A solar panel on every house might sound good, but it isn’t smart climate policy.
by James Temple | May 9, 2018
California will now require solar panels on most new homes, extending the state’s role in pushing some of the strictest environmental regulations in the United States.
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The big problem with the California Energy Commission’s new mandate—which passed on May 9 and goes into effect in 2020—is cost.
Compared with solar power plants, rooftop solar is “a much more expensive way of increasing renewables on the grid,” says Severin Borenstein, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who shared his concerns in a letter to one commissioner.
In fact, residential solar systems cost between 12.9 and 16.7 cents per kilowatt-hour averaged over their lifetime, according to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory report last year. That’s more than double the cost of utility-scale solar systems, which range from 4.4 to 6.6 cents.
As it is, it’s going to be incredibly expensive and difficult to overhaul the energy system, so researchers stress that it’s crucial to follow the most cost-effective paths possible (see: “At this rate, it’s going to take nearly 400 years to transform the energy system”).
“I think there are indeed limited political resources that can be mustered against climate change,” Borenstein said in a follow-up e-mail. “By demonstrating a very expensive way to reduce greenhouse gases, I think this could very likely be used in other states and countries as an argument against moving toward renewable energy.”
The new rule could add more than $10,000 to the costs of building a home, raising the price tag in what’s already one of the most expensive states to purchase housing. But buyers are expected to pay lower monthly energy bills as a result of this change and eventually save money over time.
Borenstein notes that these savings are effectively subsidized by other ratepayers without solar panels, net metering, and solar tax credits.
California has already made giant strides in adding renewable-energy generation, which has started to create its own set of problems. On very sunny days, the state’s solar plants can generate more energy than the system is able to use, pushing prices into negative territory (see “Texas and California have too much renewable energy”).
Effectively integrating a growing supply of intermittent solar and wind energy will require adding far more storage, transmission, and smart grid systems. As it stands, the state’s grid operator lacks basic tools for monitoring, communicating, and reacting to a continually shifting supply of rooftop solar.
California estimates that the new rule will cut emissions by 1.4 million metric tons over three years, which is a small fraction of the 440 million tons the state generated in 2015. As others have pointed out, policies requiring higher residential density would do far more to cut emissions, largely by discouraging people from driving cars.
But such proposals are far more controversial than solar panels. Last month, California legislators killed a bill that would have overridden local rules to allow five-story housing development along transit centers.
“While additional distributed renewable electricity will be helpful, California’s climate elephant in the room remains the greenhouse gases from people driving cars,” said Costa Samaras, an assistant professor of environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, in an e-mail. “Increasing the density of housing near employment centers and encouraging housing near transit, as well as the continued electrification of transportation, are essential to deep decarbonization in California.”
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Getting Ready to Buy Your First Home? Here's What To Do First? There are so many parts to buying a home, and when you're a first time home buyer, it can get overwhelming pretty fast. The good news is that you're not alone! When you apply for your first mortgage with us, you'll have a team of professionals helping you every step of the way.
How to get ready to buy your first home.
Here's a checklist of 6 things to do first.
1. Review Your Credit
In your eagerness to buy a home, you may think that the first step is to start looking at properties. However, we recommend that you look at your credit first. A low credit score affects your ability to qualify as well as partially determined the interest rate. So if you find any blemishes or mistakes on your credit report, you’ll want to correct those first.
You can get your free credit report from each of the three major credit-reporting bureaus, or you can have us pull it for you when you apply with us. We’ll review it with you and may make suggestions of ways that you can raise your score for an even better mortgage rate.
2. Create a Monthly Home Budget.
Determine how much of a mortgage payment you can afford. It doesn’t have to be an exact number, but it can help you to see the big picture and gets you ready to budget for the responsibility of homeownership.
A mortgage payment is often more than rent. However, this is because there are taxes and insurance included in the monthly payment.
Don’t let a higher payment scare you! Remember that your mortgage payment is an investment in your property. Fannie Mae recommends spending a max of 28 percent of your income on your mortgage payment.
3. Gather Your Docs.
Here’s the info you’ll want to have ready when you apply for your first home loan:
4. Get Pre-approved for a Mortgage
Pre-approval puts you in the best position when you’re house hunting. A pre-approval letter means that you have a lender that is ready to support your offer on a home --and, in many cases, it’s as good as cash!
Starting the process is easy and can be done entirely online!
Simply click on the “Apply Now” icon, and you’ll be taken to our secure online form. Upload your docs that you gathered from the previous step, and we’ll take care of the rest!
5. Start Home Shopping.
This is the fun part --looking for your dream home! We have resources to help you with your search, or you can search independently with the help of your chosen realtor.
Whatever route you choose, know that our office is here to help if you have any questions about purchasing your first home.
6. Remember the Additional Costs.
When creating your budget, you’ll also want to consider additional costs, like your down-payment, closing costs, as well as extra savings, should your home need repairs or appliances.
There are a few ways to try to lower these costs, such as asking the seller to pay for some or all of your closing, negotiating repairs, and asking the seller to include appliances with the sale of the house.
