Buying or selling a home is a big change for any family. There are several things to consider during the process, making the question of what to do with your solar system feel daunting. But it doesn’t have to feel this way. Realtors and homeowners are also increasingly savvy about promoting the value of solar power when it comes to home sales and purchases. But even without that expertise, the ins and outs of buying and selling homes with solar panels aren’t that complicated.
Apart from paying for your solar system in full, here are three main ways to finance a home solar system – loan, lease or PPA. How you purchase your system can impact the process for selling your home.
Purchase – If you’ve purchased your home’s solar system outright, then you should be able to factor that into your asking price just as you would other upgrades, like a remodeled kitchen or new roof. How much you can factor it in will depend in part on how much money you save each month on your electricity bills and how long you’ve had your system. An average house saves between $10,000 and $30,000 over the lifetime of the solar system. That’s a great selling point for any home.
Loan – Buying a solar system through a loan allows homeowners to pay over time while taking advantage of tax credits, like the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) and similar state and local solar incentives.But what happens if you need to sell that home? That depends upon the loan.
If you have a home-equity loan against the house, you will have to pay off the balance of the loan before you sell. If it’s an unsecured loan that doesn’t use the house as collateral, you can sell – but you will be responsible for paying off the loan. In some instances, lenders will even allow you to transfer the loan to the new homeowner if their credit meets the lender’s criteria. Because these circumstances vary, it’s always a good idea to ask your lender what options are available to you.
The good news is that these are the same options people face when they borrow to make any home upgrade. It should help you command a higher price for the house and to pay off any loan.
Lease – The person selling the home can transfer the lease to the new homeowner. It is important to note that the buyer will need to meet the credit criteria of the company that owns the lease. Usually, that’s not a problem in a home sale because the buyer presumably has solid credit.
It is also good to be aware of the possibility that the lease owner may charge a fee to the current homeowner for the transfer. Be sure to take the time to understand the details of your lease.
PPA – Power purchase agreements are similar to leases because the homeowner does not own the solar system. Instead, they purchase the electricity that is generated by the solar panels on their roof. If you happen to have a PPA with SunPower, you can simply transfer the agreement to the new qualified owner.
Education is a homeowner’s best defense against any buyer hesitation. Be ready to provide data on your solar system, especially information showing how it saves money and reduces pollution. The mySunPower app can be especially helpful. Local real estate agents and SunPower’s dealer network are also good resources to tap into.
In conclusion, SunPower can help you buy or sell a solar-powered home with ease. For additional information on navigating this process, visit our life events resource page.