Your Questions Answered
At Ashlar, I firmly b that an educated home buyer or seller is best equipped to make their own decisions. That’s why I take time out of my day each and every day to answer someone’s real estate question. And, when I think the answer can be useful to you as well, I share it here. So without further ado:
The door-to-door folks use very questionable sales tactics to close the deal. Their reports are also suspect and leave out some major factors like tree coverage from all the ones I’ve seen. A reputable company will factor all that in. I’ve also seen them calculate east/west split roofs with 10 hours of power generation when in truth only half the panels will be in sun for the majority of the day.
You also need to do your own math and confirm the report versus your power usage. The “ROI” reports are usually the best-case scenario which never happens.
Your best bet is to skip the door-to-door people and call a local solar company. SI Electric are local and know their way around solar and on top of that are outstanding electricians.
A note on home value and solar. One selling point panel salespeople like to tout is that it adds “XX, XXX to the value of your home.” It does not. At least not at this point in this market. No one cares to pay a premium for solar panels compared to other comparable homes in the neighborhood. A nice bonus, sure, but not something to seek out or pay a premium for.
You also need to be mindful of the loan if you take one to install the panels. Is it transferrable or not? That’s the main thing solar sales will point out. Just know it doesn’t matter. Buyers do not want to take on your solar panel loan so it will pretty much need to be paid in full at closing even if it is transferrable.
Your breakeven will likely be 10 years, so the other thing is if you’re not planning on being there that long then you need to be comfortable making the decision for other reasons. Morals, ethical, and environmental reasons are perfectly valid reasons to go solar, but just be realistic on the ROI.