Buying a house with solar panels: is it worth it?

Nov 13 2021
Buying a house with solar panels: is it worth it?

Residential solar energy is growing fast in communities across the country. As more and more families seek to utilize energy from the sun, houses with photovoltaic (PV) panels have become increasingly popular and common nowadays. 

It’s no wonder why most people now prefer to purchase a home with pre-installed solar energy units, as opposed to doing the installations themselves from scratch.

Whether you are an installer or a client, solar energy benefits everyone involved. 

Besides the obvious environmental implications, working with Innovate Solar allows you to be part of a greater energy revolution. 

If you are looking for a clean, efficient energy and solar panel installation in Florida, Innovate Solar is your best option. 

What are the benefits of going solar?

Solar power systems provide an effective way to minimize energy-related costs, mitigate the environmental impact of your house, and offer other benefits, such as boosting energy independence and supporting businesses in the local community.

1. Eliminating or minimizing energy costs

PV panels on a house allow you to continually draw and store energy on sunny days and even on cloudy days. If you are buying a house with solar energy systems installed, the subsequent energy-related costs will be factored into the amount of electricity generated by the solar system. 

Overall, buying a house with existing solar energy units enables you to cut the energy costs from your monthly bill. So, is it worth buying? Definitely yes, one of the financial benefits of solar energy is that you will not incur recurring expenditures, even as you enjoy a continuous energy supply. 

2. Earn rebates and tax credits

Buying a house with PV units already installed can actually pay you. The question here is —  can you get a deduction? You are likely to end up getting 30% of the overall cost of solar panel installation and equipment back as a federal income tax credit when you file your returns.

The question here is what happens when you buy a house with solar energy systems? Do you still get the tax credit? 

In this regard, you will be eligible for the tax credit for buying a house with a solar panel. Buying a house with existing renewable energy units offers you a chance to earn rebates and tax credits.

The rationale of offering rebates and tax credits is to incentivize families and buyers to prefer houses with solar energy, especially in residential homes, which will help bolster the positive impact on the environment. 

Encouraging new-build houses to embrace the benefits of solar panels for homes will further enhance the use of solar energy across communities.

3. Optimizing your saving culture from day 1

One of the benefits of solar power on your home is that you will cut annual energy costs, which can be in the thousands. So when considering whether buying a home with solar systems is a good idea, consider the amount of money you can save from your annual energy expenditure. 

4. Mitigate the environmental impact of your home

Solar power systems provide pure and clean energy derived from the sun.

The advantages of rooftop solar energy equipment on your home include combating greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the societal dependence on fossil fuels.

buying a home with solar panels

Leased vs. owned residential PV panels: what should you choose?

One of the questions to ask when buying a house with PV systems is – should I buy a house with leased PV units, or should I buy a house with owned systems? 

The answer is that both have their advantages and disadvantages. The choice will depend on individual needs and preferences.

Pros and Cons of a Leased Residential Sun Energy System

Pros

a) You will avoid most of the upfront costs, which will help you manage the financial cost better.

b) Leasing allows you to avoid installation and maintenance fees. This is especially important if you are unfamiliar with solar energy.

Cons

a) In the long run, you will have paid more for the cost of paying for and installing a solar power system compared to the individuals who buy the owned units.

b) You will not be eligible to receive any of the tax credits and rebates.

Pros and Cons of Owned Residential Solar Panels

Pros

a) Through this approach, you will pay a lower cost for installing the solar power system than the leasing approach.

b) You will be eligible to receive financial benefits of solar energy (rebates and tax credits); such as 30% tax credit to cover the cost of system installation installed before 2020; 26% tax credit (for installations done between 2020 and 2022); and 22% tax credit (for the installation carried out beyond 2023).

Cons

a) The initial cost is high compared to leasing

b) You will have to take care of maintenance costs.

Overall, if you are paying for a residential home and can afford it, buy the house with owned solar power systems to avoid mortgage problems or lease problems. 

What are the main problems leased solar panels can cause?

The pitfalls you are likely to face when paying for a house with leased sun energy units include mortgage and lease issues.

Solar Panels Mortgage Problems

Solar power systems can affect the process of mortgage qualification:

Liens

When paying for PV panels using cash, the manufacturers can place a lien or a Uniform Commercial Code filing on the affected property to ensure that you keep paying them.

In case of a sale, some manufacturers can uninstall the system and remove the lien during a sale. 

If this is not the case, the sale might be problematic. In other cases, the solar panel lease contract might have provisions that might negatively affect the mortgage, including clauses preventing the property’s sale.

PACE Loans

Property-assessed clean energy abbreviated as "PACE" loans can be financed by state and local authorities to facilitate energy efficiency in the community. 

However, several lenders might not allow you to acquire a mortgage with an existing PACE loan because these loans take precedence over the mortgage. This might be problematic when you purchase a house with leased PV units. 

Solar Panel Lease Problems

Leases can restrict specific activities and developments within a property and thus reduce the options the owner has. 

For example, lessees are not allowed to replace the roof or develop any structure on the property that might obscure the solar system with a shadow. Leasing panels also helps design solar systems that are consistent with particular specifications as opposed to the needs of the homeowner.

Is it hard to sell a house with solar panels?

Overall, selling a house with owned sun energy units is easier and straightforward compared to selling those with rented solar power systems. A solar panel lease means that the buyer will assume some financial costs after paying for the house. Paid-off photovoltaic units offer the best transactional efficiency because the buyer assumes ownership up to the completion of the purchase.

Potential problems in selling a house with solar energy units include:

  1. As a buyer, you might be forced to purchase the lease first before completing the transaction for the home.

  2. You will need to complete the transfer of the solar leases along with the purchase of the house.

  3. The new buyer needs to meet some credit requirements before paying for a house with leased systems.

  4. Before you sell the house, you need to maintain the solar panels and transfer the routine maintenance schedules. 

buying a house with leased solar panels

You should know the right questions to ask when buying a house with solar panels

10 questions to ask solar panel installers before buying a solar-powered house

Asking the right questions will help you determine what to know, what to watch out for, questions to ask about solar power, and the issues with paying for a solar panel, the solar system benefits, and getting the best value with your money. Some of the important questions to ask a solar panel installer before paying for a solar-powered house include:

  1. What makes a high-quality and effective solar power system?

  2. What is the projected lifespan of the installed solar power system?

  3. What are the implications of the brand of solar panel used on the house?

  4. When should I NOT purchase a house with PV panels?

  5. What will be my rights regarding the solar power system after paying for the home?

  6. What size and power of PV systems panels will provide sufficient energy for the earmarked house?

  7. What are the issues I should check in a quote before paying for a house with solar energy panels?

  8. What will be the ongoing costs of running and maintaining the solar power system installed in the home?

  9. Is the solar power system in the targeted house insured when buying a house with PV equipment already installed/fitted?

  10. What type of panels should I be looking for?

Final word

Buying a home with PV systems is not only an option in the market, but it is increasingly the most sustainable and economical choice among many buyers. 

Apart from saving you on costs, it will help you contribute positively to the environment while also benefiting from the rebates and tax credits. Innovate solar partners with several energy companies to install solar panels for homes across the United States.

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