If you are planning to buy a home with a solar panel on the roof, you should tread carefully to ensure the solar system is an asset and not a liability (because it can be either). Here are some of the things you need to consider before signing the purchase contract:

The Warranty Terms

Solar systems are rather expensive, and you don't want to buy one only to have it break down on you a few months or years later, especially if the warranty doesn't cover the damage. You need to scrutinize the warranty to understand everything it covers as well as its terms and conditions. For example, you should know everything that might void your warranty so that you can avoid them.

Whether The Owner Purchased or Leased the Panels

If the current owner is leasing the solar panels, then they will have to transfer the lease to you if you buy the house and want to keep the panels. The transfer itself isn't a complicated process, but you should know that it will affect your debt-to-income ratio, which may affect your mortgage qualification. The lease also represents one more monthly expense for you to bear in addition to the usual ones such as property taxes and home insurance premiums. Confirm that you are comfortable with all that before going ahead with the purchase.

The Identity of the Installer

You also need to know the person who installed the panels to confirm whether they are reputable enough. This is because a poorly installed solar panel can damage the roof, leading to costly repairs somewhere down the line. Poor installation of a solar panel or an installation that isn't handled by a licensed installer may also void the roof warranty. Luckily, you have nothing to worry about once you have confirmed that the installation was handled by a licensed professional.

How the Owner Has Benefited from the Solar Panels

The biggest advantage of a solar installation is that it can reduce your energy bills. In some areas, homeowners with solar panels are actually paid for pumping electricity into the grid. Understand what the benefits of solar panels are in your state and confirm that the current homeowner has been enjoying those benefits. That way you are better placed to judge whether assuming ownership of the solar system is a good idea or not.

Using a real estate agent like Keller Williams Realty Jupiter may also help to protect your interests further. For example, the agent can help you determine whether you are getting a good deal for the property.