If you’re interested in reaping the benefits of solar energy, you may want to consider buying a home with solar panels already installed. Before you do, though, you need to know that not every solar paneled home on the market is the same.
Fully owned solar panels
In the best-case scenario, the home you’re interested in has fully owned solar panels. If the panels were purchased up front they’re owned solely by the seller of the home. You’ll likely pay a little more for the home due to the increase in home value.
Leased solar panels
It’s not the same with every home, though. In some cases, a homeowner may be leasing the solar panels on a monthly basis from the company that installed them. You’ll need to review the lease to see what it means for you if you decide to buy the home.
With a solar lease, the cost is usually paid monthly. If you buy the home, you’ll likely have to take over the lease payments. Sometimes the lease rate increases on a yearly basis. The lease may last about 20 years so it’s important to know how far into the lease the current homeowner is.
Financed solar panel
There’s another situation where a homeowner may have installed solar panels with a solar loan. Even if the home is sold, that loan stays the responsibility of the former homeowner. It’s likely in this scenario the home’s asking price was already adjusted to reflect the cost of the solar panel system.
PACE financed solar panels
Unlike a solar loan, with PACE financing, the financing attaches to the property not the person. In other words, if you buy a home with this type of solar panel financing in place, you take over the payments. Those payments occur through property taxes.