Solar panels have major benefit for both the environment and your wallet. But how do the complicate the home buying/selling process?
There is an abundance of reasons why buying a house with solar panels is a great idea, but there are also some negatives that can arise when a house is being sold.
Solar panels have been cited as adding $15,000-$20,000 to the value of a home if purchased outright. This is because of the appeal of energy independence as well as energy cost savings. Purchases of systems via financing, however, require credit qualification and processing, and therefore could result in a lapse in time for installation.
In recent years, solar leases have attracted many homeowners because they require no money down and result in lowered utility bills. Leases have made solar panels affordable to a wider range of the population, but problems can occur when the home is put up for sale. The buyers may not wish to assume the lease, which could have upward of 15 more years left on the term. Potential buyers may not be able to afford to purchase the system due to financing restrictions. With home prices rising faster than incomes, many buyers barely qualify for the home mortgage, let alone an additional lease. Statistics show that most of the time, the buyer either assumes the lease or the seller is asked to pay off the lease prior to the sale of the home.
This is an important consideration when selling or buying a home with solar panels. Green energy and home construction are great, but it is important for sellers to do their homework on this topic before listing their home. This includes investigating lease assumption and buy-out provisions and disclosing those terms to potential buyers. If the current system is owned and financed, the seller might consider paying off the solar loan upon sale by increasing the selling price of the home to reflect the increased value of the solar panels.
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