The March for Solar Energy to Power Homes
July 17, 2015 – 3:43 pm | Comments Off on The March for Solar Energy to Power Homes

By Adriana Espinosa, BDX
Looking for clean and sustainable energy? Look no further than the sun.
Many homeowners look into solar panels in an effort to source clean energy to power their homes. The added benefit of …

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The March for Solar Energy to Power Homes
July 17, 2015 – 3:43 pm | Comments Off on The March for Solar Energy to Power Homes

solar panel

By Adriana Espinosa, BDX

Looking for clean and sustainable energy? Look no further than the sun.

Many homeowners look into solar panels in an effort to source clean energy to power their homes. The added benefit of lower utility costs make solar panels a lucrative option for homeowners interested in saving.

With dates tracing back to 1876, solar power is not a new concept, but it has not been until recently that solar energy has hit mainstream news. With the help of recent price reductions, tax incentives, and faster installation, solar panels are becoming a more feasible option for residential use than ever before.

The advantages are clear – clean energy for cheaper. Recent numbers show that solar installation costs have already dropped 73 percent since 2006. With costs continually dropping, PV installation increased 41 percent in 2013.

As the interest for solar reaches new heights, nationally-acclaimed builders are taking notice.

Solar Impacts Housing Industry

With the solar industry growing 34 percent and its residential division growing 51 percent during 2013, the housing industry has been affected dramatically. Home builders now have the advantage to include solar panels in the construction of their homes.

Lennar for instance, now offers the option of solar panel installation during construction. As Kris Hudson from the Wall Street Journal reports, it is cheaper to install solar panels during the construction phase of a home than retrofitting an existing home with solar panels.

Lennar is not the only builder taking advantage of this opportunity. Home builders KB Home and Meritage Corp. are joining the solar effort by offering their own solar panel options as well. It is clear home builders have much to gain from the solar industry.

No Huge Rush for Solar Quite Yet                                      

In an effort to measure the influence of solar energy on current home decisions, BDX used its New Home Shopper Insights focus group to gain leads into what the housing market is really thinking.

The Home Insights panel expressed that despite the advantages of solar power, many homeowners are hesitant to invest in them because they feel the upfront costs are too great to consider, and their return will not be profitable.

New Home Shopper panelist, Christine from Michigan, expresses her reluctance for solar panels: “I love the idea of solar panels, and I would be very interested in getting some for our house. What is holding us back is the price tag on the purchase and installation. We feel like we would not get a good enough return on them.”

Ricky, a resident of Arizona, expresses similar reservations: “They can be a great thing if you live in a place with lots of sun like here in Arizona. The issues that come up though are the cost to install and maintain them once they are in place. Some people qualify for rebates and other discounts while others with older homes do not. I have thought about using them myself but the issue is with the rebates. (They) just cost too much to put in.”

With 2014’s top solar states spreading all over the map from California, Texas, New York, and Hawaii, the evident uncertainty in solar panels could be a result of the fluctuating installation costs due to varying rates dependent on the geographic area of homeowners.

Measuring the Cost of Solar Panels

According to HGTV’s True Cost of Solar Power, shoppers need to start with a budget to determine how much of their house will be converted to solar energy. With this, the appropriate system can be installed. Before federal and local tax incentives are deducted, the initial cost of solar panels can go up towards $50,000 for a 6.25 kWh system.

Factoring in the average payback period ranges from 5 to 10 years, it is clear why many homeowners might be reluctant to invest in solar panels right now.

Making Solar Energy More Affordable

The missing link to making solar panels more affordable might be the financing options available to those interested.

As reported by Planet Money’s How Solar Got Cheap, Solar City, a major solar energy company that installs solar panels for residential use, provides a payment option where residents do not have to shell out tens of thousands of dollars in upfront costs. Solar City offers a 20-year contract where homeowners pay their solar panels in monthly payments.

How does this work? As Jacob Goldstein and David Kestenbaum from Planet Money explain, Solar City owns the solar panels, and homeowners pay Solar City for using them in monthly cycles over the course of 20 years resulting in savings of around 40-50 percent.

