Conventional wisdoms states that a roof crowned with solar panels adds value to a home. And for environmentally-conscious home buyers, finding a place already outfitted with the renewable energy-soaking arrays may seem like a nice perk.
A recent story in Bloomberg by Esmé E. Deprez shows the downside of trying to purchase a home with the desirable upgrade, and it has little to do with the technology. Rather, it’s the financial and contractual arrangements made by a previous owner that may throw a wrench into an otherwise routine real estate deal.
In Deprez’s case, it was a Sunrun lease that threatened to derail the home sale. She writes:
I asked Sunrun if it would take back the system to put it on someone else’s house. It wouldn’t. The only way to get out from under the obligation, as far as we could tell, was to prepay the balance on the remaining 18-plus years’ worth of payments and buy the hardware outright. The price: $27,300.What Happened When I Bought a House With Solar Panels – Bloomberg
Spoiler alert: it all ends up OK in the end, but not without some negotiating. It’s also worth reading for Deprez’s in-depth look at the monetary impact of leasing solar panels and the sales practices used by Sunrun.
Image Credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg