Category : Generators

We’ve Signed a Contract With a Michigan Solar Panel Installer

This is from a press release last month:

Select Solar And Generator, a Michigan solar panel installer, has signed a contract to design, install, and commission a solar roof for Jon Boyd, a local home buyer’s broker and nationally recognized home buying expert. The installation will have the ability to provide virtually all the electric power needed for Boyd’s 1966 country ranch home.

“This seems like a great match.” said Mike Cooley, Michigan area solar installer for Select Solar And Generator. “Boyd has an electrical engineering degree and has played with solar cells since he was a young child. That, combined with his knowledge of home financing, home construction, and the amazing value with the utility and tax credits, and it is no wonder he is excited.”

The Ann Arbor home is served by DTE Energy and a significant portion of the solar photovoltaic system installation costs will be covered by DTE’s SolarCurrents program.

What is wrong with this picture? Why have an inspection?

So often we talk with real estate agents who question the choice of inspectors or question the reasons for even having an inspection.

As the company that represents buyers in our area I am not surprised. But sometimes I see an issue so obvious I think that anyone in the business should be able to identify it.

Here is one such photo:

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Unless you are in your first year in this business you should really see one obvious and one more subtle defect with this installation.

And, we rely on home inspectors to find and document these types of concerns and since both of them are safety related, they may be worth discussing with a home seller for a credit or repair by a licensed contractor.

If you are a buyer considering who to use as a buyer’s agent or a designated buyer’s agent, you may want to make sure those you are considering have enough knowledge of homes to discuss topics like this with you.

Jon Boyd Broker/Manager
The Home Buyer’s Agent of Ann Arbor, Inc
1905 Pauline Blvd. Suite 1 
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
We serve the Ann Arbor – Brighton – Plymouth – Novi – Canton – Ypsilanti – Saline – Chelsea – Dexter – Novi – Northville areas in Southeastern Michigan.

News on Solar’s impact on value from the Appraisal Institute

As a local expert on solar homes I was pleased to see the Appraisal Institute announced their conclusion on the topic of solar’s impact on property valuation:

Solar Electric Systems Positively Impact Home Values

To determine the actual number for the value impact is not an easy task. And, it has very little connection with what the homeowner paid for the solar system, just like anything unique thing a home owner does to their home.

But at least appraisers now have a tool to use to get a handle on the impact of a solar system on a home’s value.

The Appraisal Institute worked with scientists at Sandia Laboratories to pin down some data that an appraiser can collect from the homeowner or the installer of a system. Inserting these numbers in to an online spreadsheet can pop out a dollar amount that the system might contribute to the home’s value.

The tool is usable for both photovoltaic (PV) solar, (Which generates electrical power) and solar thermal water heating, which is typically used for domestic hot water, but can be used for domestic space heating in extreme installations.

SolarPanelsOnRoof (1)

Adding Multi-Fuel Options To Your Back-Up Generator

In the last ten years or so our office has purchase a lot of homes with some form back-up power.

In one case a home near Maple and Wagner had a priority circuit system that was replace with a whole house system.

At an inspection yesterday we saw a dangerous non-interlocked system.

We’ve seen all kinds, big, small, safe, unsafe, automatic switchover,  manual switchover, gas powered, propane powered, and natural gas powered.

But every one of them was set up for a single type of fuel.

This has always been a concern of mine because none of the back-up fuels is perfect and in an emergency any particular type of fuel might be in short supply.

Fortunately there is an option that allows most generators to be adapted to multiple fuels. A company called US Carburetion  produces kits that will allow a generator to use multiple types of fuel. They have produced products like this for a long time.

Their current line is called the “Motor Snorkel” and here is a video of the installation process on a medium sized portable generator:

 

Multi-Fuel Options For Your Back-Up Generator

In the last ten years our office has purchase a lot of homes with some form back-up power.

In one case a home near Maple and Wagner had a priority circuit system that was replace with a whole house system.

At an inspection yesterday we saw a dangerous non-interlocked system.

We’ve seen all kinds, big, small, safe, unsafe, automatic switchover,  manual switchover, gas powered, propane powered, and natural gas powered.

But every one of them was set up for a single type of fuel.

This has always been a concern of mine because none of the back-up fuels is perfect and in an emergency any particular type of fuel might be in short supply.

Fortunately there is an option that allows most generators to be adapted to multiple fuels. A company called US Carboration produces kits that will allow a generator to use multiple types of fuel. They have produced products like this for a long time.

Their current line is called the “Motor Snorkel” and here is a video of the installation process on a medium sized portable generator:

Multi-Fuel add-on for generator

If you have experience with one of these installations please share your thoughts in a comment below!