Similar to Solar City, Lennar also offers financing options for its buyers. Lennar gives prospects the option to purchase solar panels or rent the system and pay for the power generated from them through Lennar’s affiliated party, SunStreet Energy Group. Its 20-year leasing agreement guarantees savings of 20 percent every month.

While the 20-year cost may exceed the initial upfront cost of installation, depending on the geographic area, it does make paying for solar energy more manageable by eliminating expensive initial costs.

The Future of Solar Energy

While solar technology continues to grow, companies have jumped in to expand the reach of solar energy.

Recently, Tesla’s Powerwall made news as Tesla Motors endeavors to get homes completely off the utility grid by supplementing solar panels with house batteries that can store solar energy harnessed from the solar panels creating even greater savings.

With processing speed doubling every two years, sooner or later more homes will be equipped with solar panels. Even the White House has installed solar panels.

It is vital for builders to remain in the lead of the current market trends for solar power. Considering the momentous growth rate of solar energy, the time for builders to provide solar energy for prospective homeowners has never been better.

Builders interested in conducting research through the New Home Shopper Insights panel can get more information by contacting Info@theBDX.com.   

How to Stop Spam Bots from Skewing Your Website Analytics
July 15, 2015 – 4:04 pm | Comments Off on How to Stop Spam Bots from Skewing Your Website Analytics
How to Stop Spam Bots from Skewing Your Website Analytics

Builders beware! Have you noticed any uninvited guests crawling around your Google Analytics account? If you have seen a sudden increase in website traffic, for instance a jump as high as 80%, this could be …

New Case Study: Robertson Homes
July 14, 2015 – 9:09 am | Comments Off on New Case Study: Robertson Homes
New Case Study: Robertson Homes

Robertson Homes has continued to be a major force in both condominium and single-family home developments and has developed over 40 communities in southeastern Michigan – having received many awards over the years as a …

New Home Source, Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal Win Top Honors at the 65th Annual Journalism Awards of The National Association of Real Estate Editors
July 2, 2015 – 12:46 pm | Comments Off on New Home Source, Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal Win Top Honors at the 65th Annual Journalism Awards of The National Association of Real Estate Editors
New Home Source, Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal Win Top Honors at the 65th Annual Journalism Awards of The National Association of Real Estate Editors

New Home Source tied with Bloomberg News for top honors in the 65th Annual Journalism Awards from the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) with seven awards each. The Wall Street Journal was second …

Home Automation: Responsive Technology Changing How We Engage With Our Homes
June 19, 2015 – 12:45 pm | Comments Off on Home Automation: Responsive Technology Changing How We Engage With Our Homes
Home Automation: Responsive Technology Changing How We Engage With Our Homes

By Adriana Espinosa, BDX
As the Internet of Things matures, home automation is disrupting how we interact with our homes in dramatic ways.
New home technology allows homeowners to control, program, and monitor homes to exact preferences …

BDX University Summer Webinar Preview
June 17, 2015 – 8:59 am | Comments Off on BDX University Summer Webinar Preview
BDX University Summer Webinar Preview

BDX hosts many free educational webinars to keep our builders up-to-speed on the latest Digital Marketing trends. If you ever have any suggested topics, we would love to hear them at Info@theBDX.com.
Here are our upcoming …

A New Milestone for NewHomeSource.com
May 21, 2015 – 10:12 am | Comments Off on A New Milestone for NewHomeSource.com
A New Milestone for NewHomeSource.com

Did you know that 35% of shoppers who searched for homes on New Home Source visited a builder within a week? In March 2015, NewHomeSource.com, the #1 new home site, shattered a 15-year old record …

Getting The Online Reviews You Want
May 12, 2015 – 12:21 pm | Comments Off on Getting The Online Reviews You Want
Getting The Online Reviews You Want

A study by BrightLocal — an online agency, providing local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools — showed that nearly 9 out of 10 consumers read reviews to determine the quality of a local business, and …

Link Building Strategies to Increase Your Domain Authority
May 6, 2015 – 2:14 pm | Comments Off on Link Building Strategies to Increase Your Domain Authority
Link Building Strategies to Increase Your Domain Authority

If you engage in any type of online marketing, you have probably heard of link building. You may have been contacted on LinkedIn by a company offering to build links, or seen link building sold …

Case Study: Adroit Development
May 1, 2015 – 9:04 am | Comments Off on Case Study: Adroit Development
Case Study: Adroit Development

As an award winning developer out of California, Adroit Development is known for their quality, sustainability and expertise.

