Sun power

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY Determining whether to go solar and then whether to finance panels or buy them can impact a home’s marketability.

The growth of solar as an alternative energy source has created a new challenge for people buying or selling an existing home with solar panels in place. The choices between owning, leasing, or power purchase agreements could impact the marketability of your home, and what buyers are looking for in a property with solar.
This is not designed to be an opinion piece on which programs or companies are better with solar. This is really meant to be a warning voice and an educational announcement to check with your Lender or your Realtor so you make an educated decision on what is good for you and your family, your budget and the long term strategy for your home.
Most important is to know that every mortgage loan program handles solar differently. If you are buying a home with solar installed, check with your lender on what they allow. Jumbo loans, conventional loans, government loans: they all have different rules. Almost every lender will want to see the actual lease agreement on solar panels that are leased. And if you buy it outright or finance the panels, that debt will count against you and impact your qualifying.
Make sure you ask all your professionals for advice, counsel, and direction when solar leases or purchases are involved so you know how it will affect you in the short and long term.
Jayson Stebbins is a 23-year veteran of the mortgage banking industry. Contact Jayson at (408) 825-0220 or at

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