Imagine harnessing the power of the sun, slashing your electricity bills, and contributing to a greener planet. Sounds like a dream, right? But wait! Before you jump on the solar bandwagon, it’s crucial to avoid some common pitfalls. Let’s illuminate the biggest mistakes homeowners make when buying solar panels for their houses.

The Solar Panel Revolution: A Story Worth Telling

Homeowners are increasingly considering solar power for their homes due to its numerous benefits, including renewable energy, reduced reliance on fossil fuels, and potential cost savings. However, navigating the complexities of residential solar can be challenging. Without proper knowledge, costly mistakes may occur. Homeowners should educate themselves about solar energy to make informed decisions aligned with their energy needs and financial goals.

What Are the Common Mistakes When Buying Solar Panels?

1. Lack of Research

The family in our story fell into the trap of not researching their equipment thoroughly. Solar panels come in various types and qualities, and it’s essential to understand what suits your home best.

2. Choosing the Wrong System

There are three types of solar systems: grid-tied, hybrid, and off-grid. Each has its pros and cons, and the best choice depends on your specific situation.

3. Misestimating Power Usage

Over or underestimating your power usage can lead to problems. You need to understand your power needs and the amount of sun your house gets, as this will directly impact the cost of your system.

4. Falling for Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)

PPAs are long-term leases, sometimes up to 30 years. These agreements often don’t result in savings for the homeowner and can complicate the process of selling your home.

5. Misunderstanding Net Metering

If you’re trying to sell power back to the grid, you need to understand the specific rules of your local power company. Some companies allow credits to expire at the end of the year or month.

6. Ignoring Roof Age

Don’t install a system on a roof that’s 10 years old or older. You might need to replace your roof soon after installing the system, which would be an additional cost.

The Hidden Value of Solar Panels: A Deeper Dive

With all of those pitfalls to avoid are solar panels worth it? Yes, solar panels are more than just a tool for energy independence and sustainability; they can also significantly impact your home’s value. However, understanding this value and how to maximize it is often overlooked by homeowners, leading to missed opportunities. Let’s explore this further.

The Solar Effect on Home Value

Studies have shown that homes equipped with solar panels typically have a higher market value. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory suggests that “every dollar saved on electrical bills through solar panels can boost a home’s value by approximately $20.” This means that the long-term savings from your solar panels can translate into a substantial increase in your home’s value. However, homeowners often underestimate this potential, missing out on the financial benefits when selling their homes.

The Size of Solar Installations and Home Value

There’s no proven correlation between the size of a solar panel and an increase in a property’s value. The key is to choose a system that generates the right amount of energy for your household. Overestimating your energy needs and opting for a larger system won’t necessarily result in a higher property value. This common mistake can lead to unnecessary costs without the expected return on investment.

Solar Panels and Property Taxes

Solar panels can potentially influence your property taxes due to the increase in your home’s estimated value. However, some states offer solar exemptions or incentives to offset this potential tax increase. Not being aware of these incentives can lead to unexpected costs. Before purchasing solar panels, homeowners must research and understand their local tax laws and incentives to determine the potential impact on property taxes when installing them.

All in all Solar panels have been shown to add value to homes over time. How much value? Depends on your local real estate market. Request an expert home value analysis here.

Solar Panels for Your Home

Q: Can I install solar panels on a new roof?

A: Yes, but you need to wait at least a month or two for the shingles to bond before installing solar panels.

What concerns or questions do you have about installing solar panels at your home? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

At Savvy Homebuyer, we’re committed to empowering homeowners like you with the knowledge to make informed decisions. For more insights on home improvements, real estate trends, and more, connect with us today. Let Savvy Homebuyer be your guide to a smarter home ownership journey.

Create a sustainable and beautiful outdoor space with drought-resistant landscaping. In this article, we will explore the benefits of using plants that are beautiful but require little water and are low maintenance. We will provide exciting ideas for your yard, and outdoor home design, and offer plant recommendations. Discover how you can use drought-tolerant plants in your landscape for a water-wise and beautiful outdoor environment.