Being a new client to BDX, Adroit Development immediately saw the value and support that everyone here offers. …

Coming Soon! New Home Source Feature: Expanded Photo Galleries
April 30, 2015 – 11:17 am | Comments Off on Coming Soon! New Home Source Feature: Expanded Photo Galleries
Coming Soon! New Home Source Feature: Expanded Photo Galleries

Great photography and renderings are vital components to helping shoppers envision themselves in your homes. That’s why New Home Source is going even further to provide builders with expanded photo galleries to show off their …

Is Your Website Responsive? Google Gives Responsive Websites a Boost in Search Rankings
April 28, 2015 – 10:28 am | Comments Off on Is Your Website Responsive? Google Gives Responsive Websites a Boost in Search Rankings
Is Your Website Responsive?  Google Gives Responsive Websites a Boost in Search Rankings

The amount of internet searches from mobile devices has increased by a huge rate over the last few years. Did you know that 35% of shoppers will view your website on a mobile device?  Have you …

Do Your Listings Reach Your Facebook Fans?
April 24, 2015 – 2:44 pm | Comments Off on Do Your Listings Reach Your Facebook Fans?
Do Your Listings Reach Your Facebook Fans?

Smart builders use social media – and Facebook specifically – for mission-critical reasons that drive business results. It’s critical to know what consumers are saying about you company, the homes you build and the service …

New Home Source TV Now Airing in a City Near You
April 8, 2015 – 8:56 am | Comments Off on New Home Source TV Now Airing in a City Near You
New Home Source TV Now Airing in a City Near You

We are excited to announce that New Home Source TV is now airing in Austin, Dallas and Raleigh!  New Home Source TV presents a fresh show & tell-style take on the traditional real estate shows …

How to Address Negative Comments on Facebook
March 30, 2015 – 2:09 pm | Comments Off on How to Address Negative Comments on Facebook
How to Address Negative Comments on Facebook

Social media, specifically Facebook, has become one of the most popular means for businesses to market to current and prospective customers.  Did you know that 757 million people use Facebook on a daily basis? While …

New Whitepaper: A Builder’s Guide to Online Reputation Management
February 27, 2015 – 2:57 pm | Comments Off on New Whitepaper: A Builder’s Guide to Online Reputation Management
New Whitepaper: A Builder’s Guide to Online Reputation Management

Today’s consumers are more informed than ever and frequently search online review sites before making purchases. Don’t miss a sale because of an online reputation issue you weren’t aware of! In our newest whitepaper you …

Who Will Be the 1,000th Home of the Day from New Home Source?
February 20, 2015 – 11:14 am | Comments Off on Who Will Be the 1,000th Home of the Day from New Home Source?
Who Will Be the 1,000th Home of the Day from New Home Source?

By Jay McKenzie, Director of Content and Social Media, BDX
It started as a simple, but powerful, idea – designed to help builders and home shoppers.
On April 24, 2012, New Home Source (NHS) selected our first Home …

The Nationals Awards: 2015
January 29, 2015 – 10:39 am | Comments Off on The Nationals Awards: 2015
The Nationals Awards: 2015

For over 30 years, the Nationals have been recognizing superior sales, design and marketing achievements in the home building industry. Winners were recently announced at this year’s International Builder’s Show (IBS) in Las Vegas hosted …

Pushing Negative Reviews Down in Google
December 29, 2014 – 10:39 am | Comments Off on Pushing Negative Reviews Down in Google
Pushing Negative Reviews Down in Google

By Blair Kuhnen, BDX
This is the final blog in our online reputation management series.
The title of this post is a lie. You really can’t push negative reviews down in a way Google would approve. …

All About Millennials
December 18, 2014 – 10:12 am | Comments Off on All About Millennials
All About Millennials

With nearly 24% of the population classified as Millennials, are you prepared to sell them the dream of home ownership? Learn more about this demographic with our infographic!

