Should You Purchase a Columbus Home with Solar Power?
The process of purchasing a home in Columbus is no small feat. This is the largest purchase that many people will make in their lifetime. No matter the home type; be it traditional, waterfront, condo, townhome, etc. there’s always a large number of details to consider and be informed about before making a smart purchase.
Some current Columbus homebuyers are searching for homes with a greater amount of energy efficiency to help them combat the costs of homeownership. One of the largest costs of owning a home besides the mortgage payment is the utility bill. Saving on utility bills can be a large benefit to saving on your home ownership costs. For this reason, some homeowners wonder if they should purchase a Columbus home that has a solar power system.
If you are considering purchasing a Columbus home with a solar power system and have not lived in one before there are many things to consider
Considering the maintenance
Any home with a specialized system will require a different type of maintenance. A home with solar capabilities may require more maintenance over the lifetime of owning the home. It is good to be knowledgeable of the particular solar system at the home and what it will look like for daily operation and upkeep of the system as well as expected costs. In some cases, you may find that the cost of replacing parts may be more than the savings on your utility bill.
It is also good to be knowledgeable of the rules for having solar power and how the local utility companies come into play. In some locations, utility companies may charge extra if you need to tap into the main utility system during peak hours if your home panel is not producing enough solar energy to power your home.
Ask if the solar system is leased or owned
Just because a home has a solar power system does not mean that the current homeowner is the only owner of the system. A large portion of solar power systems are actually financed or leased through different companies. This means that someone else owns the panels and the homeowner has agreed to purchase the power generated from the system this is known as a power purchase agreement. Homes that have these can mean that the home is indefinitely tied to this agreement and any new homeowner automatically takes on these terms and agrees to pay for this agreement.
There may be provisions within a contract that will allow new homeowners to remove the solar system that is leased but they often come with additional fees. Make sure that you are well aware of the ownership agreement of the solar system before purchasing a home with solar power. Make sure to ask about any agreement termination fees if you are not interested in a lease of the system but still would like to purchase the home. You also want to make sure that you were able to read over the lease before agreeing to take ownership of the home and take on the lease.
Considering the purchase of a home with an older system
Solar panels have an average lifespan of around 25 years. It is good to ask home sellers about the age of the solar system in place at the property. You also want to make sure that the solar system in place was not installed by a company that is no longer in business. Finding someone that can help maintain solar panels that are no longer manufactured can be a headache. It is good to ask if the current solar system in place is under any type of warranty as well. You want to make sure that the lifespan of the system is not going to end within the next year costing you a large sum of money.
Before purchasing any home with a special system it is always good to make sure that you get as much information about the system as possible and the expected lifespan as well as the average costs and requirements of keeping the system up.
For more information on purchasing a home in Columbus and surrounding areas please contact us anytime.