Going Green in 97219>Question Details

Tania, Other/Just Looking in 97035

If I wanted to look for homes with solar panels in Portland Oregon, is there a website I can search on?

Asked by Tania, 97035 Tue May 12, 2009

I would prefer to buy a home with solar panels instead of try and retro fit my home. Is there a website that I can search for that criteria and other green features?

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Joe Menashe’s answer
A real estate agent should be able to search by key-word "solar" in the search parameters to find listings that are offering either solar heat or solar hot water. I don't think that you would have the same access to find this as an agent would have.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009
I see based on the answers given - the Portland MLS allows searches for multiple types of "Green" elements...

I am here in Florida... Just looked for "solar" or "green" - results were "Solar St" and "Green Ct"
In other words - these search options do not exist here...

Is good one for the suggestion box...


Web Reference: http://www.garyyoungman.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 29, 2014
Thanks for the question and the answers...
Flag Tue Jul 29, 2014
Just recently RMLS, the main Portland Housing listing service, updated their green search options. You can search at RMLS.com, but Realtors will have more green options to search through. We can literally check for over 20 different green features by a very effective search filter.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 29, 2010
Tania, if you buy a house with the solar panels on it you will not receive the tax credit unless it is a new home. Most home owners put them on homes they expect to be in a while since the payback is 5-15 years. If you look for homes with solar on it what floor plan do you want? As a home owner who has had 2 solar systems on 2 homes I would find my dream home and then see if you can adapt solar to it. To get the many tax credits they have really made it hard if you have shading now where before it was not a big deal. As others have said the tax credits increased this year so solar is more affordable and the pay back is getting shorter. From an installation it is not really hard to install a system. I am an eco-broker and currently studying for my LEED AP test to become certified. I would love to talk with you further and I can show and find homes that have solar panels on them.

Tom Inglesby, Broker
ABR,CRS, EA S.T.A.R eco-broker
RE/MAX Equity Group Inc
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009
Web Reference: http://www.calldirk.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 12, 2009
Google Earth and Microsoft Virtual Earth is available on many Realtors websites and you can see them sometimes.

Or you could try my website where key words are searched in each listing for any term you want. I just did a Master search for the word "Solar" and nailed down quite a few. This is not all of them but sure a far cry better than the typical site:

Check this map and than drag it around and as you do homes with Solar elements will come up!

Great question Tania and I am going to request that our Board of Realtors add that field as a searchable choice in the future.

All my best!

Dirk Knudsen
Re/max Hall of Fame
Web Reference: http://www.calldirk.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 12, 2009
Thanks for your question Tania,

I want to point out to you that its not so easy to find solar-ready homes already existing. You might want to also know you can take advantage of available tax credits and have your home retro-fitted. check out this web site http://www.solarnoworegon.org

A typical solar water heating system costs $6,500–$10,000. For a solar electric system, the cost depends on the size of the system and the ease of installation, with an average cost range of $8,000–$11,000 for each kilowatt (kW) of capacity. However, incentives and tax credits can cover up to 70% of the cost for both types of systems.

Energy tax credits are available for residential taxpayers through Oregon Department of Energy and the federal government. In addition, cash incentives are available from Energy Trust of Oregon for eligible Oregonians. Water heating incentives are available to Oregon customers who heat their water with electricity from Portland General Electric or Pacific Power or gas from NW Natural or Cascade Natural Gas. Solar electric incentives are available to Oregon customers of PGE and Pacific Power.

If you are located in an area not served by these utilities, cash incentives, rebates and financing may still be available to you. Go to Solar Oregon's incentives page to learn more.

Tax credits, incentives and financing are as follows:

Oregon and federal tax credits and Energy Trust incentives are subject to change. Please visit each organization's Web site to learn the most up-to-date information.

Solar Electric Solar Water Heating
Solar electric

Tax credits
Oregon: $3.00 per watt, up to $6,000 ($1,500 claimed per year over 4 years)
Federal: 30% of installed cost less cash incentives

Energy Trust incentive
Up to $20,000, based on rated capacity of solar panels in wattsDC
PGE customers: $2.25 per wattDC
Pacific Power customers: $2.00 per wattDC

Take advantage of low-interest rate, no-fee financing with GreenStreet Lending through Umpqua Bank (an Equal Housing Lender).

