Living with Solar/Wind and Bank Financing

By
Real Estate Agent with Grand View North Realty

We hear it almost everyday and we're seeing it more and more on TV ... the push for renewable energy.  Industrial Wind Turbine projects are popping up all over the country, solar is becoming less expensive and being considered more on a commercial level, especially here in the Southwest.  We all want to do what we can to be "green".

However, has anyone had the opportunity to work with any lenders in their area where an individual, who is looking to live "off the grid" and have less of a carbon imprint on this planet, finds it next to impossible to get any type of lending to be green.  I see clients on a weekly basis that come from all over the country to hopefully call the Grand Canyon State home and live off the grid ... without any electricity, natural gas, telephone, cable TV or internet. They are so excited about the possibility of being a part of something good for this planet. That is, until they sit with their lender.

It is unfortunate that wind energy will never be able to provide anything more than 1-2% of this country's power needs.  Solar may do better here in the Southwest, but definitely not in the East.  Our dependence on coal is going to take much longer than our government is shooting for (20% by 2020). Wouldn't it be a better world if everyone of us in this country was responsible for supplying their own electricity? Why isn't there solar panels on every home, school and business here in the Southwest? And why do banks consistently turn down individuals who want to make a difference in this world, no matter how small it may be? 

I work in an area that is primarily without any utilities.  You're lucky if you can find electricity here let alone all of the other niceties of living in a city.  If you want to live "off the grid", you have to have a pretty huge piggy bank to be able to do it. Most people don't have the luxury of having $150K-250K in cash to build a totally sustainable home. So the dreams of most people who hope to make a difference and reduce their carbon foot print on this earth have no other choice than to buy a home in town.

You would think with all the hype out in the media today about global warming, renewable energy and reducing the impact we have on this planet, financial institutions would get on the "band wagon" as well and start lending to individuals who choose to live this way.

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