A relatively unknown financing option called the “energy efficient mortgage” might help consumers keep their homes cozy as well as keep the bills down. And after the first of the year, Uncle Sam will even kick in incentives, in the form of tax credits, for home energy improvements, Bankrate.com tells us. Created by Fannie Mae, the EEM dates back to the Carter administration, though the program was updated in 2002. The tax credits are included in the 2005 energy bill. (Inman News first reported about the energy-efficient mortgage online in 2001; we announced that Countrywide offered such a mortgage.)With an energy efficient mortgage, Bankrate tells us, a home is inspected and scored by a certified energy rater for about $300. Then, the cost of improvements, such as a new furnace, more insulation or newer windows that would improve the score, is rolled into the loan. Even though mortgage payments are higher, lower utility bills result in a home that is cheaper to operate. Lower monthly bills also enable the homeowner to qualify for a larger mortgage.”
I am working on my Eco-Broker certification. This is the type of thing that will, hopefully, set me apart. Knowledge is good. Competitive knowledge that helps my business and my clients is better.
Buyers are also looking behind the walls. Phipps recently had one potential buyer show up for a walk-through with a compass. On the shopping list: a southern exposure. Buyers are also looking for more eco-friendly treatments, more environmentally smart building plans and more efficient use of energy — especially as the price of oil and gas escalate.
“The greening of our consciousness is something that I think you’re going to find a lot more conversations about,” Phipps says.