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Real Estate Agent with Liberty Homes RS-#62825

The following link (and the table below) are the federal guidelines from Fannie Maeset forth on March 29. 2016 regarding leased solar panels and the first paragraph is if the PV Panels are OWNED.  All sellers will face this same dilemma (if the solar company is not agreeing to these terms) when selling their properties with leased panels.








 This means all the difference in the world in obtaining a great mortgage for a home with PV Panels that are LEASED. Even PREPAID Lease for 20 years doesn't mean much if the Solar Company does not comply with these terms!





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Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.


 © 2007-2015 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman's

Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

All rights reserved.






Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Sally this is interesting. We have a lot of homes with leased solar panels in my area and somehow we've all worked it out well without the Fannie Mae assistance. Not sure this makes a lot of sense - in fact it could be hurting a lot of sellers and buyers.

Apr 14, 2016 02:05 PM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 Good morning Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman . I do have to agree with Anna that this is very interesting. Although we don't have to contend with that here there are a lot of parts of the country that do.

Apr 14, 2016 06:24 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

We are increasingly hearing of issues with leased solar panels when it comes to selling homes!

Apr 15, 2016 06:00 AM
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Anna:  It depends on which lender and if it involves an underwriter using Fannie Mae's Strictest of Guideline.

Team CHI aka lol:  As I said, it depends on the lender and what guidelines they follow. Another agent sold his house not two months ago and had NO problems at all. Most Solar Companies have a form they all sign off on.


Myrl:  YUP...This is first time I've had a buyer who wanted this home and the solar panels were a plus.  Thing is...the MLS said "21 solar panels...enjoy the lower electric bills" or something to that effect. I DID ask before we went to see it....just didn't think it would be all that trouble!

Apr 15, 2016 07:28 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Sally thank you for the information.  CT has a program in place where the panels and installation are free as well as a generous reduced rate.  I will have to see if the program meets with the Fannie Mae guidelines.

Apr 15, 2016 11:06 AM
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

George:  Believe me, no problems before until a bank says Solar Company has to comply with these terms. And...what happens if the solar company does not agree with a few of these?  Like...foreclosure....solar company agrees to go take off the panels...or will pay the owner for this and that.

Yeah...Hawaii doesn't have free anything. As far as I've heard....HECO will charge a thousand to set up with new homeowner...YIKES!

Apr 15, 2016 11:20 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Sally, there is a company here that is leasing solar panels, and selling the home can become complicated by the lease agreement. 

Apr 15, 2016 12:46 PM
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Sally many homeowners here are getting these leased PV panels.  It can be an issue.  Our MLS recently added  option s for owned vs lease.

Apr 15, 2016 01:05 PM
Richard and Jean Murphy
Harborview Properties - Portland, ME
(207) 712-4796

Thanks for the post. Yet another example of Active Rain members educating their peers. 

Apr 15, 2016 06:26 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Very interesting. There are a lot of homes in my area with leased panels. This is good to know.

Apr 15, 2016 09:44 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Thank you for sharing this update, I represent buyers & sellers of home with solar often these days; they do add an extra layer of challenge at times as the contracts for solar vary and not all solar companies were ethical.

Apr 16, 2016 12:13 AM
Mark Robinson
Geneva Financial, LLC - Beachwood, NJ
Honesty, Integrity, Service

I was thinking of solar panels on my home. They are starting to become prevalent in my area. Thanks for sharing this info.

Apr 18, 2016 09:35 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Missing you in the Rain, Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman!  COME BACK!!!  

Hugs dear!

Feb 01, 2017 02:56 PM
Ricardo Mello
Manhattan Miami Real Estate - Manhattan, NY
Manhattan & Miami Real Estate Agent

Happy Friday Sally 

Jul 19, 2018 09:57 AM
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pb - Empire, CO
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May 28, 2020 10:17 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

I hope all is going well for you and you will soon be posting again.

Have an outstanding summer.

Aug 05, 2023 07:47 AM
peter shawn
USA - Autaugaville, AL