Real Estate Agent Explains Why Buying a Home With Solar Panels Might Not Be the Best Idea

By: Carissa | Last updated: Nov 02, 2023

As the “going green” movement continues to gain traction, many people have become increasingly interested in renewable energy. Solar panels are often touted as a great way for homeowners to save money while conserving electricity.

However, a real estate agent on TikTok has recently warned viewers of the unexpected pitfalls of buying a home that has solar panels. In a video that has since garnered over 207,000 views, the Virginia-based realtor offered a thorough explanation as to why she recommends avoiding solar panels at all costs.

Solar Panels Can Cost You Big Time in the Long Run

Alexis Lohse, who works for 1st Class Real Estate in Virginia Beach, took to TikTok to explain why she advises potential home buyers to steer clear of homes equipped with solar panels. Lohse’s stance was firm and concise as she started the video by saying, “Do not buy a house with solar panels.”

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While solar panels are sold to homeowners under the guise of saving them money, they end up being a huge financial burden. She made it clear that once you settle on solar panels, you are stuck with them even when you attempt to sell your house.

Solar Panel Salesmen Are Often Deceptive When Explaining the Rules of Home Buying and Selling

The real estate agent revealed that if a seller wants to sell their house with solar panels, they would be responsible for paying the solar panels off while closing.

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Lohse further noted that many salespeople will try to convince people that solar panels are “easily transferable” when buying and selling property. That is a common misconception, according to the wise real estate agent.

Solar Panels Require an Entirely Separate Loan Process

Lohse stated that solar panel salesmen typically sell unsuspecting homeowners on the notion that solar panels are a “clean source of energy” and environmentally friendly. The TikToker explained that whoever is next to purchase the home is subjected to a lengthy loan process in order to acquire the property.

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Going through a comprehensive loan process is tedious and time-consuming, but Lohse warned that solar panels have their own loan process that is required of all potential buyers. “Like buying a house, but like doing the loan process again with the solar panels,” she said.

Solar Panels Are More of a Hindrance Than a Help

According to Lohse, many home buyers and sellers are completely unaware of the risks that come along with owning a home with solar panels.

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If any complications were to arise during the loan process, the entire buying process could come to a screeching halt. This could mean big problems for the sellers as well as the potential buyers. The solar panel loan process could also affect a person’s “debt to income.” Lohse revealed that this could prevent someone from being able to buy a home at all.

Doubling Up on Loans Is Not a Smart Decision

For reference, the real estate agent compared owning a home with solar panels to buying a car at the same time as buying a house.

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Loading up on financial loans is not a good idea and it’s likely something that only wealthy people could do and still walk away unscathed. Another point of contention Lohse has with solar panels is that homeowners have to pay off the loan for their solar panels in order to sell their homes.

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Solar Panels Don’t Actually Add Value to a Home

Alexis Lohse went on to explain how all of the reasons she listed would result in the seller taking a significant financial hit.

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She concludes the video by saying that there is a common belief that solar panels can add value to your home. The TikToker debunked that notion and instead insisted that solar panels are simply bad business for any homeowner to invest in. She adds credence to her position by saying she has discussed the issue of solar panels with seasoned agents and appraisers

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Solar Panels May Add “Personal Value” But Not Much Else

The opinionated real estate agent stated that solar panels may add a sense of personal value to a homeowner if they pride themselves on being environmentally friendly, but from a financial standpoint, solar panels are nothing but an extra hassle.

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In the video, Lohse asked her viewers whether or not it’s really worth losing valuable money when closing on a property.

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The Comment Section Was Full of Interesting Thoughts

Many viewers praised Lohse for offering unfiltered tips of the trade to her followers. Other TikTok users valued her insight and took to the comments section to add their own opinions on the hot topic of solar panels.

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“Great tips!!!,” wrote one user before adding, “They only add value if the new buyer sees it as valuable!” Another comment also seemed to agree with Lohse, writing, “If I wanted a house and they say I have to pay for the solar panel’s loan, I’d walk. Or tell them to pay it off at closing.”

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Many People Echoed the Realtor’s Sentiments

Other commenters piled on even more reasons why solar panels are a bad choice for homeowners.

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One user suggested “If you remove them, your roof warranty is voided because the panels leave damage when removed. Decreasing the home value.” Another user, who appeared to also be a real estate agent, said, “Just repped a buyer on a house with solar panels. We 100% had the seller pay them off at settlement.”

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Some Commenters Disagreed

As with any video that’s posted to TikTok, Lohse’s video also was subject to some criticism. One user refuted Lohse’s claims, saying, “It is easily transferable,” before accusing her of giving her viewers misinformation.

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“I don’t know why you’re telling people it’s not. We went through this process. It doesn’t cause you to not afford the mortgage,” the commenter said. Regardless of public opinion, Lohse has certainly offered some interesting insight into the debate about having solar panels on your home.

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Her TikTok Keeps it Real About Real Estate

Lohse, who goes by the handle @varealestateagent on TikTok, posted the video along with the bold caption, “DO NOT BUY A HOUSE WITH SOLAR PANELS!” So far, the video has received more than 3,900 likes and over 600 comments.

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She has posted dozens of videos discussing controversial topics that she frequently runs into as a real estate agent. From advising first-time homebuyers to stop paying their credit cards on the due date to talking about how difficult it is to afford a house in today’s market, Lohse’s videos are both informative and introspective.

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