More and more homes in San Diego are going solar! With so many sunny days, many homeowners are taking advantage of our mild climate and lowering their energy bills while helping the environment at the same time.

Whether you've had solar panels for years or are thinking of taking the plunge, here are a few things to know about solar panels and how they factor into your future home sale.

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Purchase or Lease?

You can either purchase your solar system outright or you can lease them. If you opt to purchase, you can pay for them all at once or finance your solar panels and make a series of payments over time. If you lease, keep in mind that it may be more difficult to secure a buyer when you need to sell your home since the buyer will need to assume the lease. The solar company you go with will be able to advise you on your options as well as the savings and costs associated with each, but be sure and thoroughly read the contract to understand the terms and what you are getting. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

Things to Know Before You Sell

Whether you ultimately decide to purchase or lease your solar panels, keep your documents in a safe place. You should treat these papers like you would the documents for your appliances or any other upgrades you've made to your home.

If you purchase outright:

-Keep the documents that show you now own the equipment free and clear. The future buyer of your home will want this.

If you finance:

-Keep copies of your solar contract. The new buyer will need to assume your contract with the solar company and not only will you need to show a copy of the contract you have with the solar company, you'll also need to be able to get in touch with the company in order to transfer your contract to the new owners.

-If you finance your solar panels, let your agent know right away. It may take some time to get in touch with the solar company if they've changed names or owners and this issue needs to be resolved in order for the transaction to close. Start this process early so it doesn't slow down your escrow!

-If you've added your solar panels through the PACE/HERO program, be advised that some lenders may require your solar contract to be paid off prior to the close of the sale.

If you lease:

-Keep copies of your solar contract. The new buyer will either need to qualify for and assume your lease with the solar company or you will need to terminate your lease with the solar company prior to the buyer taking ownership of your home. In order for the buyer to assume your lease, you will need to provide them a copy of your solar contract. The buyer will then need to get in touch with the solar company during the escrow process in order to qualify for and assume the solar lease.

Have more questions on solar panels and/or selling your home in San Diego? Get in touch, we would love to help you!