As you move toward retirement, you might be thinking about beginning the “rest of your life.” Whether you want to focus on your hobbies, travel the world, or spend more time with your family and growing cohort of grandkids. But finances are always part of the equation. And home solar panels are a surprising but secure option for making the most of your money in retirement and even increasing your home’s value.

Learn more about how solar panels can help increase your home’s value and help you make even more money in retirement — even if you aren’t planning to stay in the same home forever.

If You Plan to Move During Retirement

Putting forth the time, effort, and money to install solar panels might sound like a lot — even if you were planning to stay in your home throughout retirement. But what if you’re planning on moving, as so many retired people do?

If you’re a scuba-diving enthusiast, your home in the Midwest might not do it for you anymore. Or maybe you want to downsize considerably and spend most of your time exploring the world. Or maybe your kids and grandkids live in another city or state, and you want to be closer to them. There are plenty of reasons retired people move.

You may think it doesn’t make sense to get solar panels on your home if you aren’t planning to stay there forever. Because the typical return on investment period for solar panels is 8-10 years, it seems like a valid point. What if you don’t have enough time to see that return?

It turns out that having a solar-powered home is likely to provide you with enough financial dividends to make it worth it — no matter how long you live there. And it could actually be one of the best financial decisions you make in retirement.

Make It Easier to Sell Your Home

If you’re planning to move, you likely need to sell your existing home, too. And it turns out that solar panels make homes highly attractive to homebuyers, which could help you sell it more quickly and easily.

According to research from Energy.gov and Berkeley Lab, homebuyers see solar panels as a home upgrade — just like having a renovated kitchen or a finished basement. And all this means that potential homebuyers are willing to pay a premium for solar-powered homes. 

Why are they willing to pay more? It turns out that having an independent energy source is very attractive to homebuyers — more than 80% said that they value energy efficiency when buying a home. 

Additionally, research conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that homebuyers value sustainability and energy efficiency as well, putting eco-friendly homes in high demand. The NAR survey also found:

  • 59% of realtors report that homeowners were somewhat or very interested in sustainability.
  • 70% of real estate agents and brokers revealed that promoting energy efficiency in home listings is either very or somewhat valuable.
  • Utility and operation costs (81%) was the top-ranked building features that homeowners indicated are somewhat or very important.

Sell Your Home for More Money

Not only are homebuyers more interested in solar-powered homes, but they’re also willing to pay more for them. Another report by the National Association of Realtors sheds light on the importance of “green” features for homebuyers during the buying process. And it even gives some numbers to give us an idea of exactly how much buyers are willing to pay for a sustainable home.

That report provides the following statistics: 

  • 68% of buyers want an environmentally-friendly home.
  • 46% would pay an extra $1,000 to $9,999 on a home with green features that saves $1,000 annually on utilities.
  • 37% would pay $10,000 or more on a home with green features that saves $1,000 annually on utilities.

In the Kansas City area, the average cost to install solar panels varies, depending on your system’s specifications. But a homebuyer who is willing to spend thousands of dollars or more on a home with solar panels could help you get your ROI more quickly — and you’d be saving on your electric bill during the time you’re still living in the home.

And across the U.S., homes with solar panels sold for an average of 4.1% more when compared to similar non-solar properties, according to research by Zillow. On a median-valued home, that’s an additional $9,274. In Kansas City, that could be two-thirds or more of the total cost of your solar panel installation.

Are Solar Panels Worth It?

You may have felt hesitant or unsure about going solar if you’re getting close to retirement and planning to move out of your home at some point. But the bottom line is that you can still get a return on your investment. Many solar customers are able to finance their solar systems without paying any money out of pocket. And there are several available tax credit and rebate programs at the state and federal level. 

If you move out of your home before your solar panels have finished paying for themselves, you’ll likely make that money back when it comes time to sell your home. And in the meantime, you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits that come along with an energy-independent home. Whether you’re moving in one year, five years, or more, solar panels can increase your home’s value and be a great financial choice — even in retirement.

Questions? KC Solar Has You Covered

We know that planning for retirement is an important step, and we want to make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about solar panels. We’re here to answer all your questions. And we’ll even tell you if we think solar panels are NOT the right choice for you.

Get in touch with us today, and let’s get the conversation going.