Monday, September 9, 2019

Is your house ready for an electric car?

While they aren’t quite dominating the automotive market just yet, electric vehicles are definitely seeing a rise in popularity. More and more consumers are embracing the vehicles as a stylish and more environmentally friendly way to get around, and charging stations are starting to appear in places such as hotels, rest stops and even shopping centers. There’s definitely a market for electric cars out there, and it’s growing.
If you’ve considered an electric vehicle before, you should stop and ask yourself if you’re actually ready for one. Here are 2 things to consider: (This isn’t a trick question or a suggestion that electric cars are somehow superior; it’s a legitimate question that you’ve probably never given a thought to).
1.) Electric vehicles need to be plugged in and charged somewhere, so you need to figure out whether your house is actually ready for an electric car.
2.) They cost more upfront, so your monthly payment is going to be more—will that out weigh the cost of putting gas in your car? Coming up with 40 or so dollars each week might be easier on your budget—just a valid question.
Electrical Access
A lot of garages have electrical outlets in them, but not all of them do. Even for those that do, they aren’t always conveniently located for plugging in an electric vehicle. Either way, this can be a big problem when it comes time to recharge your car. Without convenient outlets you will have to get creative while charging, and an electric vehicle isn’t exactly something you want to risk running a questionable extension cord to. When trying to determine if your home’s ready for an electric car, this is one of the big points that you need to consider. If you don’t have an outlet where you need one and aren’t willing to try some more creative parking options to get to the closest plugs, you may need to wire and install an entirely new outlet.
Can Your Home Handle the Draw on the Electricity?
Electric cars pull a decent amount of electrical current while they charge. This isn’t a major problem in many modern homes but depending on what else is on a circuit with the vehicle, you may end up tripping a breaker or blowing a fuse. In some cases, the added draw of the electric vehicle may actually push you into using more electricity overall than your main panel was designed to handle. If you live in an older house, you could wind up facing a lot of hassle with your electricity if you get an electric car. Depending on how bad the problem is, you may even need to get some wiring reworked or have a new service panel installed to handle the increased electrical requirements.
Charging Station Issues
While the points made thus far have dealt with basic charging options that plug into a standard electrical outlet, home charging stations are also an option. These stations recharge electrical vehicles much faster than chargers that plug into an outlet, though they also have to be installed before you can use them. Depending on where you live, there may be laws or ordinances restricting who can install an electrical vehicle charging station and where they can be installed. Permits and inspections may also be required, all of which will cost money in addition to the cost of the charging station itself and professional installation.
An Alternative Consideration
To reduce or eliminate the cost of recharging an electric car, some owners choose to install solar panels that provide power to a dedicated charging station. This can be a great option, as it eliminates long-term costs while also providing a greener method for keeping your car charged. Unfortunately, there may be restrictions or other ordinances surrounding the installation of solar panels, as well. Solar panels also often have a high up-front cost, though depending on the size of the panel you choose you may be able to keep this down.
Don’t Know the Answer?
If you aren’t sure if your home is ready for an electric car, it’s time to call in a pro. Jack with the Auto House at 480-262-1019  or Armando with Azul Electric 480-694-1339 can answer your questions and help you to get the car you are dreaming of. And heck if you decide your home doesn’t fit your car—will I can help with that!  See my new website at

Monday, September 2, 2019

Multi Sides to Solar--Should You Buyer or Lease Solar Panels?

The cost of solar panels has come down greatly in recent years, prompting more homeowners to consider going solar. Properly sized panels can slash energy expenses by 50% or more and generate extra income during peak months. These are just two of many benefits of adding solar panels to your home. One of the first decisions you must make is whether to buy or lease the panels.

What Are the Advantages of Leasing Solar Panels?
Solar panel leases offer many advantages, including:

  • No upfront cost. Solar panels cost tens of thousands of dollars to install, even with a decrease in manufacturing and installation costs. Therefore, many homeowners who would benefit from lowered utility expenses do not have enough money to buy panels outright. Leasing puts solar panels within everyone's reach.
  • Some utility savings. Depending on the company you choose to lease panels from, you will receive a 10% to 20% reduction on your electricity costs. While the savings are not as great as when you own solar panels, it's better than nothing. When you can pay nothing up front, lower your energy expenses, and make green home improvements, what's not to love?
  • You don't have any maintenance costs. When you own solar panels, you need to pay for routine maintenance and repair. When you lease solar panels, the company takes care of this for you, so you never have to worry about unexpected repair costs.

