A real estate agent from Norfolk, Virginia recently posted a video explaining why people should never buy a house with solar panels.
TikToker Alexis Lohse (@varealestateagent) went into an in-depth analysis of how this seemingly good addition to a home could actually cause financial woes for both the seller and the buyer. The video was viewed over 129,000 times and sparked a debate on the merits of the eco-friendly additions.
Alexis frames her video with a text overlay that reads: “Don’t buy a house with solar panels.”
“Do not buy a house with solar panels,” Alexis begins. “And if you’re about to sell a house just know that you’re most likely going to have to pay those solar panels off as well at closing.”
She continues: “When you get sold solar panels by a salesman this is what you always hear: ‘They’re so easily transferable. Good for your home. Good for the environment…saves money on the bill.'”
“But what they do not tell you is that when they say ‘they’re easily transferable,’ whoever comes in to buy your property has to go through the extensive loan process again… It could affect your debt to income and make you not get approved to buy the home,” Alexis explains.
“I’ve seen people default on a loan not be able to buy their dream home because of the solar panels on the house… Another huge red is that you most likely always have to pay off the solar panel loan when you sell your house,” she adds.
“I have asked an appraiser this, I have talked with agents. They do not add value to your home,” she concludes.
@varealestateagent DO NOT BUY A HOUSE WITH SOLAR PANELS! #hamptonroadsva #virginiabeach #vaagent #realestate #agent #suffolk #virginia #virginiabeach #yorktownva ♬ original sound – Alexis Lohse
Viewers were split on her conclusion. Many homeowners with solar panels disagreed, arguing that the electricity bills are almost nonexistent.
“I used to pay over 5k per year on electricity, and now I don’t receive bill and I get a refund between $800-$1000 from electric company. No value?” a homeowner said.
“We have solar and only have 10k to pay off and our electricity bill is practically nothing and I doubt we will ever sell (2.9% interest),” a second added.
A real estate agent agreed with Alexis: “Just repped a buyer on a house with solar panels. We 100% had the seller pay them off at settlement.”
“Yep!!! We went through this when we sold our home with solar panels. Luckily the homeowners were already going to buy them for their next home,” another agreed.
“In San Diego it is definitely a huge perk. We have tons of sun & super high electricity bills. We definitely want them on our house!” a user responded.
Solar panels have many benefits that may outweigh the costs of installation. They reduce power bills, are low maintenance, and provide energy independence. Homes are also able to sell their excess power back to the electric grid.
However, there are cons when it comes to solar panels. For example, they are made of some of the rarest earth materials available, which make them costly. They are also sunlight dependent, and are hard to dispose of.
Another issue is their environmental impact. Though solar panels have no gas emissions during use, there are multiple stages where the technology become harmful. These include manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance, and disposal. Also, large scale adoption of this technology leads to severe habitat decline due to land requirements.
The Daily Dot reached out to Alexis via TikTok comments for further information.