Is solar power right for you?
Are you considering having solar power installed on your home? Do you buy it out right or do you sign a lease? How long will the lease be good for? Is it a graduated lease? These are just a few of the questions you need to ask before you make that final decision.
As a homeowner, we want to do improvements on our homes that will either increase the value of our homes or at the least help to maintain it's value. Solar is one of those items that is becoming very popular recently. Not only can it help to reduce your monthly power bill but it is also environmentally friendly. So, do you buy it out right or do you lease the unit?
Solar companies will tell you that to buy it out right will give you your best return and will substantially reduce your power bill. But, how many of us actually have the disposable income to buy the equipment.
The other option is a long term lease. This too is environmentally friendly and will still lower your monthly bill but not as much. But there are a few things to consider. A graduated lease will give you lower payments to start and then increase a small amount each year ( often the particular terms are written on the lease). The cost of electricity WILL go up. With a lease, you are hedging your bets that the cost of electricity will go up higher then the cost of the solar lease.
Have you considered what effect solar power will have on you and your home if you decide to sell? In the larger picture solar is relatively new. So many sellers, buyers, lenders and appraisers are still working out the bugs. But what I am learning is that when it comes to selling a home, solar is not what it is cracked up to be.
According to a local appraiser, if you bought your Solar unit out right, it will give you a slight increase in home value. But it will not give you an increase in value equal to what you paid for the unit. However the story is very different if you leased your solar unit.
If you want to buy a home that has a leased solar unit and you are getting a loan for that home, then your lender will need to consider the lease amount in determining if you qualify for the loan amount. This is a fairly new phenomenon. So if you are considering buying a home with a solar lease, make sure to discuss it with your lender BEFORE you entering into a contract to purchase. Do your homework. Know what you are getting into.
So I ask again, is solar power right for you?