Therese's Tip for The Day - Solar Panels, Yay or Nay?

Dated: 06/18/2019

Views: 462

Recently I took buyers to view a beautiful home, in their preferred price range, with every single bell and whistle - you could say it was the 'perfect' home!  Then, we noticed the solar panels on the roof.  I was honest with them, I have never had a deal where solar panels were present, so I needed to do my research - and they agreed to do so as well.  The Listing Agent had all the documents, contracts, and energy bills right there on the dining room table for us to view - which was super helpful!  This particular Seller chose to LEASE the solar panels, and the lease is for 20 years!!!!  Yikes!  I subsequently learned that you would have two choices, purchase solar panels from $20,000 - $50,000 +/- , or Lease them.  The lease began at $125/month for first year, then each year increases by approx. 1.6% with the final years paying around $250/month, and yes - the energy bill was reduced to about $25/month.  In doing the math, I can not justify the cost of solar panels at all!  The monthly utility bills for this home are only about $200/month, so even with a $50/month savings, in the end you are breaking even at best!  Even if you outright purchased them (and I can certainly think of many ways to generate income with $20-$50,000 than to spend on solar panels!) you still have to have a maintenance contract in place.  My buyers agreed - but loved the house - so now what do we do??  My suggestion is to offer full price for the home (which it is definitely worth) and request the seller pay off the lease on the solar panels, and arrange for them to be removed - this would cost the seller $24,000!  It's a heartbreaking loss - but it was a mistake they will probably never make again.  Buyers could have had the lease of the solar panels transferred to them, but like myself - why?  This beautiful home is not selling because the Sellers bought into the "free installation" and "no money down" hype that would "dramatically lower your utility bills!" - well, I'll have to keep you posted because we just submitted the offer.    So bottom line, NAY!  Do not get involved with solar panels would be my advice. 

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Therese Jenkins

Thanks for visiting my site! A brief overview about me - I have been a Realtor and Broker for over 22 years, with my career beginning in NYC in 1996. While there, I worked with corporate relocation ....

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