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.

Furnishing your first home can be overwhelming , not to mention expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. What if instead of spending a small fortune on brand-new furniture at big box stores, you curated and upcycled key furniture pieces to give your home a unique vibe for a fraction of the cost? Welcome to the world of upcycling, your solution to affordable, stylish furniture for your first home.

What is Upcycling?

Upcycling is the art of transforming old or discarded items into something new, useful, and often beautiful. It’s a fantastic way to save money, reduce waste, and add a personal touch to your home. When you upcycle furniture for your first home, you’re not just furnishing a house; you’re creating a unique, cozy space that truly feels like yours.

Why Upcycle Furniture for Your First Home?

Save Money

The most obvious reason to upcycle furniture is to save money. Buying new furniture can be expensive, especially when you’re already dealing with the costs of buying your first home. Upcycling allows you to create beautiful pieces at a fraction of the cost.

Personalize Your Space

Upcycling gives you the freedom to customize your furniture to match your style and the aesthetic of your home. You can choose the colors, finishes, and details that you love, creating pieces that are truly one-of-a-kind.

Environmentally Friendly

Upcycling is also a great way to reduce waste and be more environmentally friendly. By giving new life to old items, you’re keeping them out of landfills and reducing the demand for new products.

Ways to Upcycle

Upcycling furniture offers creative ways to breathe new life into old pieces, reducing waste. Techniques like painting, staining, and reupholstering allow for transformations that refresh the furniture’s appearance and showcase a personal style.

Best Furniture Pieces To Buy Used

After you assess your new space make a list of key pieces you will need to turn your first house into a home. These are the 5 pieces that we think make the best-upcycled pieces:

  1. Dressers: Dressers are a popular choice for upcycling due to their versatility. They can be painted, stained, or even repurposed into different types of furniture like a kitchen island or a bathroom vanity.
  2. Coffee Tables: Coffee tables can be easily upcycled with a fresh coat of paint or stain. Some people also add a glass top or mosaic tiles to give them a new look.
  3. Chairs: Chairs, especially wooden ones, are commonly upcycled. They can be reupholstered, painted, or even transformed into a completely different item, like a bedside table.
  4. Bookcases: Bookcases are great for upcycling because they offer a lot of space for creativity. They can be painted, wallpapered, or modified to serve a completely different purpose, such as a bar or a storage bench.
  5. Desks: Desks, particularly old wooden ones, are often upcycled. They can be refinished, painted, or modified to serve as a vanity or a kitchen island.

Savings of Upcycling vs Buying New

The cost of buying each furniture piece new could rack up quite the price tag. After an already expensive homebuying process, this is often too much for first-time buyers. Luckily there are significant savings to be had by buying used and upcycling key pieces in a home’s furnishings.

Furniture PieceAverage Cost NewAverage Cost UsedPotential Savings
Dresser$150 – $1000+$30 – $200$120 – $800
Coffee Table$50 – $500+$20 – $150$30 – $350
Chair$50 – $500+$10 – $100$40 – $400
Bookcase$50 – $500+$20 – $150$30 – $350
Desk$100 – $1000+$50 – $300$50 – $700
Headboard$50 – $1000+$25 – $200$25 – $800
Total$295 – $3400

How to Upcycle Furniture: A Step-by-Step Guide

So, how do you upcycle? Here are 4 simple steps:

STEP 1: Find Your Piece: Look for old furniture at garage sales, thrift stores, or even on the side of the road. Don’t worry about the color or finish – what’s important is the structure and potential of the piece.

STEP 2: Clean and Prep: Clean the piece thoroughly and make any necessary repairs. Sand it down if needed to prepare it for painting or staining.

STEP 3: Get Creative: This is where the fun begins! Paint, stain, or decoupage your piece. Add new hardware, upholstery, or other details to make it truly yours.

STEP 4: Protect Your Work: Once you’re happy with your creation, seal it with a clear coat to protect it from damage.

Great Places to Find Items To Upcycle

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is a treasure trove of used furniture. It’s an online platform where people in your local area post items for sale, including a wide variety of furniture. You can find everything from antique dressers to modern coffee tables, often at very affordable prices. Plus, the platform is easy to use, with search and filter options to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Estate Sales

Estate sales are another excellent source of potential upcycle projects. These sales usually occur when someone is moving or has passed away and their belongings are being sold. You can find quality, well-loved furniture pieces at these sales, often at a fraction of the cost of buying new. Check your local newspaper or online listings for upcoming estate sales in your area.


Don’t underestimate the power of a good curbside find! Many people put furniture out on the curb to be taken away as trash, especially during big item pickup days. This can be a gold mine for upcycles. Always be sure to check the condition of curbside items thoroughly, and remember – one person’s trash is another person’s treasure!

Upcycling Furniture for Your First Home

Q: I’m not very handy. Can I still upcycle furniture? A: Absolutely! Upcycling can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. There are plenty of easy projects for beginners, and you can learn as you go.

Q: Where can I find furniture to upcycle? A: Garage sales, thrift stores, and online marketplaces are great places to find old furniture. You can also ask friends and family if they have any items they’re looking to get rid of.

Q: What kind of paint should I use for upcycling furniture? A: It depends on the look you’re going for. Chalk paint gives a matte, vintage look and doesn’t require a primer, while latex paint is more durable and comes in a variety of finishes.

Your Upcycling Adventure

Now, we’d love to hear from you! What’s one piece of furniture you’d love to upcycle for your first home? Share your ideas in the comments below!

Ready to embark on your homeownership journey? Savvy Homebuyer is your comprehensive guide to homeownership follow for all things home.