Leased Solar Panel Issues

Solar is becoming more popular for homeowners here in Arizona. Solar can save electrical costs for sure.

Some homeowners buy the solar systems outright and others are opting to lease them. While leasing may have it’s advantages for some, there are some pitfalls to think about if you are a homeowner who has leased solar panels and then decide to sell your home or refinance the loan for your home.

Leased solar panels can cause problems with selling a home

Mortgage lenders are telling of scenarios where as an example, a home is up for sale. A buyer comes along, but  the buyer did not want to have the solar panels. Well maybe they “want” solar, but they are not prepared to deal with the expense of the lease – so the end result is they do not want to buy the house with the leased solar panels. Let’s say the seller is in a 20 year lease for the solar panels and the solar panel company says the seller would have to pay $30,000 to break the lease. The seller does not have $30,000 to pay the solar company. So the seller wants to sell and the buyer wants to buy — but what is in the way is $30,000 to pay off the solar company to get out of the solar lease.

This is becoming more of an issue in the real estate market as solar has become more popular. And it is something to consider if you are a home owner and thinking you may want to lease solar panels. Think about what may be some issues should you decide to sell your home in a few years.

Another consideration is if you are a home owner with leased solar panels and decide to refinance your home. All leased solar panel companies will put a lien on the property. That lien cannot be on the title when a refinance is considered. While some solar panel companies may” do a temporary lien release for title so the new refinance can close — not all solar companies will do this, and not under all circumstances. So if you have leased solar panels you may not be able to ever refinance your home – or if you can, at least is will be more complicated.

Just some considerations to think about if you are considering signing up for leased solar panels.

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