Solar Energy - Is it in your Future?

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Real Estate

As experienced Realtors, Marian Sacco and Margaret Vierra have successfully guided sellers who have solar  contracts and buyers who are purchasing a new home with existing solar systems.  Attention to details and added review of documentation is very important for a successful contract timeline.  Our role is always to help our clients have a smooth transaction process and a happy sale or purchase of a new home. 

Over three million U.S. homeowners have "gone solar" to help save on energy bills.  Our area is blessed with great sunshine to power our home and cars, so solar may be a part of a home that is listed for sale.  The financing of a solar system is a very important part of the selling or purchasing contract and must be considered early, or it can impact a buyer's loan, appraisal, and closing timeline.  However, the benefits are almost always worth the extra time and attention.

According to the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy you should research solar installation and evaluate and inspect the home you are preparing to buy or list for sale.  Very important considerations include the style and age of the roof, the age of the solar panels and their efficiency and cost benefits as well as how the system is financed by the currant owners. 

If you are preparing to sell you home with solar panels, Team Vierra will consult with you and recommend you create a file with information such as:

* Original solar installation dates, costs and  contract.   Be aware that many companies have changed ownership or consolidated. 
* At least six months of your energy bills to show savings and the "true-up" costs per year for review with the potential buyers.
* Proof of the financing of your system, monthly bills related to the solar system, and details on how to transfer the financing to a new owner.  Is the contract easily assumable the a new owner?
* A copy of your Home Energy Audit used by the installer to calculate your electricity needs.  Have you made other energy improvements such as new appliances and/or an EV charging station? 
* Any permits and or inspection of the system.

A homeowner may own the solar energy system in either of two ways:
1).  Purchase the system outright
2).  Third party solar loan to purchase

A third-party loan may have used the tax credit as part of financing, so know what options you have for a new owner to assume this loan.  Most installers have very low interest rates to purchase through their financing and it is a great benefit to the new owner to assume this loan. 

OR the system can also be leased in two ways: 
1).  A fixed monthly payment for use of your system
2).  A power purchase agreement

These finance options will be important when you decide to sell your home.  And, as your realtors we will need to present all the details to potential buyers to make the financing transition by a new buyer as seamless as possible.

For buyers, it is important to review:

* All contracts for financing or lease of the system. What will be your monthly costs of the system, what maintenance and cleaning is recommended, and does it balance the electricity savings? 
* Are there any added costs to "assuming" and transfer financing and how long will it take?  We need to factor that into our purchasing timeline and not be "surprised" at closing time. 

Margaret and Marian, Team Vierra, are experienced and enthusiastic about helping you sell or buy a new home in South County.  And, helping you understand all the benefits of a home with solar energy is just one step in an exciting real estate transaction.