Green Living Archives - realestateexperts.net
Why Install Solar Panels on Your Home?

Why Install Solar Panels on Your Home?

Installing solar panels on your home offers many benefits—some you might not be aware of.

Why install solar panels on your home?

When you install solar panels, they become your home’s energy source. You can wipe out not only your current energy bill, but also any future increases to that energy bill. Solar energy is clean, renewable, reduces pollution, and reduces your carbon footprint.

There’s one more benefit to using solar energy, but time is running out to take advantage of it. 2019 is the last year to take advantage of the 30% federal income tax credit you get if you install solar panels. Next year, that tax credit will be reduced to 26%. In 2021, it gets reduced to 21%. Then in 2022, it drops all the way to 10%.

In years past, some states offered additional tax credits, but that’s not available in North Carolina anymore. If you live in an area where Duke Energy is your utility company, however, they offer a 40% to 50% rebate for using solar energy.

Now that you know the benefits, what about the cost? In the US, the average cost of installing solar panels after the 30% tax credit is between $10,000 and $14,000. For example, let’s say you install panels that cost $20,000 and your yearly federal income tax bill is $7,000. Since $20,000 times 30% equals $6,000, you’d only owe $1,000 on your federal income tax.

There are a lot of other factors to consider to calculate your exact cost like what your total energy needs are, which panels are most appropriate for your home, which system you plan on installing, etc. The best way to calculate these expenses is to contact a qualified solar installation company, and in the Triangle area, I can’t speak highly enough of Southern Energy Management. If you contact them, they’ll come out to your house and give you a full cost analysis. To find out more, check out their website southern-energy.com.

If you’d like to know more about the benefits of installing solar panels or you have any other real estate questions I can answer, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.

Going Green

Going Green

How many times have you heard the phrase, “location, location, location”? Most likely, it’s something you’re well acquainted with, especially in the real estate world. Location and price are two very important factors in determining desirability of a house, but recently sustainability and “green” housing options have also influenced desirability. Many realtors and real estate professionals are starting to hear from clients about their interest in green or sustainable housing.

Green construction is gaining momentum. Even real estate empires are turning towards sustainable technology; think Durst Organisation’s Bank of America Tower in New York City. Even the Empire State Building has been refurbished to utilize green construction and sustainable technology. The idea behind sustainable technology and green construction works to promote an understanding of the future of our earth. “If there are going to be 9 billion people on the planet in 2050, you’ve got to feed them, house them, find them work and they’re going to need more energy,” says former JP Morgan managing director Doug Lawrence.

Not only can you take part in saving the environment, but you can also reduce your carbon footprint. Sustainable technology is a great way to minimize your carbon footprint, your impact on the environment, and even change your finances by changing your utility payments.

Sustainable Technology

The number of homes being built in the United States with environmentally friendly features is only increasing. From 2006 to 2010, the percentage of these homes increased from 2% to 16%. That’s a big change for only a few years!

In 2013, nearly 400,000 households had rooftop solar panels according to an assessment done by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Hopefully, that number will grow past 900,000 households by 2020. Combine those numbers with homes that are using environmentally healthy products or appliances like green label flooring, energy efficient appliances, and alternative energies… and you’ve got millions of homes “going green” throughout the country.

Environmentally sustainable housing options are increasingly common, even if a house isn’t entirely “green”. There are so many ways builders and developers can add in sustainable features to the homes they’re creating. To get a better understanding of those housing features might look like, here are some “green” or sustainable housing options:

  • Solar panels
  • Natural lighting
  • Water conservation
  • Energy star appliances
  • Renewable energy
  • Rain water collection
  • Recycled materials
  • Use of local materials

Is Energy Efficiency or Sustainable Technology for You?

If you are interested in energy efficiency and green living, you have no doubt contemplated solar energy for your home. Indeed, solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available. A solar power system consisting of solar panels is the go-to solution for green living enthusiasts.  For many, however, the cost of solar panels has been an issue. Solar Power Authority is a fantastic resource to use in order to determine whether you can afford solar panels. Check them out here, and get a free quote on solar panel implementation.  Not only will you find out local costs of solar panels, but you’ll also be able to find industry leaders throughout the country.

