So do you want to buy a new house, but it has solar panels installed on it, what can you do? In this post, I am going to share with you things that you need to consider before buying a house with solar panels.
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Benefits of having solar panels in your house
There are many benefits of having solar panels on your roof, from environmental, political, or climate change, but for me, the main benefit of having solar panels on your house is the financial one, it will reduce the amount of money you pay your utility company and electricity bill.
4 Questions to Ask About Buying a House With Solar Panels
Before making a decision to buy a house that has solar panels installed there are four questions you need to ask, the answers to these questions will determine if buying the house is a smart move or not.
Question #1: Is the system owned outright and not subject to a lease or PPA?
Before you buy a home you need to ask the owner if they own the solar panels, they took a loan to install them, they lease or they have a solar power purchase agreement (PPA).
If they own the solar panels or they took a loan that is good you can go and consider buying the house, but if they lease or have a PPA, this means that they send a payment to a third party each and every month so you will need to know the terms of that payment or you will be in big trouble.
There may be a ‘buy-out’ clause
Sometimes leases contain ‘buy-out clauses’ meaning the new owner can buy their way out of the lease. Check out this with the house vendor and if there is a possibility to buy the lease and you can afford it, they buy it. Most of the time the cost of the lease is the amount of money that would take to install a solar panel system of the same size in the new house.
Question #2: Was the system installed by a reputable installer who is still in business?
This question will give you information about the installer, you want to know if they are reputable, and they are still in business, in case you have to claim a warranty or you just need something to be changed in your solar panel system.
Question #3: Did they use quality solar panels and inverters from companies that are still in business?
Solar panels are one of the biggest investments you can make, you need to know if the component used in the installation are of high quality and from reputable manufacturers. Most solar panels manufacturers they will guarantee that their panels will produce electricity for more than 20 years, knowing that they are still in business will give you peace of mind.
Question #4: Is there a copy of the original contract and is the warranty transferrable?
When the original owner of the house signed a contract with the solar installer, they had some kind of warranty signed with the contract. is it transferable? you need to know this before buying the house.
If you get a no as an answer for one of those four questions, for me that is a red flag. my recommendation would be to investigate further to figure out what is the reason if you get a no in two or more questions that, do not buy that house.
Is buying a house with solar panels a smart decision?
For me yes, it is a very smart decision. Buying a home with solar panels is a smart decision, just so long as the panels are owned rather than leased.
In addition to saving you money on your energy bill, buying a home with solar panels will also boost your home’s value and make it more attractive for resale down the road.
That is it, for me buying a house with solar panels is a smart decision, just make sure that the owner of the house also owns the solar panels, the solar panels are of high quality and the company that installed the solar panels is reputable. You need to do your investigation before paying for the house with solar panels.