Solar panels on Rehabs or Flips (or other renewables)

4 Replies

Curious if people have any experience adding solar power (or even house geothermal systems) to properties and what you did to justify the expenses. Generally I feel like it would raise interest and could justify higher rent rates depending on location. I'd be interested to hear any of your studies related to incorporating renewables into your real estate!

@Jeremiah Leonard ,

If you own the solar through cash purchase or finance, it will add value to your home. This is according to NAR and other studies. If using zero down finance, you have no out of pocket and you can have your tenants pay the monthly for the solar system (with a caveat that if they use excess power from the utility they are liable for that).
In that scenario, you've added value to your home, your roof is an income producing asset instead of a liability and you are having that paid for by other people. Seems a good deal to me. I am in the industry for full disclosure.

@Jeremiah Leonard

For flips I don't think solar makes anywhere near as much sense. You have to cash buy the systems rather than finance (at least with the solar finance offered). While they appraise and it's definitely doable to get dollar for dollar, that's not really what you're looking for. In some markets it will make the home easier to sell without question and I have customers who added systems for that reason. 

In CA it will make increasing sense as it is mandatory for all new construction under three stories to be equipped with solar systems starting Jan 2020. That means if you're flipping in CA you'll be competing with brand new homes that are solar equipped.

@Jeremiah Leonard if your doing it because you want to improve the environment and use fewer fossil fuels, it's a great idea. If you are doing it for financial reasons, it's a loser and you'll likely never get a positive return on your investment.