Series Introduction: This article is part of a 10-part series to shed some light on what your solar salesperson is NOT telling you. It is my hope this will help consumers to better understand the “small print” items when deciding if installing Solar panels is the right decision for you and your family.

Solar Panels have recently become more affordable and easier to obtain for homeowners. It is hard not to get sucked in by commercials with uplifting oldies blaring and people dancing and singing the praises of a Solar Life with the spokesperson declaring it is now an affordable option for homeowners. As a REALTOR® I have been asked by many past and present clients if they should do this? This series will cover the following issues of the solar home craze. You can also click topics below to jump to that particular topic.

What’s the catch?
Potential savings or smoke and mirrors
What’s the real cost?
Life expectancy and maintenance mortgage and appraisal pitfalls
How does this affect my homeowner’s insurance?
What sellers need to know?
What home buyers need to know?
Less expensive alternatives to solar panels.
Why I made the decision I made regarding Solar Panels.

Nuances of buying a home with Solar Panels

This adds a new twist for home buyers. Who will you get to inspect these panels? What does it cost for these inspections?  Will it be the same company that installed the system or are there inspectors with solar inspection certification?  Beyond the physical inspection should you have someone other than your REALTOR® review the solar contract?  Do you need to hire an attorney to review the paperwork? If you are willing to assume the loan does that throw off your income to debt ratio and affect your credit score?  Should all of these questions be answered before you make an offer? 

How long do I plan to live in this home, what will the age. and or condition of the panels be when I sell? Will they pass a buyers inspection at that time?

CLOUDS ON TITLE

Buyer beware! Meredith Miller- Closer with True Title Company said, ‘Personally I have never dealt with a loan for solar panels on a property yet, but this would be handled similar to liens we use to see from the Gas Company.  The gas company would finance a new furnace for a homeowner and at closing it was one of the liens that would come up on title.  Seller’s would Pay off that debt from the proceeds or the seller would bring the money to the closing table to pay off that debt prior to closing in order to remove the lien from the title.  

When you go to sell it, you have 2 options. Option #1 pay off the loan at closing as you would a home equity loan or option #2 have the buyer assume the loan.  If you choose the latter and even get thru the process in the timelines outlined by the contract, I recommend reviewing the terms with an attorney to ensure the assumption relieves you completely from any obligation. 

There are other maintenance and insurance costs involved in buying a home with Solar panels. While buying a home with “Green” features can add value for many, solar panels depreciate and require maintenance over and above what other “green” features might have, such as a tankless water heater or energy efficient heating and cooling system.

Closing

Hopefully you found this to be a helpful series, I would love to see your comments and hear about your experiences so others can benefit from your stories as well.  Direct links to each topic in this series.  Also, I would love for you to subscribe to be notified when new posts are available or follow.  Look on the top right to do that.

SOLAR PANELS – What’s the catch?

SOLAR PANELS – Potential savings or smoke and mirrors

SOLAR PANELS – What’s the real cost?

SOLAR PANELS – Life expectancy and maintenance

SOLAR PANELS – How does this affect my homeowner’s insurance?

SOLAR PANELS – What sellers need to know?

SOLAR PANELS – What home buyers need to know?

SOLAR PANELS – Mortgage and appraisal pitfalls

SOLAR PANELS – Less expensive alternatives to solar panels.

SOLAR PANELS – Why I made the decision I made regarding Solar Panels.

Have you thought about selling your home?

What if I told you I could sell it for more than it is worth? 

Check your home  Value here

You can always browse area homes for sale here

Looking to buy a home with “Green Features? Browse Green homes here

Have no idea where to start?  Call or Text Home Help to 314-963-7300 to set up a FREE consultation