Energy Efficient Morgages

02/05/2010

Many homeowners aren’t aware of EEM’s – Energy Efficient Morgtages. It’s worth considering them when you’re planning to buy a home.
ENERGY-EFFICIENT MORTGAGES
Technology Snapshot & Benefits:
Energy-efficient mortgages are one of the most beneficial and under-utilized programs the consumer can find and
capitalize upon in today’s real estate market. An energy-efficient mortgage can add an additional $15,000 to the
principal of a new loan or a refinance, often at no additional cost, no compromise in the loan-to-value ratio for the borrower, and sometimes at a better rate. Yes, one pays a bit more in principal and interest, at today’s rates,
roughly $30-50 dollars per month, over the course of the loan. However, when this extra principal is used to install
energy efficiency measures, it is not uncommon for the property owner to realize $75-100 per month in energy cost savings. When working with a lender who offers and understands the energy-efficient mortgage programs
available, the steps for the borrower are very straightforward.
Estimated Cost Savings:
There are no additional costs associated with many energy efficient mortgage options, other than the cost of the
additional $15,000 in amortized principal and interest (PI). By definition, the savings created by the energy
efficiency measures are greater than the additional PI. This provides the assurance lenders need to conclude loans
of this nature are good business. In fact, the attractiveness of the energy efficient mortgage options also extends to lenders. What happens is that as
the borrowers make the stated energy efficiency improvements and create monthly utility bill and other savings, their monthly cash-flow improves. This improvement in monthly cash-flow makes the borrower an even more stable and reliable customer, less likely to present the prospect of default.
Issues:
Most energy-efficient financing programs require that the borrower has an energy rating on their existing or new
home. A rating typically involves an inspection by a professional energy rater who is certified under a nationally or state accredited home energy rating system (HERS). The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET)
provides a database of Certified Home Energy Raters (http://www.natresnet.org/dir/raters/default.htm) by state.
Regional Issues:
Energy-efficient mortgages and other financing options for energy efficiency improvements are available throughout
the U.S. and internationally.
Installation (Getting it Done):
The first easy step is to talk to a few lenders, such as the affiliates here on the site, http://www.ecobroker.com and then prepare to have a certified energy rater come and conduct the analysis of your property. Your lender will also have suggestions as to energy raters who work with them on energy efficient mortgages, just as your lender has an appraiser with whom he/she works to conduct appraisals.
For more information on energy efficient mortgages, visit the Web sites of our ECOBROKER Affiliates in the lending industry.as seen at http://www.ecobroker.com

More Information On This Topic:
Fannie Mae: Mortgage Products – Energy-Efficient Mortgage
http://www.efanniemae.com/hcd/single_family/mortgage_products/eem.html
ECOBROKER International
Green Topic Pages
http://www.ecobroker.com • 1-800-706-4321
U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse: Financing

Understanding Mold

01/29/2010

Mold is an issue with many older houses and can even occur with newer ones. Mold is the major cause of allergies and respiratory problems, especially among children, so it’s important for all homeowners to understand what mold is and how to deal with it. Molds are naturally occurring bilological organisms. There are literally thousands of types of mold in the environment. The good new is that over the centuries molds have helped produce some wonderful inventions such as penicillin, breads, cheese and even alcoholic beverages. The bad news is that molds reproduce by sending out spores. These spores activate and grow when they land on a moist place. The mold then grows more spores and spreads and spreads and spreads. Outside in the open air this is not a bad situation because mold is part of Nature’s way to advance the natural process of decay.  Leaves which have missed the Fall raking, decay into ground partly due to the effects of mold. Inside the house though, when mold finds moisture things can get ugly. If unremediated mold produces a characteristically strong musty smell and leaves furry looking material on basement walls. Homeowners often do not realise they have a mold problem because over the years they no longer notice the musty smell and may not see the evidence of mold on walls because they may be covered with paneling or drywall.  One thing you can be assured of is that if your basement or attic has moisture then you almost certainly have mold. Here are some things you can do that will allert you to the possibility of mold in your home: 1) A good nose is the best way to test if there is mold. Ask someone who doesn’t live in your house to tell you if they smell any musty odors, 2) look around water pipe joints to see if there is any moisture,  3)  look at any uncovered wall areas in the basement for signs of furry looking, black or reddish colored areas, 4) any buckling of wallpaper or drywall, 5) brownish stains on walls or floor in basement, 5) signs of moisture on or near any wooden surfaces. What to do if you detect mold in your house?  Contact a professional, licensed mold remediation company.  You can find them in your Yellow Pages book or online. There is a nonprofit association that has a list of certified mold inspection companies. It’s called; Indoor Air Quality Association and their website is at; www.iaqa.org.

Andy’s Green Home News Blog – helping homeowners understand why ‘Green’ is the important color for their homes.

Energy Guide Label

01/26/2010

Ever wondered what all that stuff means on those Energy Guide Labels they stick on appliances, water heaters, furnaces etc? Well here’s a brief guide. Right click on link below and select ‘Open in New Window”

EnergyGuideLabel

Andy’s Green Home News

Andy’s Database of ‘Green’ Company’s Websites

01/18/2010

Anyone who would like a list of ‘Green’ company websites;  green builders, air quality testers, energy efficiency testers, retrofitters, water quality testers etc etc etc., just email me at andy@andycurshen.com and I’ll gladly send it to you. I don’t know how accurate this is but I read somewhere that if 10% of homes in the US were brought up to the government standard known as Energy Star, we wouldn’t have to import a single barrel of oil from the Middle East. Just think about the beneficial ramifications of that for our country.

Thanks for reading Andy’s Green Home News.

Reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil and save energy costs too

01/17/2010

If 10% of American homes were Energy Star rated we wouldn’t need to import oil from countries that house people who want to blow us up. Locate contractors in your area who will retrofit your house to meet this government rating standard. You’ll cut your energy costs by 30% or more and have a healthier and more comfortable home. If you can’t find contractors in the area you live check out this site: www.ecobroker.com

Andy’s Green Homes News

Andy’s Green Homes News

01/08/2010

On the Northeast coast of Florida where land is available at amazingly low prices a company called Florida Green Homes is building Energy Star rated homes that will withstand hurricane force winds and flying debris up to 200 mph. It’s well worth a visit to their website. http://bestfloridagreenhomes.com.  Prices for the homes range from $89,900 for 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms up to $321,900 for 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms.  Energy Star is a US government standard that requires strict adherence to specified energy efficiency rating.  Savings of up to 30% or more for energy costs can be expected for Energy Star rated homes.  In addition these homes have an air exchange system that ensures the interior air quality is virtually dust and particulate free.  It is now well known that poor interior air quality is a major contributor to asthma and allergies in children and adults.

Healthy Homes and Energy Efficiency

01/03/2010

This is my first attempt at a blog so forgive any goofs or gaffs I may make till I figure it all out. The headline sums up the subject matter that I want to cover. It’s all about discussing how home owners can improve the quality of the air they breathe to reduce allergies, respiratory problems such as asthma and also to indentify materials in the home that might be giving off toxic gases. Secondly I want to exhange with others what I know about fuel efficiency in the home and solicit comments from other knowledgeable souls.  I plan to write some of my own material and also reprint articles from the EPA, Ecobroker and other organizations that are devoted to the subject matter mentioned. For a start here is a brief article about Energy Star. Energy Star positioning a home.

Thanks for logging on

Andy