What to Consider When Purchasing a Home with Solar Panels

Posted On: Feb 20, 2017

As we continue to gain awareness of the financial and environmental cost of non-renewable energy sources, solar panels are becoming a more popular means of home energy. Although it may seem like lower energy bills, tax credits, and a smaller energy footprint are a no-brainer, there are a few things to consider before deciding to purchase a home equipped with solar panels.

Solar Panels on Home for Sale in New YorkWill solar panels impact the value of the home?

 In general, homebuyers will likely be willing to pay more for a home that is energy-efficient, considering the significant savings in electrical bills over time. Still, just because potential buyers are willing to pay more does not mean that the home will appraise for more. Depending on the area of your home and the commonality of solar panels in the area, it is possible that an appraiser may not factor solar panels into an assessment of a home’s value.

Is it better to lease or own?

It is important to ask if existing solar panels are leased or owned. It is ideal if panels are owned to avoid the ongoing liability of a lease, often resulting in escalating payments. Leasing companies also retain the right to change guarantees and warranties. It is also important to keep in mind that it is not guaranteed that a leasing company will approve the new owner of the home.

Solar Panels on Home for Sale New YorkWho installed the panels?

The roof is incredibly important to the structure of the home, so it is crucial to research the reputation of the person or company that initially installed the solar system. Be sure to ask about the installer’s warranty as well. A potential buyer may also want to consider having an independent inspector come to evaluate the system and installation work to identify any existing or expected issues.

All in all solar panels present an opportunity to lower energy costs, but the decision to purchase a home with solar panels extends energy savings and environmental effects. Be sure to do thorough research, weigh the pros and cons, and have the home as a whole properly inspected to ensure you are making a responsible decision.