Should I Buy a House with Solar Panels?

Should I Buy a House with Solar Panels? | New Home Gurus

Discover the Pros vs. Cons of Buying a Home with Solar Panels & What to Know Before Making an Offer

Buying a house with solar panels can be a smart investment if you know exactly what you’re getting into. In fact, whether you want a home with solar or the house that caught your eye just so happens to have solar panels, it’s important to do a little research and due diligence about solar ahead of time.

If you do, you can figure out whether buying a home with solar panels is a smart move and, if so, which options are more likely to be better and riskier investments.

Buying a House with Solar Panels

To help you out, this guide on buying a home with solar panels explains:

  1. What solar panels are & where they usually are on homes
  2. The potential advantages of buying a house with solar panels
  3. The possible downsides of buying homes with solar panels
  4. What buyers should ask when looking at homes with solar panels

What Are Solar Panels & Where Are They Usually Located on Homes?

Solar panels are flat devices comprised of “photovoltaic” (PV) cells that convert sunlight into electricity or heat. Residential solar panels are often installed to offset the costs of utilities while producing “clean” energy for a home.

For optimal success, solar panels generally have to be placed in areas with maximum sun exposure. That often means residential solar panels are on roofs of homes, with east or west-facing roofs typically ideal whereas north-facing roofs are not.

According to the latest info from the Texas Comptroller:

  • Roughly 210,000 homes in Texas are outfitted with solar panels.
  • At least 500 solar companies operate in Texas, with more than 100 solar panel manufacturers located in the Lone Star State.

With the solar industry booming in Texas, there are good chances you could end up viewing at least one home that has solar panels when you’re in the market to buy a house.

4 Potential Advantages of Buying a House With Solar Panels

Buying a house with solar panels can come with a lot of perks, including (but not limited to):

Advantages of a House With Solar Panels
  1. Reduced electricity bills: Solar panels could provide around 50% to 75% of a home’s energy needs. That can mean lower utility bills from month to month and year after year.
  2. Grid “independence”: Solar panels can provide insulation from grid outages, giving homeowners more reliable power year-round.
  3. Tax advantages: Solar installation can invite federal and/or state tax credits, rebates, deductions, and/or exemptions. Policies vary by state, and some cities may offer additional perks on top of state solar tax credits. This tool lets you search for available solar tax discounts by zip code. 
  4. Boosted home value: When installed and maintained properly, solar panels may increase the value of a home. The latest data suggest that solar panels can boost home values by an average of 4.1%.

While the pros of buying a house with solar panels can offer short- and long-term advantages, they’re only part of the story with this electricity-producing feature. It’s also key to know what cons you could be taking on when you buy a house with solar panels.

4 Possible Downsides of Buying Homes With Solar Panels

Buying a home with solar panels can present drawbacks in terms of:

Downsides of Homes With Solar Panels
  1. Repairing or replacing the roof: After about 15 to 20 years, on average, roofs need to be replaced. Well before then, there may be a need to repair damage, especially after weather events. Whether you need to repair or replace a roof with solar panels, you’ll likely be facing higher costs because these projects tend to be more complex than roof repair or replacement without solar panels. 
  2. Getting a mortgage: Just because a house has solar panels doesn’t mean the homeowner fully owns them. If the panels are still under lease, getting a mortgage to buy that house could be more challenging or a bit more complex.
  3. Poor weather: Solar panels can be great when it’s sunny, but they aren’t going to do much at all with cloud cover, storms, or low visibility conditions. That means that solar systems typically won’t produce as much energy in the winter when there are fewer hours of sunlight. It can also mean some unpredictability with electricity generation as weather conditions fluctuate.
  4. Solar panel maintenance: Clean solar panels tend to work best. That can require routine maintenance, with extra care after storm events. Sometimes, it also requires calling out the pros to fix or replace damaged panels. With all that, there can be extra costs and another maintenance item for homes.

None of these downsides of buying a home with solar panels may be a dealbreaker if the circumstances are right. You can start to figure that out by asking the right questions before, during, or after you view a home.

What Buyers Should Ask When Looking at Homes With Solar Panels

What to Ask When Looking at Homes With Solar Panels

Getting answers to these questions can give you better insight into whether a house with solar panels presents a promising opportunity or whether it’s riskier than it first seemed:

  • Does the seller fully own the solar system or is it still under lease?
  • What solar company installed the panels?
  • How old is the solar system?
  • How often has the system been maintained and when was the last maintenance visit?
  • What happens during solar system maintenance?
  • What is the average solar system output?
  • How much of the home’s energy needs are typically covered by the solar system?
  • What kind of warranties does the system still have?

Is a House with Solar Panels a Good Deal? The Bottom Line for Homebuyers

When you’re buying a house and you’re considering a home with solar panels, it all comes down to what you want, who owns the panels, and whether the gains offset any potential risks. There are all sorts of homes across Texas equipped with solar panels, as well as many more without this feature.

The good news is that you don’t have to weigh all of this out alone, and you don’t have to navigate the home-buying process by yourself either. An experienced Realtor® at New Home Gurus can guide you at every step, regardless of whether you’re buying or selling a home.

In fact, we work with home buyers and sellers across Texas, helping with offers, negotiations, and all aspects of closing. Plus, we split our commission with our clients after closing.

Homebuyers and sellers who work with New Home Gurus can get back an average of $4,500 to $12,000 at closing.

How Much Cash Can You Get after Closing?

Call (281) 668-8124 or Contact Us to Find Out Now

We are standing by, ready to answer your questions and explain the details of our commission-sharing program.

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