How A Mortgage Affects the Sale of a Solar Home in Phoenix

How a mortgage affects the sale of a home in Phoenix.

Owning a home adorned with shiny solar panels in sunny Phoenix is an exciting prospect. But, hey, we get it! The financial side, especially understanding mortgages and loans, can be a bit tricky. Let’s explore, in straightforward terms, how different loan options work for purchasing a solar home in the Phoenix area.

Conventional Loans: Your Everyday Mortgage

These are your standard loans, often used by many. They’re guided by rules set by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which are entities that buy and package mortgages. Fun fact: You can snag a conventional loan by putting down as little as 3% and choose between a 15 or 30-year payoff plan.  Additionally, solar lease payments are not added to your qualifying ratios (though a solar loan payment would be added unfortunately).

When it comes to homes with solar panels, there’s a special form (the “Residential and Green Energy Efficient Addendum”) that appraisers use if the solar system is owned and not leased. A tiny hiccup to keep in mind: if you purchased solar panels under the PACE program (specific to California), Fannie Mae won’t back the loan. But since we’re in Arizona, no worries there!

FHA Loans: Friendly and Adaptable

FHA loans are known for being user-friendly with flexible rules. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), ensures these loans. They’re renowned for their lower down payments and more lenient guidelines.

When solar comes into play, FHA has cool specifics. They allow mortgage amounts to go beyond 20% of the max allowable FHA home loan if that excess is used to install a solar system. Plus, with an FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM), you can finance up to $10,000 for energy improvements (like solar panels) with as little as 3.5% down.

Another neat offer from FHA is the Title I loan, providing funds for energy improvements even if you’ve not much equity in your home. Although rarely used for initial home purchases, it can be a boon for existing homeowners in Phoenix wishing to shift to solar without leasing.

VA Loans: A Salute to Service

Here’s a shoutout to our military veterans! VA loans are tailor-made for you, requiring no money down and are, in general, a fantastic deal.

When we bring solar into the picture, VA has specific guidelines, notably in VA Pamphlet 26-7, regarding how solar systems are valued and qualified. Similar to other loan types, if the solar system is a permanent part of the home and not leased or financed, it adds value.

VA also has an energy-efficient mortgage, but it’s worth noting that it’s not commonly offered by most lenders in Phoenix.

In a Sunbeam: The Link of Loans and Solar

Regardless of the loan type, Phoenix has proved to be a sun-drenched paradise for solar homes. However, diving into the financial aspect, particularly loans, requires a little light to be shed on the intricate details.

Through the lens of conventional, FHA, and VA loans, potential solar homeowners can navigate the sea of financial jargon and lay the foundation for their luminous abode in the vibrant heart of Arizona.

The takeaway? While each loan type has its unique shades, the underlining fact remains that turning your home into a beacon of sustainability with solar is certainly plausible. And with the right financial route, you can bask in the glow of both the sun and smart, future-proof investment in a solar home in Phoenix.

About the author, Rob Madden

Rob Madden is an experienced real estate broker in the Phoenix metro area, having worked in the industry for over 28 years. He has helped many home buyers and sellers navigate the local real estate market, and is considered a trusted expert in the field. Rob is committed to making the buying or selling process as seamless and straightforward as possible for his clients, and provides hands-on assistance at every stage of the transaction. In his free time, Rob enjoys being a Scoutmaster for a local Scouts BSA troop, hiking, backpacking, photography, and playing pinball.