Buying A House With Solar Panels: What You Need To Know Before You Buy

As solar energy continues to gain popularity as a clean and sustainable energy source, ensuring the quality and efficiency of a solar panel system is important. A crucial step in this process is the solar inspection, and it is especially important to potential homeowners who are about to purchase a property that already has solar panels. 

Buying a house with solar panels is a great way to reap the benefits of solar in your first month! In order to know the true value of solar panels on your property, it is recommended that you have a professional solar expert to inspect, verify, and ensure that the benefits are being maximized.

What is a Solar Inspection?

When a home buyer is shopping for a new home, it is becoming more common to come across solar panel systems already installed on the roof. They can correctly assume that this increases the future home value and potential for energy savings. However—it is important to note that a mismanaged solar system can come with a lot of problems.

Buying a house with solar panels comes with doing the due diligence of getting it inspected. A solar system, just like any complex piece of equipment, needs proper maintenance to run efficiently. While solar panels last decades, they can have many functional issues that impact their ability to produce solar power. These can lead to costly repairs, equipment replacement, or even complete removal of the system off of the home. 

That is why it is important before buying a house with solar panels, that you make sure you know what you’re buying into. Solar Negotiators is the only company in the Central Valley of California that performs a thorough Solar Home Inspection service for homebuyers and realtors.

Similar to a roof inspection, a solar inspection is a comprehensive evaluation of a solar energy system. During the inspection, the system’s components, such as solar panels, inverters, electrical connections, and mounting structures, are thoroughly examined. The goal is to assess the system’s efficiency, performance, and adherence to approved plans and permitting requirements.

Get The House Inspected Before Buying

The solar inspection process involves several key steps to assess the system thoroughly. Inspectors evaluate the solar panel design and placement to ensure optimal energy capture. They examine the electrical connections to verify proper wiring and compliance with electrical codes. Additionally, inspectors check the overall system performance and efficiency, ensuring that homeowners get the most out of their solar investment.

Understanding the age and condition of the solar system allows you to plan for future maintenance and replacements, avoiding unexpected costs. Just like getting a car inspected before purchase, a professionally inspected solar system sets the foundation for continuous energy generation and savings.

At Solar Negotiators, our technicians perform a full system audit and report the existing solar system, to check for system production and technical issues. This can reassure future owners that their system won’t run into any unexpected service issues down the line. After the inspection is complete our team will provide a detailed report identifying any issues with suggested solutions and pricing to fix them. 

What To Expect When Buying A House With Solar Panels From A Financial Perspective

A solar inspection is a crucial step in the home-buying process, regardless of the type of solar panel installation. Investing in a home with solar panels can be a smart and eco-friendly decision, but understanding the condition and performance of the solar system is paramount. A professional solar inspection provides homeowners with peace of mind, ensuring that the solar panels are operating optimally and efficiently.

There are essential factors to consider before buying, depending on the type of solar panel installation. Home buyers may encounter four solar home scenarios: fully-owned solar panels, leased solar panels, solar panels purchased with a solar loan.

Solar Panels Purchased With Cash Buyers

This would be the ideal scenario when buying a home with solar panels as the seller of the home owns the solar system. There wouldn’t have to be any additional payments owed on the system (aside from potentially paying more due to the increased home value), so it would be a simple transaction. 

However, potential buyers should verify the system’s age, performance history, and maintenance records. A well-maintained and efficient solar system adds substantial value to the home, offering long-term energy savings and contributing to a greener lifestyle.

Leased Solar Panels

Buyers should understand the terms of the lease agreement, the financial obligations, and the condition of the solar panels. An inspection report helps in negotiating lease transfer terms and avoiding any unforeseen costs or issues down the line. Other things a home buyer should consider along with the lease terms are the monthly fees, and if the payments escalate.

Purchase Solar Panels With A Loan

When a homeowner installs solar panels using a solar loan, the loan remains on the homeowner’s responsibility, even if the property is sold. Unlike a lease, the solar loan doesn’t necessarily transfer to the buyer. Instead, the home’s asking price may include the cost of the solar system and the proceeds from the sale will go towards paying off the solar loan. A solar inspection can be used to negotiate a fair purchase price, considering the value and benefits of the solar installation.

How Solar Panels Increases Your Homes' Value

Your home is more than just a dwelling; it’s an investment in your future. With solar panels, you can add value to your home and have it offset your energy bills! You’ll be able to see the drastic difference in energy costs in the first month of using solar. Home buyers are willing to pay $15,000 or more for a solar-powered home, according to a solar home study conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

Making the choice to install solar panels for your home can increase the value of your home to around 4.1%. This can raise a median-valued home by around $9,274

The biggest distinction on whether or not solar will add resale value to your home is whether the system is owned or leased. At Solar Negotiators, we advocate system ownership because we want to offer our clients the best financial return on their investment. Leasing presents the opportunity to reduce your monthly energy costs. However, similar to a car lease, you can never own the car no matter how much you pay toward the cost of driving it. There are more benefits to ownership including tax credits, grandfathered rates, and fixed payments from financing. 

How Buying A House With Solar Panels Helps You Save On Costs

Your monthly electric bill will be reduced as you will be an owner of green energy production. How much you will save will depend on how big your solar system is. From then on, you’ll just need to keep the solar production efficiency high by getting routine solar panel cleaning and have a local solar company come out to perform regular maintenance on it. We have trained solar professionals to do this for you in our maintenance pros program!

Final Thoughts Before You Buy

Buying a home with solar panels will reduce your monthly energy bills and help save on costs over the long run. A solar inspection is worthwhile to many home buyers and sellers as it verifies that solar panels are fully functional and in good working order. Depending on how the solar panel system was bought, you may have to think about what that means for your investment. Each scenario requires specific considerations.

Solar inspections ensure compliance with quality and safety standards, as well as making sure there are no urgent needs for repair. Let Solar Negotiators inspect your new home solar panels and be backed by our labor guarantee. 

Get A Solar Inspection. Fill The Form Out Below