All Energy Solar

Buying a Home? Consider Its Solar Compatibility Before Signing on the Dotted Line

There are a huge number of personal preferences that come into play when searching for a home. Maybe you want a larger garage or workshop for your projects and toys. Or you may want to ensure you are on a quiet street so your kids and pets feel safer. But with ever-rising energy costs and our increasingly taxed energy grid, you may want to add one more item to your list of “must-haves”. Solar compatibility is becoming an increasingly important box to check for homebuyers who are eager to add a solar array to their rooftop or elsewhere on their new property. 

For buyers concerned about taking on a new mortgage with a relatively high interest rate, it makes sense to be concerned about any new costs associated with buying a home. On top of all the closing costs, realtor fees, moving costs, and decorating and fix-up costs, there’s a good chance the cost of your utilities will be changing as well. Luckily real estate sites such as RedFin, in partnership with energy software company WattBuy, are beginning to make it easier to see general stats around energy usage and efficiency for potential properties you may be interested in. 

Each home listing where data is available now includes an estimation of monthly electricity usage, bills, and seasonal fluctuations in electricity usage and cost. Additionally, they provide an estimate of potential long-term energy cost savings through the installation of solar panels. This feature helps buyers gain a comprehensive understanding of and compare financial costs associated with different homes. It also assists homeowners in determining whether investing in solar energy systems could lead to significant long-term savings.

These numbers are a great place to start, but you should note that they are approximations based on available data so they may not be 100% accurate. There are also a few other things you can also look out for as you tour your next potential home.

  1. Walk through the house with an eye on energy usage. Are the windows old and drafty? Are the appliances old and inefficient? Just like adding solar, these things can be updated, but you will want to factor that into your offer if you decide to buy.
  2. Is the house surrounded by large trees or other obstructions that could get in the way of your solar panels? Again, there may be work-arounds for this (such as trimming the trees or installing panels in a different location) but it could be an issue.
  3. Is your home a part of an HOA that may have restrictive covenants preventing solar panels?

There are a wide variety of factors that affect your potential new home’s solar viability. Talk to an experienced installer to find out more or download our eBook, Making the Switch, for a comprehensive 16-page guidebook to switching to solar.

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