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Understanding the $0 down solar leasing & the loan programs!

Solar PanelsMy clients often ask my opinion on $0 down solar leasing offers they are constantly getting these days. I often wonder what would the best and honest answer I can give my clients and friends. I truly believe it is one of my duties to guide my clients in the right direction when it comes to real estate related issues. After all, I am the local real estate professional.
I recall attending one of the meetings held few months back at our SRCAR office by one of the solar companies. I wondered if I got any useful information at that meeting. Let the truth be told that I am not sure if I learned any at all or got answers to my own questions at that meeting. I submitted 13 written questions to the conductors of the meeting. Only one of my questions was read at the meeting, but the answer was simply to contact the customer service that they claimed to highly recommend. I wonder if those who came to teach and clarify information did not have the answers can we expect their employees to have them.
All kinds of opinions are up there. However, I am going to talk about experiences we have as realtors. We know these things. We know all companies seem to push $0 down lease options for 20-30 years. We know certain solar leases are billed as a tax lien on the subject properties. We know you need to qualify a loan to get the solar.
We also know that having solar can complicate the sale or re-finance of your home. If the new buyer refuses to pay for solar, the current owner will have to pay off the entire contract obligation in full prior to close of escrow.
No company that I have spoken to want to give the clients a choice between all out purchase at a much lower price to the long term lease option that cost the consumer lost more at the end. It would be nice if the choice if given and if figures and facts are disclosed to the consumers. Such as how much of government incentives the clients would receive? What would the solar panels actually cost? What is the break down on labor and materials?
I say to my clients, please read the contracts including fine prints before you agree to any such agreement.
Want to know more? Please send me your comments or questions…
Don Wijesinghe-donw@tarbell.com