“It’s no secret that green housing is a trend on the rise,” says Todd Hetherington, CEO of Century 21 New Millennium. For years now, homeowners have been making green renovations, and buyers are on the lookout for eco-friendly homes. As a result, many lenders are offering larger loans, or discounts, to buyers who are making eco-conscious improvements to their homes.
“The reasoning behind the incentives offered to eco-friendly buyers is relatively simple,” states Hetherington. “When a home is energy-efficient, it has lower utility bills. The money saved from the bills can be counted as income, so buyers are able to qualify for a larger loan in order to increase home efficiency.”
Wondering if your green improvement can qualify you for a green loan? Ask yourself if your eco-friendly fix-up will lower your energy bills. If not, then you probably don’t qualify.
“If you think you can apply for an energy efficient mortgage, you need a special report to measure your home’s efficiency, called a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) report,” Hetherington states. An inspector will come out and evaluate your home, rating your efficiency from 0 to 100.
“If you think you qualify for an energy efficient discount program or loan, talk to your bank for details,” suggests Hetherington. “There a quite a few different programs to look into, depending on your state, your bank, and more,” Hetherington continues. The simplest programs are offered to buyers interested in purchasing a green home, and include a credit or deduction based on the requirements their new home meets.
You can also look into programs offered by Fannie Mae and the Federal Housing Administration, who incorporate the cost of energy improvements into the cost of your loan, a more complex process. “To qualify for this type of FHA mortgage, a buyer must do a number of things, including making a small down-payment, making cost-effective home improvements, and spending more than five percent of the purchase price for energy-efficient improvements,” Hetherington explains.
CENTURY 21 New Millennium. Smarter. Bolder. Faster.
CENTURY 21 New Millennium, www.c21nm.com, is a full service real estate brokerage company specializing in residential and luxury properties. The Virginia locations are in Alexandria, Centreville, Culpeper, Fredericksburg, Gainesville, McLean, Stafford, and Woodbridge. The Maryland offices are located in Annapolis, Dunkirk, La Plata, Lexington Park and Lusby. Its core services include: mortgage financing, investing, settlement services, property management, property insurance, global relocation assistance, and commercial real estate.