Using the Real Estate Experts advanced search function, you can discover what homes near you are outfitted with your preferred green building features. Optional features include:

  • Active Solar Design
  • Drought Resist Landscaping
  • Electric Car Charging Station
  • Energy Star Appliances
  • Exhaust Garage Fan
  • Fresh Air Ventilation
  • Geo-thermal HVAC System
  • High Efficient Toilets
  • Insulated Basement Walls
  • LED Lighting
  • Solar Hot Water
  • Locally Sourced Materials
  • Low Voc Paints/Seals/Varnish
  • Passive Solar Design
  • Programmable Thermostats
  • Radiant Barrier Roof Deck
  • Rainwater Collection
  • Sealed Attic
  • Sealed Combustion FP
  • Solar Passive Heating
  • On Demand Hot Water Circ
  • Solar Power Photovoltaics

Real Estate Experts

Are you interested in finding a home with green or sustainable features? Environmentally friendly homes don’t have to be as expensive as you think. At Real Estate Experts, we’re current on green living, energy efficient homes, and even sustainable options. We’re excited to help you find your dream house, and outfit it with whatever sustainable options that work for you. If you’re looking to build a home, we’re happy to help connect you with builders in our network who feature energy efficiency, or green materials.

Unsure of what updates to make before selling your home? Real Estate Experts are here to help. Visit us online.  Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at  [email protected] for additional information.

 

 

 

Neighborhood Spotlight: Oaks at Turner Creek

Neighborhood Spotlight: Oaks at Turner Creek

Oaks at Turner CreekIf you are in the market for a newly constructed home in the Cary/Apex area, you will want to check out Oaks at Turner Creek, a new community located off Turner Creek Road, just across the street from Turner Creek Road Elementary School. You can’t go wrong with the quality of these luxurious, energy-smart M/I Homes, coupled with a coveted Cary location (Money magazine recently named Cary, North Carolina as the best place to live in North Carolina, and the 37th  best place to live in the US.)

Oaks at Turner Creek Location

Oaks at Turner Creek Location

Oaks at Turner Creek is a private community tucked away from the hustle and bustle of city life,  yet convenient to Beaver
Creek Shopping Center, Streets at Southpointe Mall, and plenty of restaurants, grocery, and big box stores. You can choose from among 45 single-family homes that are surrounded by a beautiful treed buffer. Residents will have plenty of opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with a kids’ playground, as well as walking trails surrounding a winding creek and pond.

Also located nearby are Duke University, NC State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, Koka Booth Amphitheatre, Crossroads Shopping Center, and Research Triangle Park. Enjoy walking, hiking, and fishing at the nearby Thomas E. Brooks Park.

The Oaks at Turner Creek Home Prices

Homes in the community range from 2,500 to 3,200-plus square feet with three to five bedrooms.  Homes are priced from $409,990 – $505,180. Five unique floor plans are available. Amenities include open family gathering areas, generous Owner Suites, lofts, bonus rooms, and flex rooms. Each home can be customized with plenty of options, such as a gourmet kitchen, spa baths, downstairs guest rooms, and screened-in porches. All homes will include a two-car garage.

The Oaks at Turner Creek Green Living Options

M/I Homes of Raleigh builds 100% Energy Star Certified Homes to the specifications of their “Whole Home Standard,” saving you money on your energy bills while providing you complete comfort throughout your home. M/I Homes’ green features are the result of their commitment to the ultimate energy-efficient home. Each home is wrapped in a weather-tight envelope, with every seam sealed and every crevasse caulked. Each M/I home is  independently rated to certify the energy savings. For an M/I home, you can save up to an average of 30% over the cost of home built to standard code. Their ratings even beat Energy Star® targets.

Oaks at Turner Creek Plat

 

To find out more about this new community in Cary or to take a look at some of the homes, contact us today at  919-813-6449 or [email protected].  When buying a home, even new construction, it is important to have a buyers agent. At Real Estate Experts, we are fierce representative for our clients and known as expert buyer agents.  
Contact us and see how we can help you find just the home you are looking for.
Is The Cost Of Solar Panels Worth It?

Is The Cost Of Solar Panels Worth It?

Solar PanelsIf you are interested in energy efficiency and green living, you have no doubt contemplated solar energy for your home. Indeed, solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available. A solar power system consisting of solar panels is the go-to solution for green living enthusiasts.  For many, however, the cost of solar panels has been an issue.

