Happy Earth Day! At The Lund Team, we care about preserving the natural beauty of North County, which is why we make many efforts to minimize our carbon footprint. From the Solar Tubes in our Carlsbad office to solar panels on our personal residences, we believe the the power of renewable energy sources.
Since many of our clients ask us, "Should I be thinking about going solar?", we invited local expert, the "Solar Queen" herself, Mrs. Meital Stotland to the office to help answer some frequently asked questions about residential solar panels. Watch the video below, or scroll down to read the transcript.
Watch: Does Going Solar Make Sense in North County San Diego?
Does Going Solar Make Sense for you? Transcript
Tyson Lund with The Lund Team here with Meital, my friend and also the Solar Queen of our area here in San Diego. We continually get conversations and questions started around solar. So the intention of this is to answer some basic questions so you can be more informed and you also have a great resource.
Full disclosure I bought my solar system through Meital.
And that wasn't easy, to sell Tyson.
Well I interviewed many, many people. I think I was on six different companies and groups. I'm an information gatherer.
Oh he grilled me. With lots of questions, yup.
It was great.
So we want to run through a few questions and make it as information packed as possible and lead you to a great source. Because what we found is that, the question is, "Does solar make sense?" It's different for everyone, right?
Yeah, yeah, so the answer is that there's no yes or no answer. It really is customizable for you and your home. Every house uses electricity a little bit differently and every family is unique.
So what I do is I lead you through a consultation and I do an analysis and by the end of that it should be clear if it makes sense for you or not.
How long does a consultation typically take?
It's about an hour to an hour and a half depending on how many questions people have. I can spend more time with them if they need, but it's about an hour in investment. And if it doesn't make sense, that's perfectly okay. And if it turns out that it does make sense, then I'll help them to take the next steps.
So what are some good questions? I know I had a ton of questions for our meeting: the initial consultation. Let’s say what are the top five questions that you get and maybe to be helpful to start them thinking about, “does this make sense for me?”
Well the top five questions have to do with the top five reasons for going solar, which are: the top number one most important reason is,
1. How can I save money?
You know SDG&E is in the top three most expensive utilities in the country. So help me save money, can I save money, that's number one.
2. How can I take advantage of some of the tax benefits associated with that? Could I be eligible for that?
3. Will this disturb the selling or the resale value of my house? Will it complicate that transaction?
So I think those are the top three motivators And concerns that people typically have.
So for me personally, I bought my system through financing. I decided that that was the best for me because I needed the tax write-off. I wanted to get that gain because there's leasing as well. And Meital is the best at sitting down with you and kind of helping you understand how big of a system and how much it might be useful.
For me, it was financing it, which essentially I purchased it. I realize the tax. - a 30% tax credit - on year one. On the size of my system, that was a 12 thousand dollar tax credit that I realize that single year.
Yeah, that was really nice wasn't it?
It was very nice.
You paid less in federal taxes.
Wasn't that fun?
That was super fun. ... So much fun; Threw a party.
That is money that you either have to pay to the federal government, or through solar you can invest it in the value of your house. And in the convenience of having a lower locked in electric bill. So, you're going to be spending that money typically either one way or the other. And that tax credit isn't going to be available forever or indefinitely. So if you're thinking, "I'll wait another five to seven years and see how this solar thing shakes out.", it might not look as good at that time because that tax credit will probably be expired at that time.
So we have a couple of years left. No reason to like, rush, rush. But, if you are paying a high amount of federal income taxes or even just a moderate amount, which most of us are, this could be a way for you to keep that money and invest it in your house, or put it in your pocket.
Yep, and so just for an example, my overall bill was lowered about 350 dollars per month. What I found was my payoff period. So the period that the solar system completely paid itself off, was seven and a half years without doing any changes. So if I'd kept my electrical bill the exact same with the solar on it with no money up front, in seven and a half years, I own it free and I don't have any electricity [payment]. And that was a really neat thing for me.
What is the typical payoff period that you see for your clients? What timeframe?
It's usually anywhere between four and nine years. You know if you are paying a certain amount. If you want to have a nice, low electric bill you could take that over a ten to twenty year period. Depending on what do you want to do: Do you want to have it paid off as quick as possible? Or do you just want to have a nice, low electric bill?
Right now, I'm just keeping the low electric bill and the savings. The original plan was to have those savings and pay it down faster. But, quite frankly, the system lasts for 30 years. And the great thing about SolarCity is the warranties, the fact that I can move it. If I move properties in five or 10 years, I can take the solar system. I move it to the next property for a very nominal fee. I think it was something like a thousand dollars, or something like that.
And the service! They were in and installed in one day with all services. So, there's some great advantages to your company specifically but I think just even getting a consultation is important.
Well so let me ask you a couple questions as a real estate agent, Tyson.
When you have a house that's being sold or bought as a solar powered home, what are the considerations that you and the buyer or the seller should have or do have when they're selling a solar powered home and how do you get over it?
So, we, it's interesting. We've had properties, we've had more properties in the last two or three years that have had solar than we've ever had in our 36 years. It's become, there's so many advantages to solar now with these tax credits and the new technologies and such, but it's different for every house.
What we try to see and analyze when we have something solar, is it owned? Is it leased? What concerns may the buyer have? And what we do, is we structure the conversation to elicit, because some people, there's only five percent, is it right? Five percent of houses in San Diego that have solar.
Yeah, [5% of houses] in San Diego that have solar.
So there's a lot of questions still out there as a real estate agent.
Do you prefer a house to have an ownership system? Whether it's financed or paid out free and clear or a lease attached to it?
Either. I think it truly depends. I think if I had to make a decision, I would have to say owning it would be better, but there's owning it via the financing situation and so and then it's owning it outright.
We've had a couple properties recently that it's owned it outright. and that makes it really easy to transfer to the next person and then assign a value to that.
Let me ask you another question.
If you had two houses, same neighborhood, same square feet, same amenities -one had solar on it, and one didn't -and you're representing the buyer…
I think there is a value there and if all things being the same, which there are typically no two properties exactly alike, I think even on a minimum in this area and being growing up on the coast. We're having longer, warmer summers than we've ever had. So AC is now a conversation piece that we are having regularly with buyers. Having an AC unit, even energy efficient, you're going to have three, four, five hundred a month electric bills. So with that reality, I would say that there is greater value to a property that has solar versus one that does not. There is a value there.
So here at SolarCity and Tesla, our goal really is to provide you with one stop shop to convert to sustainable energy. So, you could have a system with us and then we will ask you eventually to get a power wall to take you completely off grid and go sustainable. And then eventually maybe even an electric car. So that all of your energy can be at your house on site.
You never go to the gas station. You just plug right in, in your garage. Yeah, I see a Tesla right there pulling up. So fitting!
So we want to encourage you to connect with a trusted professional that we've used. We're asking nothing in return. It's just that we like to promote great people who are very passionate about what they do because we are passionate about what we do.
And if you have questions for me directly, [because] we went this route with solar, give us a call, send us an email.
Well I do have a Lund Team promotion. So if you are a Lund Team customer, or you're hearing this via the Lund Team video, I do have a special promotion, so call me. The number will be flashed on the video screen and mention that you are associated with the Lund Team and I have a special promotion for you.
Meital Stotland - 760-845-4887
Please tune into the video for the third section of video when Meital quizzes Tyson on his solar knowledge!
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