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Green Homes: Solar Panels Push Price Tag Up

Apr 19, 2019 by

Homebuyers are paying a premium for solar, on average 4.1 percent above asking price, according to findings recently released by Zillow. While The Golden and Sunshine States command costly mark-ups, New York City has the highest percentage premium, at 5.1 percent. 

  • New York, N.Y. – 5.1 percent ($ 23,989)
  • Orlando, Fla. – 4.6 percent ($ 10,994)
  • San Francisco, Calif. – 4.4 percent ($ 41,658)
  • Los Angeles, Calif. – 3.6 percent ($ 23,295)
  • Riverside, Calif. – 2.7 percent ($ 9,926)

Recently, Zillow partnered with Sun Number, which estimates a home’s potential to be powered by solar, and projected savings. More than 84 million listings have a Sun Number on Zillow. The Sun Number factors in the pitch of the roof, surrounding trees, weather, and more, to assign a listing a 0-100 score. The higher the number, the better the home’s potential for solar.

The median national Sun Number is 78, and the highest are in sun-washed states—with exceptions:

 

  • Las Vegas, Nev. (93)
  • Phoenix, Ariz., and San Jose, Calif. (90)
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif., and Denver, Colo. (89)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio, Texas; and San Francisco, Calif. (87)
  • Pittsburgh, Pa. (85)
  • Tampa, Fla., and Virginia Beach, Va. (84)
  • New York, N.Y. (83)
  • Washington, D.C., Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Columbus, Ohio (82)
  • Louis, Mo., and Sacramento, Calif. (81)
  • Riverside and San Diego, Calif. (80)

Eighty-eight percent of buyers believe energy-efficient features are important, according to Zillow’s 2018 Consumer Housing Trends Report, with the cost countered by the long-term potential for savings.

“Energy conservation isn’t only good for the environment; it can also translate into big savings on electricity bills as well as help to reduce the strain on the electrical grid,” says Sarah Mikhitarian, senior economist at Zillow. “The Sun Number provides a starting point for potential energy savings, but speaking with a local expert can help homeowners decide whether it pencils out. Homes with solar-energy systems often sell for more than comparable homes without solar power. This premium is largely reflective of the future energy cost savings associated with system.”

Much has been reported about solar panels and their effect on home value. Eighty percent of REALTORS® report that there are homes in their market powered by solar, and California has mandated that homes be integrated with solar power, beginning with builds in 2020.

Additionally, homes with solar tend to have other energy-efficient features that often raise their value, which could contribute to an overall premium.

For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.  

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.

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Common Natural Cleaning Products Found in Homes

Apr 12, 2019 by

Many home cleaning products can be expensive and include harmful chemicals. With just a little extra elbow grease, you can save money by using some natural cleaning products you may already have around the house.

Here are some common and cheap items that are free of artificial ingredients and can make house cleaning simpler:

Baking Soda
Baking soda can be used for many other things than refreshing the smell of a refrigerator.

For a dollar or so, a small box of baking soda can go a long way in cleaning up spills. For a carpet stain, cover it with baking soda and spray it with a mixture of half white vinegar and half water. The baking soda will foam up, then let it set for three hours before scrubbing. Let it dry overnight and vacuum the baking soda up the next day.

Baking soda can also be used to help clean dirty pans; deodorize musty upholstery, pet beds and other things; and remove mildew from bathrooms.

Distilled White Vinegar
This can be used as a nontoxic disinfecting agent. You’ll usually want to mix a half-and-half blend of it with water in a spray bottle. The solution can be used to treat all kinds of stains, and one cup mixed with a gallon of warm water can be enough to clean an entire home’s floors. Just be sure you’re in a well-ventilated area because vinegar can have a strong odor.

Lemons
If you have a lemon tree, or your neighbor does, chances are you have way more lemons than you can use. Put them to good use to clean your house.

A few drops of lemon juice added to dish soap can boost degreasing ability. A dilute solution of water and lemon juice can get rid of food-preparation smells on your hands, and half a lemon in the refrigerator can remove odors.

Furthermore, the acid in lemons is an antibacterial and antiseptic that acts like a natural bleach, and oils in the rinds can help clean and shine items in your home.

Vodka
Not everyone keeps alcohol in the home, but cheap vodka can be used to diffuse smells, de-stink mildewy clothing, disinfect a mattress and clean glass, among other uses. Just keep it out of reach from your children, as you would with most household cleaners, even some of the natural ones.

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