More and more homeowners are expressing the desire to install solar panels in their homes, and an increasing number of lenders are working hard to help them obtain the funding to do so. One lender, Guild Mortgage, recently announced it would assist homeowners using FHA loans to purchase their properties in “lumping in” solar panels along with the cost of the home. California residents will be the first borrowers with access to the program, but it could spread in the future.

“Few lenders currently offer programs for the purchase of solar panels with a new home,” explained David Battany, Guild Mortgage’s executive vice president of capital markets. Battany believes that this funding option will make homes without solar panels in areas where solar power is already popular more attractive to buyers. The program is called FHA Solar.

Investor Insight: As solar panels become more widespread, investors will need to seriously consider whether installing them in rehabs is appropriate for the local market.

The loans require borrowers to put down a down payment of 3.5 percent of the loan, then factor in the solar panel costs after that initial payment is determined. The goal, a company spokeswoman said, is to help more homeowners install solar panels without further limiting the number of homes a homeowner might purchase.

FHA loans are widely used by first-time homebuyers, low- and moderate-income borrowers, and borrowers making down payments of less than 20 percent.

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  • Carole VanSickle Ellis

    Carole VanSickle Ellis serves as the news editor and COO of Self-Directed Investor (SDI) Society, a membership organization dedicated to the needs of self-directed investors interested in alternative investment vehicles, including real estate. Learn more at or reach Carole directly by emailing

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