Some mortgage lenders are offering assistance to homeowners who’re willing to install solar panels by paying for the upfront costs.
One of the lenders is Guild Mortgage, which has just announced a new program that allows borrowers to add the costs of a solar panel system to a Federal Housing Authority loan. The program is being made available to California residents first, Guild said.
Guild said its program meets the FHA’s loan requirements and comes with down payment options as low as 3.5 percent. The down payment is calculated on the cost of the home before the panels are factored in, so there’s no premium to be paid on that end.
“This program will give more options to home buyers looking for solar because it gives them the flexibility to purchase panels and add them to any home they choose,” said Guild Mortgage President and CEO Mary Ann McGarry. “FHA Solar is ideal for individuals who are looking to buy a home that they plan to live in for several years and realize the return on their investment. It will also be attractive to customers who want to lower their monthly utility bill and have a greener footprint.”
Data shows that home buyers are increasingly looking for homes that have solar panels pre-installed, and that trend is likely to continue, said David Battany, executive vice president of capital markets at Guild Mortgage.
“Few lenders currently offer programs for the purchase of solar panels with a new home, so we see this as a great opportunity to serve the next generation of home buyers,” Battany said.
Other ways to finance solar panels include PACE loans and a second trust deed.