Homes for Sale in North Phoenix | Here Comes the Sun

A feature that’s showing up more frequently on existing homes is solar panels. The abundance of sunshine in AZ, coupled with the promise of lower energy bills, fueled a surge in solar installations both inside and outside Fireside at Norterra over the past decade. And as some of those homeowners downsize or relocate, we’re seeing an uptick in listings that feature solar power. So naturally, people are curious about the impact of solar panels on home values.

The concept of solar power is generally celebrated, although the value of solar panels on a home can vary. Some buyers definitely want solar, while others definitely do not. Most buyers, however, fall somewhere in-between. They would consider a home with solar panels, but it’s not a deal breaker. The part that remains unclear is the value that should be placed on a home with solar panels already installed. 

First off, it’s important for a buyer of homes for sale in North Phoenix, or anywhere for that matter, to determine whether the panels are owned or leased. If the seller owns the solar panels, this may add to the actual home value. If it’s a lease, however, the seller is depending on the buyer to take over the lease (and all the financial responsibilities that go with it). Although the solar panels may be a nice benefit, this scenario does not usually equate to a boost in home value. You can’t sell what you don’t own. To determine whether taking over a lease is in your best interests, have your Realtor request the past 12 months of electric bills. From there, you can run the numbers and see if the cost savings is worth your while. A solar panel lease might cost you $200 a month while saving you $300 a month in utility bills. Make sure the math works in your favor before committing. And don’t forget to factor-in the terms of the lease. On a 20-year lease, there’s a big difference between taking over at Year 1 versus Year 15. You’ll also want to find out who’s responsible for the costs of repairs and maintenance. Do your homework, crunch the numbers, and read the fine print!

Sellers may find it beneficial to run a few calculations about the energy savings, and then feature that information in the listing. The chance to purchase a home with super-low utility bills may be the perfect enticement for anyone looking to go green and save green at the same time.