Executive Brokers

Probate Services

New From The Blog
Follow Steve Poirier

 

 

 

Free Property Search

Searching for a home should be enjoyable and stress free. Find matching listings and get notified when properties of your desire hit the market. Search homes on the MLS here!

Become A Fan On Facebook

Neighborhood Videos in HD

The Northgate Area-  Comprised of many neighborhoods with a lot of homes. Located in East Walnut Creek, most of the homes were built in the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's and have long been popular for their traditional style single and two story floorplans. 

New Northgate- Some of the newer constructed Walnut Creek homes are located in the Northgate Area. Subdivisions like Rancho Paraiso were built throughout the 90's by Herald Smith Construction. 

The Woodlands- Once nothing but farmland and walnut groves. This all changed in 1961 and 1962 when several developers, including Leadership, MacKay and Hofman, were the first to break ground and build the Woodlands.

Lake Lakewood Area- It's always a surprise to anyone who doesn't know, that there's a lake in Walnut Creek. Lake Lakewood was man made and has a lot of history. Most of the home development in Lakewood began in the 1930's when it was expected that the opening of the Caldecott Tunnel would increase demand for homes in Walnut Creek.

Crystyl Ranch- Crystyl Ranch is a beautiful neighborhood nestled in the Mt. Diablo foothills of Concord, Ca. Located between Walnut Creek and Clayton, homes in Crystyl Ranch are close in proximity to parks, shopping, dining, entertainment, schools and just about the best the East Bay has to offer.

Elderwood Glen- Elderwood Glen is a subdivision located in Martinez, Ca. There are 55-60 homes, homes range from 3-5 bedrooms and are known for their spacious rooms. Elderwood Glen is also centrally located to downtown Martinez, downtown Pleasant Hill, Concord, Lafayette and Walnut Creek. 

Chateau Ridge- Chateau Ridge is a wonderful neighborhood settled in the foothills of Martinez, Ca. The neighborhood has a private setting with most of the homes backing to the open space and green belt. 

Valley High- These beautiful homes were built by the well know builder, Davidon Homes.  There are many home models to choose from, ranging from single stories to split level homes. The 3-4 bedroom homes have luxury features including skylit entry halls, vaulted ceilings, wet bars, woodburning fireplaces and spacious Master suites.

Alamo, CA- Alamo, CA is an unincorporated community with high demand real estate. It is located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, nestled between Walnut Creek and Danville. The average home price in Alamo is $1.1 million in comparison to the average home price in the state of California at $347,000.

« WOW! HOME OWNERSHIP ANNUAL GAINS LOWEST SINCE 2015 | Main | RECORD-LOW HOUSING INVENTORY IS 'FREAKING ME OUT' »
Friday
May112018

This could be a very big issue...

California may soon become the first state in the nation to require that virtually every new home be equipped with solar panels.

The California Energy Commission on Wednesday is expected to mandate solar arrays on almost all new single-family houses built after Jan. 1, 2020, as part of the state’s fight against global warming. The rule also would apply to new multifamily buildings up to three stories tall.

The proposal, years in the making, would provide an immense boost to the state’s solar industry, which lost jobs in 2017 after years of rapid growth. It would also move California closer to a long-held goal of creating "zero net energy buildings" which generate as much electricity as they use over the course of a year.

But the solar requirement would come at a cost.

Together with tough new efficiency standards for windows and insulation that the commission will consider Wednesday, the solar mandate could add $10,538 to the cost of building a house, by the agency’s own estimate. The extra expense would hit at a time when California is suffering a severe and deepening housing affordability crisis.

The move’s supporters insist the solar homes would save their owners money by slashing monthly utility bills. That savings could be worth $16,251 over the 30-year life of the house, according to the commission.

“We do not minimize the cost of housing in the state — everyone recognizes that’s an issue,” said Andrew McAllister, one of the Energy Commission’s five voting members. “Their cash-flow position will be improved with the addition of solar. It won’t make it worse.”

Although housing developers had concerns about the move, Bob Raymer with the California Building Industry Association said the commission had given the new rule enough flexibility to make it work — for example, if the roof is too small or shaded, the builder can compensate by using energy-efficiency measures inside the house. And he agreed that the energy savings for the new solar homes would offset the up-front costs.

“We’re going to be able to look the home buyer in the eye and say, ‘You are going to get your money back,’” said Raymer, the group’s technical director.

California first started imposing new energy-efficiency standards for homes in the 1970s, slowly ratcheting them up over time. As a result, per-capita electricity demand in the state largely stayed flat, even as it grew elsewhere in the country.

The fight against global warming gave those standards new urgency. In 2007, both the Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission set a nonbinding goal of having all new residential construction by 2020 be zero net-energy.

That same year, the state initiated solar programs both for new homes and owners of existing houses. But the state’s solar market was still in its early stages, and it wasn’t clear whether or how California could meet its zero net-energy goal.

“If you think about the context of 10 or 12 years ago, things were a lot different,” McAllister said. “Solar was not an everyday thing. Well, now it is.”

About 20 percent of new homes in California are built with rooftop solar arrays, Raymer said. And prices have tumbled as the solar industry, both in California and around the world, matured.

The national average installed cost of a new residential array has fallen by more than half since 2007, according to the annual "Tracking the Sun" survey from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In California, the median price hit $4.3 per watt in 2016, the most recent year for which data are available. For a 3-kilowatt system, that adds up to $12,900.

California’s solar industry endured a rough 2017 as a longer-than-usual rainy season and state regulatory changes drove down both new solar installations and employment for the first time in years. About 86,400 Californians worked in solar power last year, down 13 percent from 2016.

Then in January, President Trump dealt the industry another setback when he imposed temporary tariffs on imported solar panels, which will push up the installed price of new solar arrays unless installers find ways to trim their own operational costs.

McAllister said the commission revised its calculations following the tariff announcement and concluded that the new rule would still make financial sense.

“It’s very clear that solar will be cost-effective,” he said.

To environmentalists, the move is an important step to curbing greenhouse gas emissions. When the electricity they use is factored in, buildings represent the second-largest source of greenhouse gases in the state, behind only transportation. California law calls for cutting the state’s total carbon emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

“This is a key measure to reduce (greenhouse gases) in the building sector, which is one area in California where there hasn’t been enough attention,” said Rachel Golden, a senior campaign representative for the Sierra Club. “We have strong policies to clean up the utility sector, strong policies on transportation, but we don’t have strong policies on the decarbonization of buildings.”

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>