Are you about to purchase a house with solar panels and are wondering whether it’s the right decision?
Or perhaps you’re simply looking and would like to know whether houses with solar panels are really worth it.
After all, the current energy crisis the world is experiencing, combined with dwindling fossil fuel reserves, is highlighting the major role renewable energy, like solar power, will play in our energy mix moving forward.
In fact, the revolution has already started with 22 million American homes already powered by solar panels!
But while this is exciting, there are things you should be aware of before buying a house with solar panels.
In this short guide, we’ll highlight the pros and cons of buying a house with solar panels and share some insights into buying a home with owned vs. leased solar panels.
Table of contents:
- Things You Should Know When Buying a House With Solar Panels
- What Happens If I Buy a House With Leased Solar Panels?
- What Happens If I Buy a House With Owned Solar Panels?
- 5 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying A House With Solar Panels
- Need Some Help With Your Solar Panels?
Things You Should Know When Buying a House With Solar Panels
Whether or not you should buy a house with solar panels depends on your lifestyle, preferences, and personal situation. Yet, to help you make an informed decision, we’ve listed below some of the main pros and cons of buying houses with solar panels.
Pros of Buying a House With Solar Panels
●Saving on Your Electricity Bills
This is one of the main benefits of buying a house with solar panels. With the rampant inflation we’re currently experiencing, energy costs have never been so high. Therefore, one of the main draws for Americans to install solar panels on their roof or purchase a home with solar panels is to save on their electricity bills. In fact, according to studies, you could save up to $1,500 a year on your energy bills by buying a house with solar panels and up to $33,000 over the lifetime of your solar system!
●Decreasing Your Carbon Footprint
It’s no secret greenhouse gas emissions are causing global warming, which is negatively affecting the environment and the Earth’s various ecosystems. The good news is that solar power is a clean, renewable energy source. By absorbing sunlight and converting it into current without releasing harmful gasses, solar power is one of the best ways to decrease your carbon footprint when powering your home.
To discover more pros of solar energy, check out 5 Benefits Of Solar Energy To The Environment.
Cons of Buying a House With Solar Panels
Weather dependency is one of the main drawbacks to buying a house with solar panels. That’s because when the sun isn’t shining, whether on a cloudy or rainy day or overnight, your system won’t be able to produce electricity and you might need to switch back to the grid. However, note that these days, you can purchase powerful and extremely efficient solar battery storage systems that will allow you to store energy for shorter and rainier days and be self-sufficient.
●Not All Solar Panels Are Created Equal
A wide variety of solar panels are available on the market. Yet, not all of them are manufactured following stringent criteria and high-quality standards. This can make purchasing the right solar panels difficult. That’s why, if you buy a house with solar panels, you need to make sure the panels are high quality, highly effective, and durable so that you can maximize their benefits and prevent any hassle down the road.
Low-quality solar panels won’t save you as much money on your electricity bills as high-quality ones due to lower efficiency. Besides, they won’t last as long, meaning they might need to be replaced sooner than expected.
What Happens If I Buy a House With Leased Solar Panels?
When buying a house with solar panels, these panels could be owned or leased. Solar leases are pretty common as they allow homeowners to reap the benefits of solar energy without having to put up with expensive upfront installation costs. If the seller acquired the solar panels through a solar lease, it means that they don’t own the solar panels. Instead, they make monthly repayments to the company that installed the solar system. Now, unless the seller decides to pay off the lease in full before selling you the home, you will be required to take over these monthly payments.
Note that solar leases can be taken over 20 years. So, make sure to inquire about the remaining lease balance, as it could be significant.
Here are some key questions to ask the owner before committing to purchasing the home:
●What’s the total duration of the lease?
●How many payments are remaining?
●What’s the cost of each payment?
●Is it a fixed-rate lease or an adjustable one?
Learn more related information in The Impact Of Solar Panels On Your Mortgage.
Should I Buy a House With Leased Solar Panels?
One of the main benefits of buying a house with leased solar panels is that you won’t have to pay for any maintenance costs should something happen to the system. Besides, as mentioned above, solar energy can significantly lower your energy bills, so depending on the solar lease repayments, it might still be worth it.
The answer to this question really depends on your situation, but if the remaining lease duration is short enough and the lease repayments are lower than what you save on your energy bills, it might be an option to consider.
What Happens If I Buy a House With Owned Solar Panels?
Owned solar panels refer to solar panels the homeowner purchased outright. Therefore, if you buy a house with owned solar panels, you’ll also own the solar panels once you’ve signed the agreement to purchase the home.
Because you own the solar panels, the maintenance costs will be your responsibility. However, solar systems usually come with a long-term warranty, so it’s worth checking before committing to buying the home. And if you ever want to sell your house, know that homes with owned solar panels tend to sell faster and for a higher price than homes without solar panels.
5 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying A House With Solar Panels
Now that we’ve established the pros and cons of solar panels and what leased solar panels are compared to owned solar panels, here’s a list of questions you should ask the homeowner before purchasing a home.
●Who Owns The Solar Panels?
As discussed, leased solar panels involve monthly repayments but no maintenance cost, while owned solar panels won’t require you to pay any monthly fees but you might have to pay if something happens to your system. Knowing who owns solar panels will allow you to better understand your responsibilities and help you budget accordingly.
●Who Installed The Solar Panels?
For the warranty to apply if something happens to your solar system, it needs to be installed by a licensed professional. This way, manufacturers know that the system has been installed properly. If the homeowner installed the system themselves or didn’t use a licensed professional, you might not qualify for protection under warranty should your equipment fail.
●What’s The Condition Of The Roof?
Now, you might be wondering why this is important. Well, while buying a house with a bad roof is never a good idea, it’s even less so if the roof has solar panels installed on it. That’s because it means that to repair the roof properly, the solar panels will need to be removed first and reinstalled later. And this can impact the duration of the work along with the cost.
●What Are The Maintenance Needs?
To ensure your solar panels' efficiency and durability, you’ll need to clean them and service them every now and then. If you live in a place that’s prone to dust and little rainfall, cleaning should be performed by a licensed professional, as the panels will likely require more care. Of course, if you don’t own the solar panels, the maintenance will be taken care of by the company that installed them.
●Are The Solar Panels Covering The Home’s Usage Needs?
Let’s be honest. The reason you purchased a house with solar panels in the first place (along with environmental concerns) is probably to save on your energy bills.
And this means that you’re looking for a solar system that can cover all or most of your energy needs. So, it’s critical that you research your home’s average usage and compare it to the average solar output. This way, you’ll get a better sense of whether or not it’s worth buying a house with solar panels.
Here’s the Super Solar Power Calculator or another version of solar powered calculator from Renogy you can use to estimate solar output based on the home location and the type of solar system you have.
Need Some Help With Your Solar Panels?
Whether your solar panels need to be replaced or you’re looking for better quality ones, we’re here to help!
At Renogy, we specialize in manufacturing high-quality monocrystalline solar panels and 12V battery systems. Our mission is to help homeowners reap the full benefits of solar power by providing them with premium products that will withstand the test of time.
So, if you want to know more and discuss your needs, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to help!