“Owners can borrow no more than 15 percent of the as-completed appraised value of the home for energy upgrades.”


Homeowners Can Finance Energy Improvements Through New Mortgage Programs

Want to put solar panels on your roof — owning them outright rather than leasing from some third-party company? A new program that has just hit the market could help make that happen. And because it uses long-term mortgage money, the interest rates are similar to those on a regular home loan — currently less than 4 percent if you’ve got good credit.

Equally important, you can pocket the generous 30 percent federal investment tax credit that’s available for owners who buy solar panels, a benefit you can’t use if you lease them. By purchasing, you can also add demonstrable equity value to your home, save on utility bills and avoid the hassles and potential buyer objections to taking over your payments on leased panels when you sell your home.

The new program, known as the HomeStyle Energy Mortgage, comes from giant investor Fannie Mae. It’s useful for far more than solar panels, too.

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