Another significant way to save money is with an FHA loan. Not only are the mortgage rates lower than most other home loans, but you can also get a house with as little as 3% down!
Buying your first home is easier than ever and current rates for first time homebuyers make it the best time to buy! Contact us today and let us help you get you closer to finding your "forever home."
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The homebuying process looks something like this: Get preapproved for a mortgage, find your dream home and win the bidding war. But before you can move those boxes in and start enjoying your new property, you have one more major step to take: the home inspection.
A home inspection isn't an appraisal. In fact, an inspection has nothing to do with your home's value -- or how much your lender is willing to finance. It's simply a way to assess a property's safety and long-term viability.
Here's what you should know about home inspections:
If you’re hoping to increase your home’s value (above and beyond the cost of an upgrade itself), you should know that the upgrades you value might not be valuable to potential buyers. In fact, you may never recoup the full cost of some home improvements, and the primary offenders might surprise you!
Five common upgrades with the worst return on investment
you thought about buying a NEW home? I have some clients who have decide to make that leap and buy a New Construction home.
With the lack of inventory in the AV I have some clients that are looking in the New Construction Homes and they have contacted me as their Realtor to walk them thru the process, to make sure their best interests are being met and not talked into something that they may or may not need/want down the road. I can go to the Design Center and they were able to ask about and keep focused on where they wanted to go.
Sometimes you get there to the design center they have some very nice designs and suggestions and it looks so cool and it's like that kid in a candy store. I try and keep them focused and on task so their final home is what they really want.
Anyway, We have been able to accept and offer on their home and open escrow follow the building of the New home and we should Close, Record on the old home and close and Record and get their New Keys.... All on 22-November 2017, the day before Thanksgiving Day! Wow, so much to be thankful for and then the work begins.
if you don't have a Realtor yet and you are looking to buy that NEW Construction Home contact me JD Moshier and let's talk, If you are looking to Buy or Sell I can use my years of experience to help you make that happen!
Thank you Paul Family for trusting me with your homes needs.
Completing Your Final Walk-Through
You put a lot of effort into finding the right house, and now that your closing is just days away, you're finally ready to start calling your new place home. Before this can happen, however, you should do a final walk-through of the property.
What is a final walk-through?
A final walk-through isn't a home inspection (that typically takes place in conjunction with your offer). It's not the time to request new repairs, either. Instead, this is an opportunity to make sure the condition of the home is as expected. Specifically, you'll want to confirm there haven't been any unexpected or unwanted changes made to the property.
What should you look for?
Make sure there isn't any move-out damage and that all your requested repairs have been made. You'll also want to check that no extra furnishings have been left behind and that everything included in the home price -- items like appliances, light fixtures or window blinds -- are in place and in good condition. Use a checklist to guide you through this process.
When does it take place?
The final walk-through can happen anywhere from a few days prior to your closing to just a few hours before.
Finally, be sure to bring a copy of your contract along for reference and consider asking your real estate agent or a home inspector to help you double-check everything and verify repairs. Remember, this is your last chance to give the property a good once-over before you legally claim it as your own.
The Home Improvement Projects
With the Highest ROI in 2018
Posted on Jan 17 2018 - 4:35pm by Jameson Doris
A strong housing market isn't necessarily all good news for sellers. As evidenced by Remodeling magazine's newly-released Cost vs. Value Report for 2018, average return on investment (ROI) for home improvement projects dipped across the board, with "upscale" projects taking the biggest hit.
The report, which measures the average cost of 21 popular remodeling projects and their average resale value one year later, found that garage door replacement has the highest ROI at 98.3 percent (up from 85 percent year-over-year). Backyard patio jobs garner the lowest ROI, at 47.6 percent (down from 54.9 percent year-over-year).
The reason for the sweeping decrease in ROI isn't immediately obvious, but Remodeling magazine's editor-in-chief (and manager of the report) Craig Webb notes that it's likely related to the strength of the housing market currently.
"It's not clear if...nationwide affordability concerns are leading (real estate) pros to question the value of renovations that would make a house even more expensive at resale," says Webb.
However, a silver lining from the report relates to when the data was compiled. Remodeling magazine put all the cost information together before the country was struck with several natural disasters, including massive forest fires and several hurricanes. Since then, building supplies and the price of skilled labor has increased, but that's expected to change over the course of 2018. As a result, expect to see the ROI of most of these projects level out by the end of the year.
Despite these events, some longtime trends continued through the new year. Remodeling is still far more cost-effective than replacement, but, according to real estate pros, replacing is still the way to go. This year, there's a 20-point difference in ROI: 76.1 percent for replacement jobs, versus 56 percent for remodeling.
Nationally, when it comes to renovation ROI, curb appeal still wins out. Here are the top five projects with the greatest ROI in the report's "midrange" cost category:
Manufactured Stone Veneer (97.1% ROI)
Garage Door Replacement (98.3% ROI)
Backyard Patio (47.6% ROI)
Master Suite Addition (48.3% ROI)
7 Pricing Myths You Need to Get Past If You Want to Sell Your Home
By Lighter Side Staff
Setting the asking price accurately can mean the difference between getting an offer quickly and having a house languish for months, drawing little interest.
