Solar panels are a great way to harvest the sun’s energy and steer clear of rising energy costs for your new log home. And while we don’t often talk about resale value for Katahdin’s log homes, there a lot to be said for improving your home’s appeal when it comes time to sell. The maturing solar industry has been tracking the effect of solar systems on home sales and there’s some compelling data available.

Bottom Line: Your House Will Sell for More
According to two recent studies, homes with solar panel systems sell for an average of $14,000 to $20,000 more than comparable homes without solar. One study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducted over the span of 2002-2013 reviewed sales of 22,822 homes in eight different states. This study found that the premium price paid was equivalent to about $4 per watt or solar power. For an average 3.6 kW system, that adds up to about $15,000. A second study conducted by the Appraisal Institute showed an average 3.74% premium for homes with solar systems across six states between 2010 and 2014.

Your Solar-Equipped Log Home Sells Faster
A separate study in 2006 by the NREL found that California homes with solar installed sold 20% faster and for 17% more across several subdivisions built by different builders. This same study also showed that solar panels were not considered an aesthetic barrier to purchase, and that resale value was not damaged by the installation of a solar system. These increases in sale prices, means that homeowners will likely recoup the investment, given the average cost of a 3.6kW system ranges between $16,000 and $21,000 (before the 30% federal solar tax rebate).

Resale Benefits Can Vary Based on Location
In areas with high electricity rates and strong solar incentive programs my fare better in the solar upgrade investment. High electricity costs made a huge difference in Long Island, N.Y., home sales, with approximately 40% of solar homes in the entire state located there. One way to ensure a higher appraisal value is the role an appraiser assigns to the solar panels. Many home appraisers will assign a dollar value to be counted as income for the property, increasing the overall value. Both Fannie Mae and FHA have guidelines for valuing residential solar.

It’s great to know that investing in solar for your new Katahdin Cedar Log Home has both immediate and long-term benefits. Check out Katahdin’s Solar Ready Home program to see how solar might work with your log home design.