paying-the-price-for-going-greenBeing environmentally friendly is important to many people and so is saving money. The use of solar panels to save energy is very popular right now but the problem with solar panels is the high cost. Solar companies are helping people obtain solar panels by leasing panels at a rate that will lock in energy costs for the next 20 years. The problem here is that the average time people stay in one home is 13 years, and when it comes time to sell, the new buyer will have to qualify to take over the solar panel lease payments, or you will be still stuck paying the balance.

This is becoming an increasing problem for buyers and sellers and can even cause certain deals to fall apart. The new buyer may not want the solar panels and if they do, there is a possibility that when the loan gets to underwriting, the additional debt from the panels may push the potential homebuyer over the qualifying ratios and the loan could be denied.

There are also programs out there that will install new systems to make a home more energy efficient (including adding solar panels) and the cost of improvements is repaid for up to 20 years with an assessment added to the homeowner’s tax bill. The problem with these programs is the fact that major lenders, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, will not finance homes that utilize these types of programs. Therefore, when a homeowner goes to refinance or sell their home, they will find the task nearly impossible.

When it comes to adding energy efficient features to your home, it’s important to think about how it will affect you in the future. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions.