Buying a House With Solar Panels: What You Need to Know

Bill Gassett is a thirty-two year veteran to the real estate industry. He loves providing helpful information to buyers, sellers and fellow real estate agents to make excellent business decisions. His writing has been featured on RIS Media, The National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Placester, RESAAS, Credit Sesame, Realty Biz News, and others. He was the Number One RE/MAX agent in Massachusetts for 2018. Reach out to Bill for any real estate needs you may have.

Posted on Sunday 5th May 2019

What You Need to Know About Buying a Home with a Solar System

Is buying a house with solar panels such a big deal? Buying a home with a solar system does not have to be complicated. As a matter of fact, many home buyers these days are looking for homes with alternative energy systems. Homes with solar panels in many circumstances will sell for more money than those without.

The cost of living seems to be dramatically on the rise, and investing in systems which can help to generate energy, is on the increase. If you are currently a homeowner, you may even want to consider installing alternative energy systems. In the future, it is likely that homes with means of generating natural energy will be more in demand than they are today.

The first thing you need to find out is who owns the solar panels. When you have panels installed, you can often choose between purchasing them outright or leasing them. It is preferable to buy a property where the homeowner has purchased the solar panels. You will not have any lease agreements to worry about which can add complications.

Leased solar panels can make life slightly more complicated for a selling agent. In most cases, it means you will have to take over the lease or buy the panels from the company. A new lease agreement could mean a credit check. You don't want to go through a credit checking procedure unless you are confident you are going to buy the home.

Also, remember to read through any lease agreements carefully. Solar panels can be expensive to replace. You should always make sure you are aware of who is responsible for the installed solar system and its maintenance.

Here is an excellent guide on what you need to know about buying a home with solar panels. You'll also see tips to consider when it comes time to sell. It is a fantastic guide for learning about solar power from both buyers and sellers perspective.

For example, the location of your solar panels could severely impact your ability to sell your home. Imagine owning a gorgeous luxury home only to see a truly ugly eyesore sitting on the front roof. Saving money and energy is great but not when it comes at the expense of the ability to sell your property.

Make sure you can locate your solar panels, so they do not intrude with the aesthetics of your home.

Buying a Home With Solar Panels

How Much Energy Do the Solar Panels Produce?

In an ideal world, you should ask to see proof of how much energy the solar panels produce. Energy equals money saved when it comes to solar power. As solar is such a new way of bringing energy into a home and it is not easy to know what to ask. But you would like to know what wattage the panels produce.

Take this wattage and compare it to the current home you are living in. Is this going to be enough to sustain your living standards or will you have to buy extra electricity or fuel? You don't want to be watching the TV and all of a sudden power goes off.

Check out what back up systems are installed in the property, and what maintenance is required. You may need to have a contract with a specialist company for maintenance purposes.

Selling Energy Back to the Grid

Some home installed solar panels produce a great deal of power. As solar panel systems have become more advanced, homeowners try to make the most out their investment. It is not that uncommon to sell power back to the grid.

This often means a separate agreement between you and a power supplier. Once again, you need to be cautious and read the contract before you buy the home. You may be under certain obligations as the supplier.

Is It Too Complicated to Buy a Home with Solar Panels?

No, it is not. We have to get used to buying properties with alternative energy systems. In the future, our homes may power the grid. It is already happening in many countries around the world. It is an excellent way of going green in your home, among others. Not only are solar panels popular, but home wind power generators are on the increase.

There is one final thing to know before you get excited about owning a home with solar panels. Make sure you have the right appliances to make the most of the energy produced!

You need to check the rating of all the appliances you are planning to install. They should be of the highest specifications. Look out for the Energy Star mark. Energy efficiency is particularly important when it comes to clothes dryers. Out of all the appliances in your home, it is your clothes dryer which uses the most energy.

A solar panel system can be terrific and can save you lots of money. Remember that it will only do so if it meets with your energy needs. As always, read all agreements and contracts. You may even be lucky enough to find a home inspector who understands solar panels.

What to Know About Solar Panels When it Comes Time To Sell?

While buying a home that already has solar panels may seem effortless, you might be wondering what to think about when it comes time to sell. There are certainly some things to be aware of when it comes to selling a house with solar panels. One of the more essential things to be mindful of is the value they add.

Some people incorrectly assume that having solar panels automatically make a property worth more money. Unfortunately, that is not the case. There are quite a few variables that go into whether or not solar with help your property value.

For instance, here are some things that could play a role in how they impact value:

  • Where is the home located?
  • Where are the panels located on the house?
  • Are the panels leased or owned?
  • What type of property is it?

You should never make blanket assumptions of how solar power will effect market value and marketability. Some properties could reap the benefits of solar while others see little return. When purchasing solar panels it is always advisable to think about your time frame in the home and return on investment.

If you don't plan on being in the home a significant amount of time, solar power may not be worth the cost. Calculating your return on investment is essential when deciding whether to add solar power or any other home improvement for that matter.

Final Thoughts

There is a lot to know when buying or selling a home with solar power. Make sure you do your due diligence. Like any other extraneous feature with a house it is vital to educate yourself on the pros and cons.

By doing proper research, you'll increase the odds of being happy with your purchase.

Other Going Green Resources Worth Reading

Use these additional helpful green resources to make better decisions around your home.

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