CFO Jimmy's Patronis' Seal

Press Release

Contact our Office of Communications | 850.413.2842


For Immediate Release: Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Contact: Office of Communications,, 850.413.2842




May 21, 2024


Watch HERE and Read Transcript below:

Bruce Hamilton: Florida Realtors and the state’s Chief Financial Officer are warning about a new twist in the debate of a rooftop solar panels; whether the cost outweighs the benefits. Eric Von Ancken explains that selling a home with solar panels can prove difficult.

Eric Von Ancken: This is not yet another story about whether or not you should put solar panels on your roof. Despite the controversy, lots of homeowners have them and are happy with them because they deliver clean energy and lower their power bills. What this story is about, homeowners who never thought they’d have to sell yet suddenly are finding themselves in that position where they have to give up their home yet they can’t. It’s either difficult or impossible because of the panels on their roof.”

Eric Von Ancken: “So, Kim Coburn, you are if not the, certainly one of the longest serving Realtors continuously in Central Florida.”

KIM COBURN: “Yes, 42 years as a Realtor.”

Eric Von Ancken: “And you’re seeing a problem that you’ve never seen before?”

KIM COBURN: “Yes, there’s a lot of different reasons that people move.”

Eric Von Ancken: “And that happened here?”

KIM COBURN: “It did happen here. So, they were relocated and you know they had signed up for an $89,800 – it became a lien on their property, a second mortgage.”

Eric Von Ancken: “$89,000 is what they paid for their solar system?”

KIM COBURN: “Correct. Correct. They didn’t realize it was going to be a second mortgage on their house.”

Eric Von Ancken: “And… a lien?”

KIM COBURN: “A lien, yes, a lien on the house that either has to be paid off or assumed by a buyer.”

Eric Von Ancken: “The problem that Kim Coburn and other realtors are running into more and more is that potential buyers can’t qualify for additional cash to pay for the house and the loan on the solar panels, in this case, an $89,000 loan on top of the half million dollar selling price. The solar energy industries association, based in Washington, D.C., said panels do add value to a house but valuation, as we’re seeing is complex and subjective. SEA recommends asking for an appraiser who is familiar with this, of course, on how to assess solar panel valuation from the appraisal institute.”

KIM COBURN: “So there are some courses that have come up that are great but you can’t force appraisers to take them.”

Eric Von Ancken: “The bigger problem is that you can’t pick your appraiser.”

KIM COBURN: “You can’t, you can’t. The bank picks the appraiser.”

Eric Von Ancken: “How many appraisers have you dealt with that have taken this course in valuation.”

KIM COBURN: “None. Absolutely None.”

Eric Von Ancken: “Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis told News 6 he’s hearing about it too in Tallahassee.”

CFO PATRONIS: “People don’t realize they’re putting a 50 maybe $60,000 liability on their house and now say they want to downsize, maybe they want to move into a retirement community where they don’t need their house anymore because they’re going to go downsize, scale back. You know, now they got to pay off this depreciating asset that really, in my opinion, they did not get the full disclosure of what they got themselves into as a financial liability.”

KIM COBURN: “The people that have these houses with solar really, really need to understand that agreement. Read every word, perhaps talk to an attorney, perhaps even a financial planner.”

Eric Von Ancken: “Now you could hire your own appraiser. In fact, you can hire as many as you want. You could get someone who has taken this Solar Panel Course from the appraisal institute, but Kim warns the bank may not look at it because they don’t have to. Still, she says you could get it as additional proof to show the value of the panels on your roof, at least to that potential buyer. What these seller do? They’re just going to eat it. At closing, they’re going to take the money from the sale of the house and pay off that $89,000 loan. Right on the spot in Winter Springs, Eric Von Ancken, Getting Results, News 6.”


About CFO Jimmy Patronis

Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and X (@FLDFS).

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