Solar panels are photovoltaic (PV) cells. Basically, they are unique batteries that harness sunlight, transform it into energy, and then send that energy to an inverter, which converts it into electricity to power the home. Installing solar panels can decrease your household’s carbon footprint by an average of 35,180 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.

However, many homeowners are unsure whether the cost of solar panels will pay off long-term, as well as how it will affect the value of their home. If you are considering solar panels for your home, here are some factors to take into consideration:

How Much Energy do you Use?

You will want to estimate the electrical needs of your home. Electricity is measured in kW, and estimates for a home in the United States place electricity use at around 1 kW per hour. The average electricity price is 10 cents per kW. Each month has 730 hours, which means the estimate for the average US home electric bill is $73. You can use an online energy calculator based on your own appliances, at sites like Save on Energy or Consumers Power, to find a more accurate estimate of your energy needs.

How Many Panels are Required?

The size of a system depends on two things: insolation and how much energy is needed. Insolation is the amount of full sun during a given period of time, and differs depending on the region you live in. In North Carolina, the average amount of full sun hours are: High, 5.05; Low, 4.00; Average 4.71. This places North Carolina at about average efficiency compared to the rest of the country. Again, you will refer to how much energy you use in order to calculate the number of panels. The average solar panel can generate around 10 watts per square foot.

What is the Cost of Solar Panels?

Keep in mind, you will be paying not only for the cost of the panels themselves, but for installation and the electrical system required to prepare your home for utilizing the energy produced. The average cost of solar panels is from $7 to $9 per watt, which means that a 5kW system could cost between $25,000 and $35,000. You may be able to take advantage of incentives offered by your utility company or other sources to offset the cost. Unfortunately, there is no tax credt available to North Carolina homeowners investing in solar energy. In 2015, state lawmakers voted to let North Carolina’s 35 percent tax credit for investment in renewable energy expire.

So is it Worth it?

There are many factors to consider before you take the plunge to invest in solar panels. The very informative website Solar Power Authority provides a wealth of detailed information to help you compare top solar companies, calculate your solar savings, and use their resources to make the best solar decision for your budget. However, if you are considering selling your home within the next several years, the return on investment will be minimal. You will not be able to add the cost of your solar energy system to the asking price of your home.

If you want to look for a home with green features, let our top real estate agents at Real Estate Experts know.

 

Neighborhood Spotlight: Holding Village

Neighborhood Spotlight: Holding Village

Amenities at Holding VillageImagine a nostalgic village–where neighbors live in true community with nature and each other–that includes natural walking trails, plenty of green space, and safe, open areas for kids to explore and play outside. The 259-acre neighborhood, Holding Village in Wake Forest, NC offers all of this and more to its residents.

Rich in history, Holding Village is built on the site of a former dairy farm owned by the Holding family, who were instrumental in the establishment of the town of Wake Forest between 1880-1920. The Holding family also owned a drugstore and bank, and co-founded the Royal Cotton Mill.

Holding Village Lake and Pool

Holding Village features a 13-acre, spring-fed lake as its centerpiece.  With an emphasis on simple, healthy living, Holding Village features a wide range of amenities that promote quality family time in nature, like a swimming pool and play area overlooking the lake, a multipurpose ball field, miles of walking trails, relaxing pocket parks, and over 35 acres of open green space. In addition, a planned Village Center will allow for unique shopping and dining opportunities right inside the community.

Holding Village Neighborhood Details

Holding Village Builder Team

Homes in Holding Village are built by Ashton Woods, John Wieland, and Drees Homes, and range from 1,800 square feet to 3,500 square feet, with a multitude of floor plans and architectural designs.

Holding Village Builder Team

Although it feels as if you have stepped back in time in this nostalgic village, residents enjoy all the benefits of staying connected. Holding Village is proud to be a 1G community and offers state-of-the-art “Fiber to the Forest” technology to all homes. The Village provides in-home 1G internet connections by CenturyLink. With over 222,000 miles of fiber-optic cable, CenturyLink’s national network is built to deliver fast, consistent speed.

