What You Should Know Before Installing Solar Panels or Buying a Solar-Powered Home

What You Should Know Before Installing Solar Panels or Buying a Solar-Powered Home

Are you contemplating the idea of installing solar panels or purchasing a home that already has them in place? This decision comes with several important considerations that you should be aware of before proceeding.

From potential liens to property values and mortgage complications, here's a breakdown of key points to keep in mind:

Understanding Solar Panel Loan Liens

When you secure a loan to finance the installation of solar panels, the solar company or lender might place a lien on your property until the loan is fully repaid. This lien has the potential to impact your ability to sell your home in various ways:

1. Transfer of Lien

If you decide to sell your home and the prospective buyer is hesitant about assuming the solar panel loan lien, you could find yourself needing to settle the loan before proceeding with the sale. This financial consideration adds an additional layer of complexity to the process.

2. Influence on Home Value

While the addition of solar panels can enhance the overall value of a property, it's crucial to evaluate whether the cost of the solar system and the accompanying lien outweigh the value boost. An imbalance in this equation might result in challenges when attempting to sell the property.

3. Buyer's Mortgage Approval

For potential buyers who require a mortgage to purchase your home, their lender might stipulate that the solar panel loan lien must be paid off before approving the mortgage. This is because, in the event of a buyer defaulting on payments, the solar panel loan lien could take precedence over the mortgage.

4. Refinancing Hurdles

If you're considering refinancing your home in the future, the presence of a lien from the solar panel loan could potentially lead to difficulties in obtaining approval from certain lenders.

Types of Solar Panel Loan Liens

It's important to note that Solar Panel Loan Liens can be of two types. Some are solely connected to the solar panels themselves, while others attach to the entire real estate property. To make informed decisions, it's essential to thoroughly understand the terms of the Financing Agreement and the specifics of the lien before committing to the purchase of solar panels or a solar-powered home.

Seek Professional Guidance

Given the intricacies of these matters, seeking advice from a seasoned real estate attorney or an experienced Mortgage Professional is highly recommended. These professionals can provide the clarity you need to navigate through potential pitfalls and make well-informed choices.

In conclusion, the decision to install solar panels or buy a home with existing panels can be a beneficial one. However, it's vital to have a comprehensive understanding of the associated Solar Panel Loan Liens, their implications on property transactions, and the potential hurdles they might pose. By arming yourself with knowledge and consulting with experts, you can confidently make decisions that align with your financial goals and aspirations.

This article was written by Chris Bufis (NMLS#1405934) with RW Towne Mortgage. Refinancing an existing loan may result in finance charges being higher over the life of the loan and a reduction of payments may reflect a longer term.  Approvals are subject to underwriting and program guidelines based on eligibility.