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Could leased solar panels affect the sale of your house?
By Realopoly Staff
SWhile there are obvious benefits to having the solar panel system installed on your house, including the reduced carbon footprint of your household, energy cost savings, and possible tax rebates, there is another aspect of "going solar" that you should carefully consider: having the panels leased and signing a lengthy lease agreement with the solar power company.
Leasing the solar panel system may be tempting, since it requires less (or none) upfront out of pocket cost, versus buying the system outright. However, since most leases of this kind run for 20 to 25 years, this type of arrangement can potentially affect a future sale of your property. Let's say, you decide to sell the house five years after signing the solar system lease. That would mean that the buyer would have to take over your existing lease, and continue making the payments on it for the next 15 or 20 years. While the lease payment plans do vary, the lease payment could be an additional $200-$300/month that the buyer would have to budget for.
This type of arrangement may not be appealing to some buyers, so having the solar panels leased may affect the marketability of your property. However, don't despair! Some buyers will appreciate the fact that you've already converted the house to the solar power. Plus, you can try to make the deal more appealing to the buyers, by offering to cover their future lease payments for an agreed upon period of time, or purchase the system outright and build the cost into the house selling price. It's always a good idea to consider your future moving plans, and the local real estate market conditions, before investing in a major upgrade, such as the solar power system. Your local real estate professional should be able to give you his/her opinion on how it could possibly affect the sale of your property.
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