Solar Homes Could Revitalize South Dallas Housing

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HOMEOWNERS COULD SEE UTILITY SAVINGS UP TO 50 PERCENT


New affordable housing with built-in solar panels and other energy-efficient upgrades could revolutionize and revitalize the South Dallas housing market.

Solar Bungalows, a new Richardson-based startup, plans to build its first home this summer in South Dallas. The house could be ready for tours and move-in by the end of the year.

The goal is to build two-, three-, and four-bedroom houses all priced below $200,000 that come with solar panels, tankless water heaters, smart thermostats and LED lighting.

SOLAR POWER HELPS ACHIEVE SAVINGS

The full package could save as much as 50 percent on utility costs, something that’s sorely lacking in South Dallas, said Sabrina White, president of Solar Bungalows.

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The new homes would be priced under $200,000. (Photos courtesy Solar Bungalows)

“The buyers receive the benefits of all these small moving parts together that create a lot of value,” she said. “We’re hoping to spark some change and really get attention and growth in that area. It’s been ignored and isolated.”

They offer three different models, the Micro, the Flex and the Flex+, ranging in size from 1,000 square feet to 1,400 square feet. They also come with one- and two-car garages. The first home is planned on a vacant lot at 2603 Southland St. in southeast Dallas.

After selecting their lot, buyers can choose the model.

The 3.7-kilowatt solar system will generate an estimated 5,445 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The solar panels will be mostly focused on the south and southwest rooflines.

DEVICES IN THE HOMES COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER

The houses will use the full line of Google products, including the Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Protect and Nest Cam. All these devices communicate with each other.

They also come with external lighting and security cameras, Energy Star appliances and sustainable materials.

Solar Bungalows was started by White and three others, all under the age of 30, who wanted to build a different kind of home.

“We’re really building a house that we want to live in,” she said.

They’re based in Richardson now, but hope to get a foothold in South Dallas soon.

PSW Real Estate has been doing a similar built-in solar panel housing project in southeast Dallas through a partnership with SolarCity. Many of those homes are already built.


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