The Benefits of Drought-Resistant Landscaping for Homeowners

More and more homeowners are trading in their lush lawns for more sensible landscaping options. Drought-tolerant landscaping offers numerous advantages for homeowners. By saving water and lower maintenance, it provides a sustainable and less expensive solution. Let’s explore the key benefits in detail.

draught-resistant front landscaping shows pride of ownership for first time homebuyers.

Water Conservation and Cost Savings.

By reducing reliance on irrigation systems, homeowners can significantly lower their water bills. Drought-resistant plants require less water, resulting in long-term cost savings. Additionally, homeowners can lower maintenance costs compared to traditional lawns and plants.

Resilience and Low Maintenance

Drought-tolerant plants exhibit aid in resistance to pests, diseases, and extreme weather conditions. Therefore, this hardiness reduces the need for chemical treatments and lowers the risk of plant loss. This results in an eye-catching landscape with less effort and expense.

drought-resistant landscaping ideas for homeowners.
Colorful drought-resistant landscaping ideas for homeowners.
colorful and drought-resistant low maintenance landscaping ideas for homeowners.

Increased Property Value

Drought-resistant landscaping is gaining popularity among potential homebuyers. A well-designed and water-efficient landscape can increase property value and curb appeal. By using more drought-tolerant plants, homeowners not only benefit their outside space but also enhance the market value of their homes.

These benefits make drought-tolerant landscaping an attractive choice for environmentally aware homeowners looking to save a bit of money.

Which plants are considered drought-resistant?

To create a beautiful drought-tolerant yard we recommend six plants. These plants are perfect for arid conditions and will add a pop of color to your outdoor space.


Known for their shape and beauty, agave plants are excellent choices for adding drama to your outdoor spaces. They require minimal water and come in various sizes and shapes, making them versatile additions to any landscape.


With its wonderful smell and vibrant purple blooms, lavender is a favorite among homeowners. It thrives in dry conditions and attracts bees and butterflies, making it an eco-friendly choice for any garden.

Golden State Poppy

Golden State Poppy: This iconic wildflower is not only requires little water but also adds a splash of color to any outside space. Its golden orange blooms are sure to brighten up your outdoor spaces during the summer months.

Yucca Plants

Known for their architectural beauty and low maintenance requirements. They require little water and can live in extreme weather conditions, making them ideal for creating focal points or borders in your yard.

Red Hot Poker

With its beautiful torch-like blooms in vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow, the Red Hot Poker adds a bold and fiery touch to your garden. These plants are perfect to dry weather and attract hummingbirds.


Besides its culinary uses, rosemary is a versatile and aromatic herb that thrives in arid conditions. Its fragrant foliage and delicate blue flowers make it an excellent choice for both decorative and edible gardens.

Looking for more ideas check out the Epic Gardeners’ list of 37 Draught-Tolerant Plants for your home.

Exciting Outdoor Home Design Ideas:

Drought-tolerant landscaping is not only practical but also offers a wide range of design ideas. Here are some ideas to elevate your outdoor home design while saving water.

  • Native Plant Gardens: Embrace the beauty of your region by incorporating native plants into your landscape. These plants are well-suited to the local climate and require minimal watering, making them ideal for outside designs. Explore local plant stores or consult with landscape professionals to identify the native plant species that thrive in your area.
  • Succulent and Cacti Gardens: Succulents and cacti are well known for their ability to store water in their leaves and stems, which makes them perfect choices for drought-tolerant landscapes. Create beautiful arrangements by selecting various colors, shapes, and sizes of these water-wise plants. They add a unique texture and visual interest to any outdoor space.
  • Mediterranean Garden: Draw ideas from the Mediterranean region, known for its hot and dry summers. Incorporating plants such as lavender, rosemary, and olive trees, which are well-adapted to arid conditions. These plants not only provide an enchanting fragrance but also create a serene atmosphere in your outdoor living areas.

All in all, with plants like these that require little water, homeowners can have both a sustainable outdoor space and an eye-catching design. By incorporating drought-tolerant plants into your yard, you can save water, reduce upkeep efforts, and enhance the beauty of your home. Don’t miss the opportunity to create a captivating outdoor environment while making a positive impact on the environment.