Wake Forest enjoys a reputation as one of the best places in the Triangle region to enjoy a small-town community environment and raise a family, while enjoying close proximity to Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill via 540. Wake Forest hosts small-town community events and festivals such as a farmers’ market, Meet in the Street, Art After Hours, HerbFest, and a Christmas Parade. Holding Village enjoys a prime location just south of downtown Wake Forest and accessible to Smith Creek Soccer Center by greenway trail. Holding Village residents are in the Wake Forest school district, which features excellent neighborhood schools. Heritage Elementary School will be accessible by greenway in 2017.

You will have an Holding Village Fall Openingopportunity to check out Holding Village for yourself on Saturday, October 15, the final weekend of the Parade of Homes! Holding Village will hold a free Fall Festival from 1:00-4:00 pm, featuring music from a live DJ, and crafts for the kids with Durham’s Scrap Exchange. Enjoy cupcakes from Sweet Stacey Cakes food truck, Smiles, and fresh apple cider from Bella Bean Organics. Families will have the opportunity to tour the community’s four model homes. With welcoming front porches, open floor plans, and large windows to let in natural light, the homes at Holding Village must been seen to be appreciated.

For more information about Holding Village and available homes, give us a call today at 919-813-6449 or send us an email to  [email protected]. Visit us online at realestateexperts.net.

Neighborhood Spotlight: Wetrock Farm

Neighborhood Spotlight: Wetrock Farm

Wetrock Farm Neighborhood

Photo courtesy of wetrockfarm.com.

You’ve heard of farm-to-table eating; how about farm-to-table living? That’s what residents of Wetrock Farm, a new 230-acre community being built around a working farm and over 100 acres of preserved open space, will be able to enjoy! The neighborhood will be located in northern Durham County at the intersection of North Roxboro Road and Preston Andrews Road, just 20 minutes from Downtown Durham. The Wetrock Farm Community will include nutritional food, outdoor activities, limited stress, and enjoyable fitness.

For those passionate about the environment, locally grown food, and green living, Wetrock Farm is an ideal place to live. The community will feature 141 lots with wooded backdrops ranging in price from $275,000 to $899,000. A group of smaller lots will form a walkable village around an 8.5-acre organic community farm (run by a lead farmer) that will produce a wide variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the three-season growing period in North Carolina. Residents of the community will have first choice of fresh food from the farm, with the remainder being sold at the farm’s onsite stand and to area restaurants. The farm will also include laying hens, a petting zoo, and education programs. Residents will have the opportunity to assist in the running of the farm.

Wetrock Farm Plan Rendering

 

Developer and majority owner Rick Bagel founded Wetrock Resources, LLC in 2008 to implement sustainable land development concepts in the Southeast. Bagel graduated from Duke University with a B.S. in Economics and is a member of Urban Land Institute, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, and the NC Agritourism Networking Association. “It just seemed really appropriate for this area because Durham-Chapel Hill has such a strong local food scene,” said Bagel. “It’s also perfect for this property.”

Wetrock Farm Location

Durham has become well-known for its restaurant scene and was named  “America’s Foodiest Small Town”  by Bon Appetit magazine, “The South’s Tastiest Town” by Southern Living magazine, and “The Foodie Capital of the South” by the New York Post, among others. The empty tobacco fields that lay dormant for years near Durham will now be used to provide fresh local ingredients to these restaurants.

A major aspect of the Wetrock Farm vision is a community where residents engage and interact regularly, working, learning, and playing together. Wetrock Farm will include an emphasis on social events to foster a lifelong sense of community. Examples include an outdoor gathering space for residents and families (picnics, bonfires), scheduled events, intergenerational opportunities to learn ecology and horticulture; and the opportunity to share with neighbors a new connection to nature. Other amenities will include gorgeous scenery; recreation areas, such as walking trails; a natural habitat for native plants and animals; and a commitment to block any potential future developments. Over 70% of the total land area will be conserved in its natural, forested state.

If this sounds like heaven on earth to you, contact us for the latest in development plans and ownership opportunities. Give us a call today at 919-813-6449 or send us an email to  [email protected].

When buying a home, even new construction, it is important to have a buyers agent. At Real Estate Experts, we are fierce representative for our clients and known as expert buyer agents.   Contact us and see how we can help you find just the home you are looking for.

 

 

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