November, 2018 — I’ve been in the solar industry since 2017 (Contra Costa County, CA and surrounds), but my interest in solar energy is decades old. When I sold real estate for four years back in the last century (based in Concord, CA), it was during another time when the California drought and energy conservation were really getting started.
That’s why I’m starting my new solar blog aimed at dealing with some of the practical issues rooftop solar buyers and sellers face in real estate transactions. Solar With Sandra will cover some of the things that buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals, need to know, when buying or selling a home with electricity from rooftop (or ground-mount) residential solar.
For Real Estate Professionals
As with anything new, there’s a learning curve, so instead of individually making all the mistakes, and learning all the lessons, why not share our experiences and solutions? Better, yet, let’s prevent them.
This blog is going to focus on avoiding issues caused by inexperience: after all, the trend is for more and more homes to come with rooftop electricity, so it should be worth the effort. Solar panels on the roof should be considered an asset, not a liability.
My expertise comes from working in the solar industry getting electric users hooked up with solar, so I have a vested interest in making sure my clients don’t experience unnecessary difficulties in escrow, down the road. Although I have been a real estate agent, bought, remodeled, and sold homes of my own, and installed solar panels on my own house, I am still learning about solar real estate transactions, just like everyone else.
SolarWithSandra will collect in one place a number of very useful resources, and I welcome suggestions, and written contributions and links.
For Solar Home-Buyers and Sellers
You should be able to get some good information from the resources on the blog aimed at real estate professionals. As I have time, I’ll be working on resources to help evaluate existing installations. I can also direct you to expert help (inspections, service, add-ons).
If you don’t already have solar on a house you’ve bought, I can get you an analysis and proposal based on your historical usage in the house, or upon square footage estimates. And, of course, your plans for the future use of electricity.
Want a quote for solar? Contact Sandra today!
Getting Advice About Solar Electric Options
The main purpose of meeting with someone like me is to answer ALL your questions about “going solar” — based on YOUR needs and goals.
You don’t need to be an expert on the whole solar industry (it’s almost impossible). My job is to simplify and target options that fit you better than what you have now, so that you have confidence that your future electric and budgetary needs will be met.
I can hook you up with an install team that is more focused on your individual needs than the utility company is!
I’m a California Girl
I was born at Castle Air Force Base in Merced, and spent my early life in San Jose. I moved to Walnut Creek in 1969, and attended Del Valle H.S., with some classes at DVC and U. C. Berkeley. I graduated from St. Mary’s College of Moraga with a degree in Business Administration. I have lived in Walnut Creek, Concord, Pleasant Hill, and Pacheco.
I managed the Solano Drive In, and closed the Concord Automovie (Concord Avenue across from Buchanan Field Airport), before obtaining my real estate license in 1978 to work with ERA Aaron and Tucker Realty in Concord (until interest rates hit 22% APR).
By 1980 I was selling VCR’s and big screen TV’s part-time at Sears in Sun Valley Mall.
I quickly moved to retail sales/management for early personal computers: including, Commodore Vic 20 & 64, Apple //, //c, Mac, & Mac Plus, Osborne, Epson QX-10, Atari 400/800, IBM PC & PC Jr.
Buyers might have used a dumb terminal, though most had not–but none had ever owned their own personal computer. Programmers were also inexperienced in the early days: error messages were very rare, so the software simply crashed without explanation.
For the next decade, I managed stores selling computers and software at a very dynamic time for consumer electronics. As a consequence, retailers came and went, trying to keep up. Two of these employers were located in Sun Valley Mall (Vidiom and InformationPlease), also. There were a others, too (remember ComputerLand of Walnut Creek?).
At the end of a decade of helping the computer industry come into being, I ended my computer and retail career, as an Egghead Discount Software manager, in Pleasant Hill and then in West Hollywood, CA.
I used my computer skills to shift gears and accidentally spent 20 years working with contracts (in the legal department of Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment), on the old MGM movie lot in Culver City.
In 2010, I returned to Contra Costa County to be near family.
Writing SolarWithSandra about rooftop solar and real estate allows me to do what I enjoyed when I helped people buy homes and computers to fill a need: guide people through a fairly novel and intimidating process. By making the solution easier to understand, without too much jargon, I’m continuing a career spent helping people enjoy the economic and other benefits of making an investment in something really useful.
Computers, for me, were less about technology, and more about productivity, and real estate was about all the benefits of ownership. By the same token, solar panels on your roof deliver freedom from much of the uncertainty about the “electric-debt-forever” plan offered by the utility. They are more than just producers of electricity.