Responding to Negative Online Reviews
December 15, 2014 – 12:53 pm | Comments Off on Responding to Negative Online Reviews
Responding to Negative Online Reviews

By Blair Kuhnen, BDX
This is the third of four blogs in our online reputation management series.
We previously covered online reputation management and steps in auditing and monitoring your online reputation. Now we will address …

How to Audit and Monitor Your Online Reputation
December 9, 2014 – 9:02 am | Comments Off on How to Audit and Monitor Your Online Reputation
How to Audit and Monitor Your Online Reputation

By Blair Kuhnen, BDX
This is the second of four blogs in our online reputation management series.
If you read our previous article, we took a deep dive into Builder Online Reputation Management. The first step …

Effective Email Marketing Strategies
December 4, 2014 – 12:23 pm | Comments Off on Effective Email Marketing Strategies
Effective Email Marketing Strategies

Every first-time email marketer has asked the question: “How do I know if I am sending spam?”  This article outlines suggestions for not only following the law, but going above and beyond to ensure that …

Builder Online Reputation Management – Live, Die or Thrive
November 24, 2014 – 2:39 pm | Comments Off on Builder Online Reputation Management – Live, Die or Thrive
Builder Online Reputation Management – Live, Die or Thrive

By Blair Kuhnen, BDX
This is the first out of four blogs in our online reputation management series.
Builders can’t hide their reputation. It’s highly visible and immediately accessible. Today, your reputation is the magazine cover feature …

10 Reasons to List with The BDX
November 20, 2014 – 1:35 pm | Comments Off on 10 Reasons to List with The BDX
10 Reasons to List with The BDX

We’ve got 10 great reasons on why to list your homes and communities with BDX. Take a look for yourself!

Mobile Sales Tools Infographic
November 17, 2014 – 1:58 pm | Comments Off on Mobile Sales Tools Infographic
Mobile Sales Tools Infographic
Google My Business : A Guide for Home Builders
October 22, 2014 – 9:39 am | Comments Off on Google My Business : A Guide for Home Builders
Google My Business : A Guide for Home Builders

By: Dan Bagby, BDX Content Manager

Google My Business was launched as a way to manage your Google listing and Google + profile. Find out what it means to homebuilders and how to take full advantage …

Home Buyer Insights Infographic
October 1, 2014 – 10:17 am | Comments Off on Home Buyer Insights Infographic
Home Buyer Insights Infographic
From Click to Close: Tools & Tricks Tailored for Builders
October 1, 2014 – 8:50 am | Comments Off on From Click to Close: Tools & Tricks Tailored for Builders
From Click to Close: Tools & Tricks Tailored for Builders

It is becoming evident today, more than ever, that builders need to be tracking and engaging with potential home buyers from their first click online to closing the sale. There are several factors that have …

SEO and Video: The Basics
September 22, 2014 – 9:02 am | Comments Off on SEO and Video: The Basics
SEO and Video: The Basics

Now that you’ve got some quality video in your back pocket, be it community tours, a model home showcase or buyer testimonials- it is time for you to find and engage some eyeballs! Here are …

BDX to Sponsor the Jeff Shore Sales and Marketing Summit: [r]evolution 2014. Break The Past. Build The Future.
August 26, 2014 – 10:55 am | Comments Off on BDX to Sponsor the Jeff Shore Sales and Marketing Summit: [r]evolution 2014. Break The Past. Build The Future.
BDX to Sponsor the Jeff Shore Sales and Marketing Summit: [r]evolution 2014. Break The Past. Build The Future.

The market and real estate landscape changes daily, and we must adapt or be left behind. Do you need to [r]evolutionize the potential your team can have from the top to bottom?
If you’re ready to …