I hope this helps you...If you still want to look for homes with solar panels I'd have to (as would any agent) do a hands on custom search as our RMLS web site doesn't have a specific item we can indicate as homes with solar panels. The RMLS is constantly changing and updating its site so I anticipate it will be added eventually as they get more green-savvy.

Call me if you need assistance with your search. I don't mind at all going into depth with my service to my clients. Contact me directly (contact below) if you'd like my help!

June Lizotte, Real Estate Broker
Providing REAL Service
Prudential NW Properties
6400 SE Lake Rd., Suite 200
Portland, OR 97222
Web Reference: http://www.junelizotte.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 12, 2009
Those kinds of features are best searched for by your professional Realtor. You could use sites such as Trulia and Zillow to maybe catch a keyword search but for best results, shoot me an email or call. I'm available right now at 503-495-3570.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 12, 2009
Hello Tania and thanks for your question.

Unfortunately, since choosing to install solar panels is not yet mandated in most California cities, there are not enough homes with solar panels available for sale to constitute the development of a website or a subcategory in most MLS service sites here. I see, however, from the answers below, that you can search the MLS in your area, and look for mention of solar panels or pictures of panels.

As for new housing, I was surprised to learn that there were so few "green" housing projects in as environmentally conscious a state as Oregon. In reviewing the two major "green building" organizations, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Green Program at http://www.nahbgreen.org and the US Green Building Council (UGBC), the organization that provides the coveted "LEED" certification at http://www.greenbuildingcouncil.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=147… there does not appear to be many homes that are "green" in Portland, Oregon. In fact, there are currently no NAHB green program participants in Oregon, and only a handful of homes that are LEED certified, and they are (with two exceptions) mostly custom built, single homes with green materials. Perhaps your question and those of others interested in green housing might spark a rise in more renewable housing materials and green homes in the future.

In the meantime, if you cannot find a home that you like with solar or PV (photo-voltaic) panels on your home, considering installing new panels at your current home. The new panels are more efficient, lightweight and skinnier than the previous versions, and, in many states, the installation of panels qualifies for energy rebates or tax credits, and in 2009, qualified PV projects can qualify for 30% tax credit on the home. If you're in the mood for something even "cooler", consider solar "shingles" for your home These lightweight PV shingles install on the home like regular roof shingles and, unlke the boxed PV panels, are hardly visible to the regular passerby. You can view more information about PV shingles at http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/want_pv.html.

Good luck and thanks again for your question.

Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
San Jose, CA

Web Reference: http://gracemorioka.areaprorealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 12, 2009
Tania: As my fellow agents have stated, we can do a limited search on our multiple listing service to provide you with homes that have energy efficient certification status such as, Energy Star, Earth Advantage, LEED certification, solar heat, solar water etc. - if the listing agent has provided the correct info to RMLS. If you provide me with more info about your perimeters I can set you up to receive listings direct to your email address. In the interim here are a few good sites for quality information concerning solar uses: http://www.solaroregon.org http://www.solarnoworegon.org and http://www.energytrust.org Just copy the link and visit the sites when you can. If I can help, pls. let me know
Web Reference: http://www.solarnow.org
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 12, 2009
The RMLS (Regional Multiple Listing Service) sorts for "green," which should include solar along with everything else green. Unfortunately, the public site doesn't have those parameters. Do you know an agent or an appraiser? Either of them can do the RMLS search for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 12, 2009
Hey Tania,

Realtors, like myself, can search specifically for homes with solar panels and other green features through their control panel with RMLS. They can then send you the homes that come up in a format that will let you look at the pictures, address, and other home details. It's pretty great, actually!

Happy Hunting,

Web Reference: http://KatieCox.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 12, 2009
Hi Tania,

I suggest you research http://www.sunsmarthomes.com. The architect for those homes is reasonable, and available. She readily answers questions in a friendly and open manner, never up selling you....and providing good information that will suit your specific situation. We don't have a large enough market selection of these type of homes yet, but I am sure that will be coming and when it does it will be easier to search for this specifically and generically. But visit their website.....I think you will find it very helpful. And without obligation, you can communicate with Kathryn and Steve Gray. Great, honest souls.

I hope this is helpful!
Karla Divine, Broker
Divine NW REalty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 12, 2009
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