If you’ve ever seen an advertisement for solar panels, you already know the biggest push for these systems is the fact that they a.) are environmentally friendly, and b.) supposedly increase a home’s value. While both points are true, it’s increasing a home’s value that isn’t so black and white.
While solar panels do offer considerable benefits to the homeowner, there are several things to think about when it comes to installing them if you hope to increase the value of your home. Let’s take a look at the benefits of solar panels and what you need to do to make sure they are worth the effort.
The Benefits of Installing Solar Panels
Installing a solar panel system in your home is smart for a couple of reasons.
1. They Save Money – On average, a solar panel system produces about half of the energy needed to run the home. This means you pay only half of your normal electric bill, which saves a ton of money each year.
2. They are environmentally friendly – Traditional methods of harnessing power produce harmful gases and contribute to global warming. Solar panels harness the sun’s energy to produce a clean and pure energy that reduces your carbon footprint and dependency on fossil fuels.
Now that you know the benefits of solar panel installation, let’s discuss how to install them right to increase your home’s value.
The Right Way to Install Solar Panels to Increase Your Home’s Value
Considering the benefits of having a solar panel on the property, you would think they would automatically increase a home’s value, wouldn’t you?
Solar panel systems are expensive and unsightly, so both buyers and sellers need to be aware of their potential downfalls in terms of a home’s value.
1. Owned or Leased? – Because solar panels are so expensive (about $10,000-$15,000), they can be difficult for homeowners to afford. As such, many solar panel dealers offer financing for their systems, which obligates a homeowner to roughly 15 years of payments. This isn’t a problem until you need to sell your house before the lease is paid off.
If you want to get the most value out of your solar panel system, it’s best to pay it off as quickly as possible because many lenders won’t even consider financing a home with a leased solar panel system.
2. Location on the Property – As stated before, solar panels aren’t very aesthetically pleasing. If they are installed at the front of the house, it can decrease the property’s value. To avoid this issue, it’s best to have them installed at the back of the home.
3. Where You Live – If you live in an area that’s cold, rainy, and dreary a lot of the time, you might want to reconsider solar panels. The West Coast, however, is a great place for solar panels because it receives sun most of the time.
4. System Age – Technology advances daily, producing solar panel systems that are more efficient than their predecessors. If your system is old but still functional, it may not add as much value to your home as one that’s of the latest technology.
5. Your Expectations – Installing solar panels is never a bad idea. Having said that, however, you must be realistic about the amount of value it will add to your home. You may spend $20,000 on a top-of-the-line solar panel system, but when it comes to selling your home, it might only add about $5,000 to the value of the property.
If you’re considering installing solar panels on your home, do it because it saves you money and helps the environment. Don’t do it purely for the potential value it adds to your home. Remember, there are many things to consider with solar panel installation, so do your research before jumping in.