Things to consider when buying or selling a house with solar panels

things to consider when buying or selling a house with solar panels

When you install solar panels on your roof, there are various considerations to make. To offer some clarity, we’ve explored whether solar panels are really worth it, what to consider when moving into a house with installations, and what you should think about when selling a house with solar panels.

Are solar panels worth it?

Designed to absorb sunlight and convert it into energy, putting solar panels on homes can be a strong investment; they can help to reduce your bills, and you know that you’re doing your bit to help the environment. But solar panels do come with a heavy cost, with the average installation priced at £4,600-6,000. So, are they worth it?

Do houses with solar panels save money?

Solar panels can save you money on your electricity bill, by harnessing energy from the daylight to reduce how much you need to consume from the grid. However, you likely won’t make your money back on your purchase until at least 15 years later; they’re definitely a long-term investment. As such, if you’re planning on selling a house with solar panels just a few years after getting them installed, you’re unlikely to have made enough savings to cover your initial costs.

Moving into a house with solar panels

As solar panels become increasingly popular, there’s a growing rate of buyers moving into properties with them already installed. But what does this mean for you, and are there any factors to consider before buying a house with solar panels?

Buying a house with solar panels: are they mine?

Before moving into a house with solar panels, you should first establish ownership; will they become yours with the rest of the property, or do they belong to a third party? We’ve outlined everything you should know:

  • When solar panels on homes are leased

Solar panels can be expensive to buy and install, so some homeowners choose instead to lease their roof space to a solar panels company. This allows them to benefit from reduced energy costs without having to fork out the full cost to own the panels.

If you move into a house with solar panels that are owned by a third party, make sure to confirm how long the lease has left – the solar panel company will also likely need to do a background check on you, as the new resident. Additionally, check with your mortgage provider if there are going to be any hurdles in securing a mortgage.

  • Transferring ownership of solar panels

If you’re moving into a house with solar panels that were bought outright by the seller, the ownership will transfer to you. This makes the entire process much simpler than if they are leased, as there shouldn’t be any questions raised when applying for a mortgage.

Can I undergo building work on a house with solar panels?

If you’re thinking of buying a house with solar panels, one burning question you may have is whether there are likely to be any problems around undertaking a loft conversion or perhaps even an external extension. In short – no, you shouldn’t have too much trouble.

However, if you do plan on having any work done to your new home, don’t attempt to remove the solar panels yourself. Instead, get in touch with the solar panel company, and request they them to uninstall the panels from the vicinity for the duration of your building/roofing/renovation project.

Selling a house with solar panels

If you’re selling your house after installing solar panels, you might be questioning if they’re going to impact the property value. Additionally, you may also be wondering if there’s an optimum time to sell, after enjoying your solar panels for a number of years. We’ve addressed each query:

Do solar panels increase a property’s value?

When contemplating solar panels, do you think of the potential savings and environmental benefits, or do you have concerns about the way they look?

When selling a house with solar panels, the chances are that your buyer has one of these mindsets, and will either be willing to pay more for the house because of the positive factors or less because of the ‘eye sore’. As such, solar panels on homes can impact the value, both good and bad.

When to sell a house with solar panels?

After installing solar panels on your roof, you’ll, of course, want to reap the benefits before selling your home. But when should you think about selling a house with solar panels, and does your property go down in value if you leave it too late?

First and foremost, the right time to sell depends on the warranty left on your solar panels. Typically, warranty lasts for around 20 years, which would make the ideal time to sell around 10-15 years after installation. This ensures you get reasonable reward from you investment, while leaving a good number of years’ warranty for the new owner.

If you choose to sell a little sooner, you might not benefit from the solar panels, while selling too late can mean your installation becomes more of a burden for buyers. In this case, you might want to sell your house quickly through a cash buyer.

Whether you’re transferring ownership of solar panels to a new homebuyer or moving into a property with an existing installation, there are various considerations to make. For even more expert guidance and advice, head on over to our blog.

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