Chad, my husband, and I bought our first house in April. We had been dreaming about this house in our head for that last 6 months. It was perfect. The bank didn’t know how to finance it.
We were under contract for 5 months. We took out a FHA 203k loan. It is a house plus improvements loan. The reason we needed improvements, wasn’t because the house was in bad shape, it was because our house is off grid. We needed to “IMPROVE” our house because our house is not hooked up the the power grid. We are completely run off solar panels.
We were only allowed to purchase our house if we ran power to it, and are in the process of running power to our house. 😦 There are a lot of things that work really well for us being off grid. There are also a few things that don’t work so well. Here is a Pros and Cons list of what is good about solar power and living off grid.
- You have no electricity bills… EVER! Eventually we will have to replace the batteries, that is it.
- You are never without power, if there is little sun for a few days and the batteries get low you just turn on the generator.
- Propane is cheaper. Because most of our appliances are run off of propane, our propane is cheaper than if we were to only use it for heat.
- You get in tune with nature. Because you don’t have power you aren’t constantly inside playing video games or surfing the web. Before when I had all the amenities was able to do what I wanted when I wanted in the house I would sit and watch t.v. all day and not get anything accomplished. Now that I have limited access to power I hang outside most of the day and actually accomplish a lot more.
- You are more conscious of what you use for electricity. Being off grid, you have only a certain amount of power you can use throughout the day, so you end up using less.
- You can’t run as many electric appliances at the same time, or… at all. You have to use propane. For example, a fridge will drain the batteries within hours of being plugged in even on the sunniest days. If I run my washing machine and dryer at the same time all day, especially on cloudy days or at night, they will drain the batteries in no time at all.
- You have limited internet access. In order for me to be able to have my blog, I am using my phone as a hotspot. We can’t have cable, and satellite internet doesn’t work so well, and it is expense to install, and have monthly.
- It is not always sunny. If there are multiple days that it is cloudy you have limited charge on the batteries and when there is a limited charge you need to be very careful about what you use. If you are out of clean clothes and need to do laundry that day. You best be turning that generator on because that is the only way you are getting laundry done.
- Batteries last quiet some time, not exactly sure the time, but if one goes you have to replace all of them, and they are not cheap.
I am in love with the solar power. If I didn’t have to run power to my house I wouldn’t… Maybe when we are hooked to the grid we will just turn the power off and continue to just use our solar as our source of power. I hope this answered some questions for any of you who were looking at getting solar panels. I love it, I would recommend it to anyone.