Las Vegas Roof Tops with Solar Panels Aerial View

 

Buying a new home is an exciting move, whether it’s your first home, tenth home, or investment property. It can also be very daunting if you don't have any information about what it will mean for you to buy a home with Solar Panels already leased. If you’re looking at properties with solar, you may be anticipating saving on your energy bills and reducing your carbon footprint for the environment. You may also be apprehensive about the solar panels if you are not familiar with the details. In this acrticle, you will find out exactly what you need to know before you owe. 

Solar can be a great investment, especially in Las Vegas with nearly 300 days of sunshine. This can add value to your home and savings to your pocketbook for the lifetime of the system. Although, it’s important to remember that there are hundreds even thousands of brands of solar panels on the market, ranging in quality and efficiency. As your real estate agent, I’m not an expert in how electrical systems work, or which ones are the best, so it’s important to do your due diligence. 

 

RESEARCH EVERYTHING

When buying a home with solar panels in place with a lease, or even owned, it's important to understand exactly what you are buying into. You want to KNOW BEFORE YOU OWE.  

 

1.   ASK FOR THE ORIGINAL PURCHASE CONTRACT

a.   The purchase contract should detail the terms and conditions that apply to the system, things such as

                                              i.     How much they paid for the system

                                            ii.     How much they put down on the system

                                           iii.     When they purchased the system

                                          iv.     The term of the repayment plan

                                            v.     The error on installation warranty term and more.

 

This information is very valuable in making decisions about homes with solar panels. It gives plenty to think about and how that fits into your budget, savings, and life.

 

2.   ASK FOR WARRANTIES & SERVICE AGREEMENTS

a.   The limited installation warranties if any exist

b.   The lifetime warranties if any exist

c.   The manufacturer warranties if any exist

d.   The service agreements or maintenance agreements if any exist

 

Making sure you know who to contact if or when things go wrong is super important. You want to know what to do if something comes up, and you want to make sure it is serviced as required. Las Vegas is full of wind and dust, and that can lead to debris on your roof. You also want to make sure it is fenced off so birds and other animals cannot make nests underneath the panels, which can lead to damage.

 

3.   ASK FOR THE SPECS ON THE SOLAR PANEL SYSTEM

a.   The kilowatt hour rating

b.   The useful life of the system

c.   All the details of the system, panels, and hookups on the home you are considering purchasing.

 

Research the system, and the company find out the useful life and the good and bad of the company who makes the panels. You can find out the positives and negatives and get a deeper understanding of that system itself. There are so many different types depending on the age of the system.

 

4.   ASK FOR THE LAST 12 MONTHS OF POWER BILLS

a.   Asking to review the previous 12 months of power bills is critical to see how much power they pull from the grid on any given month.

b.   It can also show how efficient the system is for the size of the home and electrical needs.

                                              i.     Consider how large the family is living there

                                            ii.     Consider if they have electrical cars or not

                                           iii.     Do they run the air all the time? or do they strictly monitor their power consumption?

                                          iv.     Do the panels also power a heated pool or another source of energy consumption?

 

The family size, the home size compared to the number of panels, the electric consumption you intend to use, vs how they use can all be big factors to consider. These factors can all affect the sustainability and savings you may realize.

 

5.    ASK WHO THE LENER IS FINANCING THE PANELS

a.   Ask for the original note

b.   Ask for the process for assumption

c.   Ask about the fees for assumption

d.   Ask about the term

e.   Ask about the interest rate

f.     Ask about the payment schedule

 

Some buyers purchase the solar on interest-only for 2 or 3 years and then the real payment kicks in later. Which could be higher than disclosed, make sure you understand exactly what the terms and payments will look like going forward if you purchase the home.

  

6.   READ, REVIEW, ASK QUESTIONS

a.   Read every fine print

b.   Read every spec

c.   Read every term

d.   Read to understand everything as if your life depended on it.

 

Whatever you do not understand or are uncomfortable with or whatever doesn’t quite add up, ASK! Write down questions as you go through this process and make sure you get the answer you need. You have many sources to help you get the understanding you need. You want to know before you owe!

 

Consider the resources you could use (not inclusive);

Long Infographic Checklist about Solar Panel Due Diligence

·      The solar company

·      The seller

·      The lender

·      An electrical Inspector

·      A home Inspector

·      Internet research on terms you don’t understand

·      Youtube

·      Reviews on the Solar Panels Make Model

·      Reviews on the company that installed it and so many more

 

At the end of the day, you never want to get into a situation where you wish

 you had researched more. It’s your time to dig deep and understand what you are buying.

 

As your real estate agent, of course, I am here to help, but again Realtors are not licensed electricians and are not an authoritative source of assurance regarding solar panels or their efficiency.

 

We can give insight and help facilitate questions and answers between you and the seller. Often many of the questions you have will be personal to the seller and that is part of what your agent is here to help with, negotiate and communicate with the other agent on your behalf. 

 

 

Check out my youtube video below for more information 

 

 

LOOKING TO SELL?

For sellers, what a great time to sellInventory is low and motivated buyers are looking for houses for sale. Sellers don't have competition with as many property owners. Some would be sellers have decided to wait out the pandemic, but more and more buyers enter the market. This only further pushes the pricing point higher due to tight supply. Check your home's value here! or CONTACT ME HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION! 

LOOKING TO BUY?

For buyers, the inventory is slowly increasing and mortgage rates are at historic all-time lows, record-breaking never seen before lows. Buyers are out in force taking full advantage of their higher than usual purchasing power. It is a win-win scenario for both sellers and buyers. CONTACT ME HERE to get started!