Solar Access – A Potential Problem

Interest in solar energy is growing as more and more homeowners, as well as businesses, are taking long, serious looks at this alternative source of power.  As with any new technology, however, there are potential problems.  For example, the sun’s rays must reach the solar collectors in order to produce energy from either active or passive systems. If the sun were always directly overhead there would be no problem.  It is not, of course, and this brings up the question of solar access — the availability of sunlight to reach a building’s solar collectors.  Resolution of this problem often involves access across adjacent properties, which, in turn, involves a neighbor’s air space.

Since the amount of unobstructed sunlight reaching the solar collectors is critical to the efficient operation of a solar system, the flow of sunlight to the system must be assured.

In most systems it takes about six hours of direct sunlight per day for maximum equipment efficiency.  This varies, naturally, according to the season, geographic location and the type of solar system installed.

Passive systems are especially dependent on direct sunlight.  The sun’s rays cannot be reflected or diffused.

For the building owner, access questions involve both the height and setback of adjacent buildings.  That’s where negotiated agreements for solar easements come into sharp focus.

If a neighbor’s trees grow high enough to cut off the sun early in the morning or late afternoon, your solar system may not perform up to design specifications.  The same thing goes for structural heights.

That’s why the question of guaranteeing access to sunlight is becoming an important part of property ownership.  In fact, it has been called the single most difficult legal issue connected with solar energy use.

The most practical solution to the problem is the negotiation of easements between property owners.

Under such an agreement, one property owner would receive assurances from the other that the sunlight, which travels over the neighbor’s property, would always be available. The neighbor, and all subsequent owners, would be restricted in building or planting trees that could obstruct the sunlight.

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Southland Home Sales Drop in January; Price Picture Mixed

As seen on

La Jolla, CA—Southern California logged its lowest January home sales in three years as buyers continued to wrestle with a tight inventory of homes for sale, a fussy mortgage market and the highest prices in years. The median price paid for a home dipped from December – a normal seasonal decline – but remained 18 percent higher than January last year, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 14,471 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was down 21.4 percent from 18,415 in December, and down 9.9 percent from 16,058 sales in January 2013, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

A significant drop in sales between December and January is to be expected because many buyers drop out of the market during the holidays and mid-winter. That means fewer transactions close during January and February. On average, sales have declined 27.6 percent between December and January since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin.

Last month’s Southland sales were 17.3 percent below the average number of sales – 17,493 – in the month of January since 1988. Sales haven’t been above average for any particular month in more than seven years. January sales have ranged from a low of 9,983 in January 2008 to a high of 26,083 in January 2004.

“The economy is growing, but Southland home sales have fallen on a year-over-year basis for four consecutive months now and remain well below average. Why? We’re still putting a lot of the blame on the low inventory. But mortgage availability, the rise in interest rates and higher home prices matter, too,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.

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We love our Clients!

Everyday is Valentine’s Day at Western Resources Title where we LOVE what we do!  Knowing our clients by their first name, developing personal relationships, remembering what it takes to earn their business is just as important to us today as it was 17 years ago when we first opened our doors.

At Western Resources Title you can expect…

  • Fast, friendly, reliable and responsive service from every department
  • Knowledgeable and experienced staff who answer your questions and provide you with information and solutions necessary to close your transactions and to help you & your business grow
  • Team players who work closely with your escrow and lender to close your transactions efficiently and on time
  • Proactive professionals who identify potential problems early and communicate quickly with the necessary parties to avoid last minute delays, or worse
  • Experienced customer service staff to get you what you need, when you need it
  • Customer care oriented staff, whose actions speak louder than their words, that let you know you and your transaction matter, and make a difference to them
  • A website with relevant and useful resources
  • Quality farming information to aid you in building your business
  • A company that’s large enough to handle your needs and small enough to care

Are you getting the same from your current title company?
If not, you owe it to yourself and your clients to switch to Western Resources Title.
At WRT, our clients are our ‘Valentines’ FOR LIFE!

SPECIAL REMINDER: In observance of the Presidents’ Day Holiday, ALL county recorders offices and Western Resources Title will be closed on Monday February 17, 2014.  
Orange & Riverside Counties are closed TODAY Wednesday, February 12th in observance of Lincoln’s Birthday.