Buying a home for the first time is an exciting milestone, but it can also be a complex and scary process. To ensure a successful home buying journey, it’s crucial to be aware of common mistakes that first-time homebuyers often make. By avoiding these pitfalls, you can save yourself from unnecessary stress, financial setbacks, and potential regret. In this article, we’ll delve into the seven most critical mistakes that first-time homebuyers should steer clear of. Let’s explore each of these pitfalls and learn how to buy your first home with confidence.

Mistake #1: Not Having a Realistic Budget

A common oversight among first-time homebuyers is failing to establish a realistic budget. Without a clear understanding of your financial abilities, you may find yourself in over your head. To avoid this mistake, carefully evaluate your income, expenses, and debt to determine a comfortable monthly payment that you can afford.

Find out how much home you can really afford with our quick Buying Power Approval™.

Mistake #2: Not Correcting Credit Report Issues

Your credit score plays a significant role in getting a favorable mortgage rate. Failing to correct any errors or address negative marks on your credit report can result in higher interest rates or even loan denial. Take the time to review your credit report and address any issues to ensure the best possible loan terms.

Mistake #3: Not Comparing Mortgages Options

As a first-time homebuyer, choosing the right home loan is crucial to your long-term financial stability. Many first-time homebuyers make the mistake is not understanding the differences in the home financing options to advocate for themselves. Take the time to learn about the pros and cons of the different lending options.

“When we bought our first home our realtor was also the listing agent for the seller. We were encouraged strongly to use their preferred lending partner who admitament that the FHA Loan was a better option for us (over our VA Loan). Now looking back I realize that the seller wanted us to use the FHA Loan, but it cost us more and we had a higher interest rate. Ultimately we ending up refinancing into a VA Loan monthly later. I wish I had known more about the different type of loan prior to buying our first home. It would have saved us a lot of time, money and stress.”

lauren taylor, co-found savvyhomebuyer.com

Between the FHA loan, USDA home loan and VA loan each has pros and cons. Ask your Savvy Mortgage Expert to 1) identify which home loans you qualify for and 2) create a comparison chart to help you see the cost difference and interest rates available with each loan product. This should give you a clear understanding of what the right mortgage product is for you and why.

Mistake #4: Leading with Emotions

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of finding your dream home, but making emotional decisions can lead to regret. Avoid the mistake of overlooking crucial factors such as location, property condition, and future resale potential. Remain level-headed and consider all practical aspects to ensure a wise investment.

Mistake #5: Making Big Financial Decisions During the Home Buying Process

It’s crucial for a first-time homebuyer to avoid making significant financial decisions, such as large purchases or applying for credit. These actions can impact your creditworthiness and hurt your current debt-to-income ratio. Ultimately adding to debt or making a big purchase in the middle of your transaction could jeopardize your ability to buy the home. Your goal should be to maintain financial stability until after the closing process is complete.

Mistake #6: First-Time Homebuyers Should Never Waive the Home Inspection

Opting to skip a home inspection to expedite the process or appease the seller, is a grave error. As a first-time homebuyer it is difficult to know the problems to look for when buying a home. A professional home inspection provides crucial insights into a property’s condition, potential repairs, and safety concerns. Even in competitive real estate markets, we do not recommend buying a home without verifying its condition first. This first-time homebuyer mistake could financially ruin you if the property ends up having hidden issues.

Mistake #7: Underestimating the Costs of Owning a Home

First-time homebuyers often underestimate the financial responsibilities that come with homeownership. Beyond the mortgage payment, there are additional costs like property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and repairs. It’s essential to budget for these expenses to ensure you can comfortably handle the additional financial needs of owning a home.

In conclusion, mistakes will make or break your first-time homebuying experience. The journey of becoming a first-time homebuyer can be filled with excitement and anticipation. However, it’s important to navigate this path with caution and avoid common mistakes that can have long-lasting consequences. By learning from the experiences of others, such as not having a realistic budget, neglecting credit report issues, or underestimating the costs of homeownership, you can set yourself up for a successful and fulfilling homeownership experience. Remember, being a Savvy Homebuyer is all about arming yourself with knowledge, seeking professional advice, and making informed decisions!

This will empower you to make the right choices and embark on this new chapter of homeownership with confidence. Happy homebuying!