I’ve been living in a gated community now for almost 7 years. I’ve enjoyed it but there are disadvantages – close in living, homeowners associations, traffic and tourists, and a lack of space / seclusion. One of the options I’m considering for a real estate investment is to rent out my current house and buy another place I’ll enjoy more. My current place fits perfect as a long term rental property based on the research I’ve done so far, and a new house will give me the opportunity to do some things I can’t do in a covenant based community.
One of the things I’d really like to do is go solar for electric power. In the community I current live, I can’t install panels on the roof as it’s a violation of rules and regulations, and I don’t have a large enough back yard to install the more advanced stand-alone photovoltaic tracking systems. A new house on a plot of land would allow me to do so. I also think it would make for a really cool technology experiment in green living.
So I’m looking at good property I can build on and existing homes on nice chunks of acreage (1-10 acres would be nice). As far as solar goes, it’s actually pretty easy to do, there are various different types of residential system to choose from, each providing different levels of energy output. The more energy out, the higher the cost and space requirements. Initial investments range from 10K to 50K, with a return that should pay for the investment over a period of 10-15 years. After that you’re making money off it. Plus, heck, going green feels good, and hopefully drops your carbon footprint into negative digits.
If you’re curious here are some links to companies and sites that provide information on the technology and systems. It’s a basic list at this point, but I’ll be updating it with more information as I continue the research.
General Information –
Florida Solar Energy Center
Provider Directories –
Florida Solar Energy Industry Association
National Solar Provider Directory
Example Systems and Cost –
Home Solar Solutions
Full Circle Solar
Government Programs –
State of Florida $20K installation rebate – This program has been so popular the initial budget was met, there’s now a waiting list to receive it.
Federal Solar Tax Credit – Enacted by Bush 2005, and extended recently through 2008, a 30% tax credit on the purchase of solar voltaic systems.