Home Buying in 01028>Question Details

Jason Gumpert, Home Buyer in Watertown, MA

In western MA, how will having leased solar panels on a single family house impact the value and ability to sell?

Asked by Jason Gumpert, Watertown, MA Wed Sep 11, 2013

I like the idea of adding solar panels to my home, but if I decide to sell within the next few years, I'm concerned that it will become a complication and risk that will somehow hurt the value or ability to attract a buyer. Does anyone have any feedback on how buyers are reacting when they see a home with solar panels? Logically, it should be a benefit because it saves the homeowner money and is 'green'. But that doesn't mean buyers see it this way. Any feedback?

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I installed 40 solar panels in my back yard - no southern roof exposure - and honestly I prefer a ground mount. Yes, they were expensive, but so worth it. 30% tax credit, quarterly SREC checks for 10 years, no electric bills since April and whatever we don't use, feeds back to the grid and we get a credit.

Win, win, win, win, win if you ask me.

However, a lease means if you sell and the Buyer doesn't want the lease - you fork over money to have them removed and the leasing company compensated. Oh and by the way, don't look for the 30% tax credit, quarterly SREC checks, and credit with the electric company because that goes to the leasing company not you.

Leasing does not make sense in my opinion...

j

p.s. I also installed geothermal heating and cooling - best investment I ever made..
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 11, 2013
Thanks Joyce, since you're fairly close to my area, do you have any observations on selling homes that actually have solar on the roof?
Flag Wed Sep 11, 2013
Jason, there are buyers that are earth conscious will jump at the opportunity to purchase a home that is energy efficient.

With panels it is all about the numbers and showing the value in black and white...

j
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 12, 2013
There are always issues with the roof on homes that sell with solar panels. Some people aren't green.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 11, 2013
Correct. It may be best to summarize the lease terms, have the lease available for a buyer's attorney to review and most important is a history of the billing to show the monthly amount before and after the panels were installed. I could imagine that a buyer will be looking at the electric bill first.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 11, 2013
Interesting ideas, thanks!
Flag Wed Sep 11, 2013
Just because it is something you like does not mean everyone will. That is one reason you don't see them on every home out there, it does not matter where you are. Since they would be leased you are forcing the buyers to go along with another bill when they buy the house. It is like a swimming pool - some will want it and some will run from it.
If you want it do it and worry about the sale later.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 11, 2013
Thanks Tim. The lease seems like a big complication - requires a credit check, they'll want to review the terms, etc. Swimming pool analogy makes sense too.
Flag Wed Sep 11, 2013
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