4 solar panel pitfalls I’ve faced with real estate clients

  • Solar panel installation on residential property is on the rise, and they can be a solid investment with benefits such as reduced energy bills.
  • Leased solar panels come with low upfront costs; however, when homeowners lease the solar panels, they are opting for a payment until the lease is up.
  • Many homebuyers are not interested in taking on the additional loan payments associated with solar panels.
  • Another hidden cost comes in the form of unexpected repairs, and it's still unclear whether homes with solar panels today are worth more.

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

As Realtors, we are often asked if people should install solar panels. There is no question that the addition of solar panels is on the rise. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, “In 2015, California installed 3,266 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it first nationally.” And, “Over the next 5 years, California is expected to install…more than 2 times the amount of solar installed over the last five years.” Solar companies offer benefits such as improving the environment, drastically reducing or eliminating your electric bills, removing upfront costs, and even increasing your home value. Some have claimed that, “solar homes have higher property values and sell more quickly than non-solar homes.” But is this really the case? According to FHA and Fannie Mae, whether solar panels add value or are viewed as a liability is still unclear, and that the financial burden likely increases when leasing the solar panels rather than owning them. ...