Thanks to the immense rise in solar panel popularity, you may come across a few homes with a renewable energy system while you're house hunting.

Should you buy a home that has solar panels installed? Here, we break down things to consider, all so that you can get the most savings.

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Why Would Someone Install Solar Panels?

There are many reasons why a homeowner would opt for a renewable energy system. Solar panels:

  • Reduce electricity costs
  • May come with impressive incentives
  • Have tax benefits
  • Can increase the value of the home
  • And even allow homeowners to get credit for the electricity their system adds to the grid, should net metering be in place.

Understanding Solar Options

What many people don't realize is that there are multiple options homeowners have when it comes to installing solar panels onto the roof of their home. Solar panels can be purchased, leased from a solar company, financed with a solar loan, or with Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing that is attached to the property.

Why do all of these options exist? Because many people recognize the benefits that solar panels offer, and want to make use of those benefits even if they're not in the position to purchase a system outright.

Purchased solar panels

The homeowner owns the system outright, which eliminates any complications when the time comes for you to buy the home. For many potential buyers looking at homes with solar panels, buying a house with solar panels already installed and paid for is an ideal setup.

Solar lease

In this setup, the homeowner pays the solar company for use of the panels. There will be a contract in place, and for that reason, all parties must decide on a course of action. The solar company can easily transfer the lease to the new buyer, the homeowner can pay off the remainder of the contract, or the buyer and owner may be able to agree on a purchase price that takes into account the cost of the leased solar panels.

Solar loan

If the homeowner has a solar loan, that loan is in their name, and it's their responsibility. Because of that, the cost of the solar loan may be factored into the asking price for the home, which could make it considerably higher.

PACE financing

With solar PACE financing, a lender supplies funds to a homeowner so that they can install solar panels onto their home. The homeowner then repays through property taxes, so PACE financing is attached to the property, and not the homeowner, which means that the new buyer becomes responsible for those solar payments when they purchase the home.

Before making that decision, thoroughly review the terms of the financing agreement so that you can be sure you'll be able to cover all of your expenses.

Ask This First!

What's the first question to ask when interested in buying a home that has solar panels? Is the system owned, leased, or financed?

While it's typically possible to break a lease or even buy the system outright, that can be a costly endeavor. It may even be possible to remove the panels altogether, although most find that the perks that a renewable energy system has to offer far outweigh any inconveniences that are associated with selling the home.

As a potential buyer, you can't make any decisions until you understand how the panels were obtained and the full implications of any systems that aren't owned outright.

Is It Worth Buying a House With Solar Panels?

The general consensus? Yes! Even if you weren't the one to install the system and don't get to reap the rewards of upfront incentives, the electricity savings alone typically make a home with solar panels a worthwhile purchase. See how much you can save now!

A big question that many buyers have while house hunting? Can solar panels prevent me from getting a mortgage?

While there are some details to work out when it comes to buying a home with solar panels, generally speaking, you're unlikely to experience difficulty when it comes to obtaining a mortgage because of the panels themselves.

If you end up purchasing a home that doesn't have panels but would like to treat yourself to some aggressive incentives, rebates, and overall savings, connect with solar companies now!

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