Time to Buy a Home is the Best Time to Sell Your Home:

Let’s face it, the current real estate market is very strong. Needless to say, all real estate markets are regional by nature, but broadly speaking, there has never been a better time to sell your home.

Here in Seattle, the market has been on some serious fire fueled by the rise of the tech industry giants like Amazon, Microsoft, and other movers and shakers in the greater Seattle area.

However, there is no telling how long the euphoria of rising real estate prices can sustain itself. One thing is clear, the trend of rising home prices will not last forever. Neither here in Seattle, nor nationally.

Here is the bottom line; Seattle and many other major cities experiencing booming real estate prices are home sellers’ dream markets and home buyers’ worst nightmares. If your home is located in a hot real estate market, it may be wise to sell it while the selling is still hot. 😉

Regardless of where in the US your property is located, if you are thinking about selling it, you may want to move quickly before the market conditions change. As Warren Buffett famously said, be fearful when others are greedy.

Is Your Home Ready for a Quick Sale?

Unless you want to take a major hit on the sale price of your property or sell it at a substantial discount to the “we buy ugly houses” guys who pay cash and close fast, you will want to do your homework.

The key to a quick sale is to look at the sale process through the eyes of the buyer and their home appraiser. Understand what they want to see, deliver it on the plate, and close the deal, fast!

Note: Obviously, it’s not that difficult to sell a house with “some issues” in a very hot sellers’ market, and some lazy home sellers do just that, but in doing so they are often leaving money on the table. It may be wiser to address any major issues with your home prior to listing it for sale, so you can maximize the sale price and attract the most buyers in the shortest amount of time.

Pro Tip: The key to a quick sale is to remove as many major obstacles leading up to the sale as possible.

Removing the Obstacles and Getting Your Home Ready for a Quick Sale with Flying Colors:

1. Got Junk in Your Home, Basement or Backyard?

Get rid of all the junk fast

Hopefully you are not drowning in junk, but if you are a hoarder, then it’s time to clean up and rid your home of all the junk. It’s the most critical step to take if you want to sell your home quickly.

Nobody will want to buy a house with junk cars in the backyard, a seriously-cluttered basement, or closets filled with stuff that should be in a museum! 😉

Pro Tip: Get rid of all your clutter fast by renting a dumpster.

If you are too busy or feeling overwhelmed to do it yourself, consider calling a junk removal company to help you get rid of all the stuff that you don’t need. Fast!

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