New Appraisal Tool for Solar-Powered Properties

February 6, 2012

Appraisers, real estate professionals, and loan underwriters now have access to a new resource that allows them to more accurately assign value to photovoltaic (PV) systems and keep them from being undervalued — or overlooked completely — in property deals. 

PV Value uses an Excel spreadsheet, tied to real-time lending data and market fluctuations, to assess the worth of a home's solar-power system.  The electronic form is the brainchild of Sandia National Laboratories and Solar Power Electric, a solar integration firm.  According to co-developer Geoff Klise of Sandia, "Previous methods for appraising PV installations on new or existing construction have been challenging because they were not using standard appraisal practices." 

Klise explains that appraisers usually determine the value of a home improvement based on similar properties with like improvements, as well as market conditions.  "If there aren't any PV systems nearby," he notes, "there is no way to make an improvement comparison."

Source: "New Tool Standardizes Appraisals for Solar-Powered Properties," MortgageOrb.com (02/03/12)

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