Solar Panels, Part 1 – Lease Transaction Traps.
You have solar panels on your home and you decide to move. You assume that the presence of solar panels will be a marketing plus, maybe even get you a higher price. That should be case, but when the panels are leased, it might not. Some buyers will balk when they learn that they’ll need to make lease payments for 10 or more years, on equipment that will become obsolete. Others won’t sign a contract unless the seller buys out the remaining lease payment stream (which can be as high as $20,000 or more), because they don’t know if the monthly payment will offset the amount they will save on electricity bills. An agent in California says she has seen sales fall apart when buyers simply thought the leases “were really bad deals.” This can make solar leases a liability when a home is sold, as the pool of buyers is limited. Next: Solar lease problems, part 2.