With that in mind, it’s important that potential sellers block out a lot of the noise that often surrounds the intricate art and science of pricing. There are plenty of myths that may cause sellers to lose sleep at night as they attempt to separate fact from fiction.
The following are statements that can stand in the way of a successful sale.
1. ‘If we keep waiting, a better offer will come along!’
2. ‘Getting an offer right away, means the agent priced it too low!’
When sellers receive an offer from the first showing, they may be skeptical or hesitant to accept it, wondering if other prospective buyers would be inclined to pay more. Thoughts of potential bidding wars could cause sellers to want to wait and see who else falls for their place. But, remember the old adage, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?” There’s no guarantee other would-be buyers are waiting around the corner. If the offer is a fair one, entertain it and count your blessings.
When sellers receive an offer early in the process, as excited as they might be, many can’t help but wonder, “Should we have asked for more money? Did our agent price it too cheaply?” While it’s natural to be skeptical (and even a little greedy), receiving an offer on the early end of the spectrum most likely means your home was priced accurately and attractively. If you trust your agent, you know he or she didn’t pick a number out of the sky, but rather based it on extensive market research. So, be glad your sale is moving in the right direction.
3. ‘We should price it so there’s room to negotiate!’
Let’s be honest: Most sellers would love to get top dollar for their homes. But overpricing it with the intention of being willing to accept a lower offer may just leave you empty handed in the long run. Plus, if you have to drop your ask multiple times, buyers may begin to wonder what’s wrong with the place — other than the price, that is.
4. ‘That’s not what my Zestimate says it’s worth!’
Have you ever noticed how homeowners are eager to believe Zestimates or other automated valuation models when that price exceeds their expectations? Yet, when the opposite happens, they assume it’s outdated or erroneous information? The point we’re making is, these numbers can be inaccurate, so again, trust your agent over the Internet. Enough said.
5. ‘We can add all renovation costs to the asking price!’
Sellers may adore the improvements and renovations they’ve made and want to add in those costs to the asking price. But remember, not every change is going to land a huge return on investment. If you’re curious about what you can expect on those fixes, check out Remodeling Magazine‘s annual ‘Cost Versus Value’ report to get an idea of which upgrades yield the biggest bang for your buck. Also, as you’re making changes, bear in mind that the infinity pool you view as an asset may just seem like a huge liability to a buyer.
6. ‘My Realtor® overpriced my house to make a larger commission.
Agents are paid a percentage of the selling price of the home. However, even if they were to raise the ask by $25,000, in most cases that would yield an additional $1,500 in commission, which would then be divvied up between the broker the agent is working for and the buyer’s agent, leaving your agent with less than $750 more in his or her pocket. It’s hard to imagine an agent would blow a potential quick sale — and take on weeks or months of additional showings and marketing expenses — for a few hundred dollars.
7. ‘Reducing the price is a sign of weakness!’
While no homeowner is eager to drop the listing price, if time is passing and there’s been little interest, it could be time to consider lowering the ask. Remember, time is money. While you’re waiting for someone to meet your price, you’re still paying the mortgage, taxes, utilities, and insurance etc. Plus, sometimes, lowering the price can put your home in front of a group of new buyers, which could generate a lot more interest and, ultimately, get the price back up closer to where it was in the first place.
The best place to start is with a REALTOR, he or she does this everyday and has a good idea to help you get started! Buying or Selling ....Give me a call and let's talk!
Good Morning just thought I would share a little housing information.
The 2017 Summer home buying and selling season finished strong, according to the October 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report.
And although the Season has now changed to Fall, we’re not seeing many changes within the market. The number of available homes for sale remains low and home prices are still rising year-over-year.
Curious how much your home may be worth in today’s market? Reply to this post or give me a call! I’m always happy to answer any of your real estate and home value questions.
The City of Palmdale will host a free e-waste recycling event on Sunday, October 15th from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the City of Palmdale Maintenance Yard, located at 39110 3rd St. East.
Funded by a grant from CalRecycle, Palmdale residents will be able to safely dispose of their electronic equipment at no cost. E-Waste includes electronic equipment that is no longer working or relevant. Items accepted at this e-waste event include computers, tablets, printers, televisions, VCR's, telephones, microwaves, fax machines, stereos, speakers, electronic games, household batteries, fluorescent light bulbs and cell phones.
A permanent e-waste collection center is located at the Antelope Valley Public Landfill, 1200 West City Ranch Road, and is open on the first and third Saturday of each month from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. In addition to the e-waste items mentioned above, this permanent facility also accepts non-controlled pharmaceuticals, needles or syringes, antifreeze, car batteries, cleaning supplies, cosmetics, used motor oil, pesticides, household batteries, fluorescent light bulbs and cell phones.
Another e-waste collection event hosted by the City of Palmdale will be held on Saturday, January 6, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the Best of the West Softball Complex, 2723 Rancho Vista Blvd.
For more information, please call 661-267-5300