What Are the Disadvantages of Leasing Solar Panels?
The downside of leasing solar panels relates primarily to their inability to provide value as a long-term investment. Consider the following:

  • You won't get the tax credit. Federal tax credits for green energy improvements are a big incentive to go solar. However, when you lease panels, you will not get the credit, which can run up to 30%. The company that owns the panels will get it on your behalf.
  • You save less and own nothing. If you plan to live in your home for decades to come, you may be better off purchasing solar panels. You'll save the most money on your utility bill and begin paying off the installation cost right away. Once you recoup your initial expenses, you can start earning money from your home and even sell extra power back to the grid. With leased solar panels, you own nothing at the end of the lease term and save less money over the long run than if you were to buy the panels.
  • One other thing to consider is if you sign a lease, and you go to sell your home: the new buyer has to agree to take on the lease. The way some of the leases are structured, (lower payments early and then the payment goes up over time) leases could be a liability not an asset. If you buy them out right, (even if you get a loan for them) it actually adds value to your home, and the loan has to be paid off before the transfer can be done, so then you are freed of the debt, without out of pocket costs.
  • Bottom line, it is complicated, don't just talk with solar companies, contact me and I can help you weigh out the perks VS the liabilities. But whatever you decide to do- just make sure you understand both sides of Solar.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Are single family homes going the way of the dodo bird?

 Now if you know me, I am not one to cry the sky is falling, but I can see a troubling trend that I feel must be said. 
**This blog is a bit long- but hopefully will make you think.** 

Many buyers are wondering where to find houses for sale in today’s market. It’s a true dilemma. We see an increase in buyer demand, but the supply available for purchase isn’t keeping up. There is so much construction that you see all over the valley, but a majority of it is multifamily housing, not single-family homes.
So, is that a good thing, or a bad thing?  Well depend on where you are at in your life, and your needs the answer varies. Starting out in life, a condo is better than an apt, because you are building equity and not paying someone else mortgage.  But as you get married, and your family grows, you may want to trade that urban condo in for a single-family home, so you kids can play in the backyard and you have more space.  If your kids have all left and you may have plans of travel and to simplify your life. When that is the case, then a condo may fit your needs just right. 
Now, with all that said, this graph is very interesting, as it is clearly showing a gap that the builders haven’t filled. The gap is with over 91 million millennials and the start of Gen Z (65 million) starting to buy homes, we are going to find ourselves in a precarious situation of not having enough room to house all these folks- if the builders, the cities and the states don’t step it up!  Just last month Oregon has stepped up to legislate against single family homes, Denver has made laws to entice builders to only build multi family properties, so will others in the future? This poses a big question: “Are single family homes going the way of the dodo bird? 

The number of new single family housing permits issued prior to the great recession in 2006ish-2010ish increased for 15 years until 2005 (from 1.12 million in 1990 to a pre-recession peak of 2.16 million in 2005). According to Apartment List- (see picture)
“From 1990 to 2005, the number of single-family permits issued more than doubled, while the number of multi-family permits grew by 49 percent.”
When the housing market crashed, the number of new homes permitted decreased to its lowest level in 2009.Since then, supply and demand have been out of balance when it comes to new construction. According to the same report;
“Construction of single-family homes has recovered much more slowly — the number of single-family housing units permitted in 2018 was barely half the number permitted in 2005.”
Why is new construction so important? As the U.S. population increases, there is also an increase in the need for new homes. Today, new construction is not keeping up with the increase in the nation’s population. The report continues:
“The total number of residential housing units permitted in 2018 was roughly the same as the number permitted in 1994, when the country’s population was 20 percent less than it is today.”
Essentially, the dip in home building coupled with the steadily increasing U.S. population means there is now a selling opportunity for homeowners willing to list their current houses.

Bottom Line
If you’re considering selling your house to move up, now is a great time to get a positive return on your investment in a market with high demand. But be ready to scourer the valley for the right home to move into.  There are products out there to help with these situations- so contact me to help guide you! 

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Caring for Potted Plants in the Arizona Summer Heat

Having plants on a patio or up a walkway can be delightful and welcoming.  But it can be tough caring for potted plants during the scorching summer πŸ₯΅Here are a few tips to help you succeed. πŸ˜Š Remember they may need to be watered two time a day to keep up with the evaporation that is happening. 

Here are some great tips! 
🌿Pot up. Transplanting into larger containers will increase rooting space and provide a larger reservoir for moisture. Use a quality potting mix, and consider adding water-holding crystals to the soil mix.⁣

🌴Raise up. Place rubber spacers or shims underneath your pot to lift it up off the ground and prevent the heat from your pavers, concrete or gravel radiating up into the pot. ⁣

🌡Group containers. Groupings not only look better, but also allow the pots to shade each other, decreasing the amount of sun that hits their sides, thus reducing evaporation and unnecessary water loss.⁣

🌺Move pots to cooler locations. Place containers where they receive some shade during the hottest part of the day. This usually won't reduce their performance, but it will cool the plants and reduce water needs. Moving containers off or away from hot pavement will also help.⁣

🌳Place liners or catch trays underneath. Doing this will allow excess water to be absorbed back into the pot through the drainage holes. Just make sure the water doesn't stand too long. Overly-wet soil could promote root disease.⁣

πŸ’§Water effectively. When you water, make the most of your efforts by taking care to ensure the root ball is thoroughly wet. That may take several passes with the hose.⁣

πŸ’¦Install drip irrigation. Connect the system to your automatic controller, and you can even water while you're on vacation.⁣

🍊Fertilize regularly. Replace lost soil nutrients with regular applications of a complete fertilizer.⁣

🐜Protect from insects. Control insects with a product labeled for use on houseplants, following label instructions.⁣