The Best Remodel to Increase Your Home’s Value

By Siena Hacker
July 18, 2017
The Best Remodel to Increase Your Home’s Value

Home improvement can be a great financial investment, but it also carries a huge risk. Much of design, like countertops or carpeting, comes down to personal aesthetic preference. Many remodels can be extremely time intensive and drag on with unexpected complications. Whatsmore, some never end up paying for themselves. 

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Amid uncertainty in what styles will be fashionable in five years, or if your future buyer will care about granite countertops, going solar is a secure way to get the best bang for your buck. Solar panels give you immediate return on investment by cutting down your electric bills. Best of all, they’ll help you sell your home quicker and and for more money!

Solar Homes Sell Faster, and for More Money

Solar often offers a higher return on investment than any other home improvement project. Studies have consistently demonstrated that going solar increases home value beyond the system cost. In 2015, the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories released a study showing that California home buyers will pay as much as $4 per watt of PV installed, while homebuyers elsewhere will pay around $3 per watt (a premium of about $15,000 for a solar home). Studies have found that solar homes spend less time on the market and often sell for much more money than their equivalent non-solar counterparts. A 2010 National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) study found that California homes with solar systems sold 20% faster, and for a 17% higher price than similar homes on the market.

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A Hassle-Free Home Renovation

Consider Kathy, a fictional homeowner who recently went solar in San Diego County, where the average price per watt is $3.38. Kathy purchased a 5.5 kiloWatt home solar system for a total of $18,540. Because she purchased her system with a loan, she was able to take advantage of the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC is equal to 30% of the gross system cost, in Kathy’s case this amounted to a tax credit of $5,562, bringing down her price per watt to $2.36 per watt. Considering that California home buyers will pay as much as $4 per watt, Kathy’s solar system would add about $22,000 of value to her sale price. Kathy’s net cost for the system was only $12,980 after rebates, meaning that she recouped nearly 200% of her project cost.


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Because she used the Pick My Solar platform, Kathy had a hassle-free solar installation. She only had to spend about an hour of her time on the project, worked with a dedicated solar expert to review multiple bids for her project, and got a great warranty from the installer to protect her investment. Kathy initially considered other home renovation options, such as adding on a bathroom or a backyard patio. However, after considering data from remodeling, she decided solar would give her the greatest bang for her buck. Below are a few options Kathy considered (data for West Coast renovations courtesy of Remodeling).


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If she chooses to sell her home in the future, it will likely be purchased more quickly and for more money than other homes on the market. Until she’s ready to sell, Kathy will be taking advantage of immense savings on her electric bill. Given the trend of California utilities to increase their rates, Kathy will only save more as time goes on. If you want to invest in your home’s value or stop paying high utility rates, get started with Pick My Solar today by searching your area.

View our 2018 Solar Starter Guide


Siena Hacker

Written By

Siena Hacker

Siena is a rising senior at Scripps College pursuing an interdisciplinary major in Environmental Science, Economics, and Politics. She is passionate about the worlds of renewable energy and urban planning. When she's out of the office, you can be sure to find Siena hiking somewhere in LA County.

More articles by Siena Hacker

What's Pick My Solar? We empower our customers to adopt clean energy through transparency and choice. Our free, no-obligation platform provides competing solutions from top providers.

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