Attention, buyers! Choosing an eco-friendly home makes more sense now than ever, as it not only proves to be beneficial over time, when you add up the savings of more efficient appliances and more sustainable features, but it also actually can benefit you right now, if you use an energy-efficient mortgage.
Designed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to encourage buyers towards purchasing green residences, energy-efficient mortgages can allow you to qualify for larger sums of money, as well as a more efficient and sustainable residence!
What is an energy-efficient mortgage?
Designed to make the purchase of a green home easier, an EEM works like a traditional mortgage, except that it has a few extra requirements.
How can someone qualify for an energy-efficient mortgage?
The home to be purchased must be assessed through a Home Energy Rating System by a trained professional and given a score between 1 and 100. The lower the score, the less efficient it is.
Based on that score, you may potentially qualify for an EEM because (1) You could save money by adding energy-focused upgrades or (2) The amount of projected energy savings the home already would provide is enough to increase your total loan amount.
Are there different types of energy-efficient mortgages?
Yes. Which type of EEM is used depends on the situation:
• Regular EEM: This is the mortgage that adds the projected energy savings of a home to the amount of the loan.
• FHA (Federal Housing Administration) EEM: In this case, buyers can add up to 5% of the value of the home to the loan amount, up to $8K. This helps them be able to make energy-efficient improvements to the home without needing to take out a second mortgage for the cash.
• Veteran’s EEM: For military personnel, this mortgage provides between $3000 and $6000 towards upgrade costs or a mortgage.
• Energy Star Mortgage: According to the Energy Star Web site, there’s a new program coming soon, aimed at “enhancing the success of investing in energy-efficient homes by lowering borrowing costs, as well as demonstrating the importance of utilizing a network of qualified energy auditors and contractors to ensure that cost-effective energy efficiency improvements are realized.”