The short answer is: yes.
The longer answer, of course, is that market conditions, including buyers’ familiarity with the advantages of solar, and the state of the local economy vary around the country. And there are other variables, like whether you can find an appraiser who understands solar, which also factor into the equation.
So it’s not easy to put a number on what a given buyer of a solar home can expect in terms of increased resale value.
But a 2015 study of sales of solar homes in eight states over 11 years found that, on average, homebuyers were willing to pay about $4 per watt of solar capacity. For a 6-kilowatt solar system, that’s an additional $24,000 added to the home’s resale value.
Similarly, a 2019 analysis by real-estate company Zillow found that solar panels raise a home’s value by an average of 4.1 percent across the U.S., with some local variation. That’s an increase of $11,890 on a $290,000 home.
That’s a pretty wide gap, and complicating the picture is the fact that many appraisers use a comparable-sales criterion instead of ROI/payback in making valuations of solar homes. Given that your zip code probably doesn’t have dozens of solar homes for comparison purposes, comparable-sales may just not be reliable. (So-called “green appraisers” are better informed about solar and will likely do a more accurate assessment.)
So while hard-and-fast figures may be hard to come by, the preponderance of evidence says that those PV panels will indeed make your home more valuable come selling time.
For more on these and related topics, check out our eBook “A Realtor’s Guide for Solar” here.
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