A growing number of lending programs are helping homeowners pay the upfront costs of solar panels. One lender, Guild Mortgage, an independent lender, recently announced a program that allows home buyers to lump the costs of solar panels into an FHA loan. California residents will be the first to have access to the program.

Guild Mortgage’s FHA Solar program follows Federal Housing Administration loan requirements and offers down payment options as low as 3.5 percent. The down payment is based on the purchase of the home before the panels are added to the cost of the mortgage. “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,” says 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.”

David Battany, Guild Mortgage’s executive vice president of capital markets, says the data shows that an increasing number of people are searching for homes with solar installed and that the trend will likely continue. “Few lenders currently offer programs for the purchase of solar panels with a new home,” he says. “We see this as a great opportunity to serve the next generation of home buyers.”

Other programs are also available for financing solar, such as PACE loans. Also, some homeowners fund the purchase of solar panels through a second trust deed.  Source: Guild Mortgage