Posts Tagged ‘FHA’

5 Energy Efficient Improvements To Make with FHA 203K Loans

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

green fiberHaving recently attended West Coast Green, we couldn’t help but thinking how this whole mortgage crises set the Green building movement back a few years. Unfortunately people will think about getting their loan mod or forbearance before they think about buying formaldehyde free cabinets or installing a water catchment system. The thing that many people don’t realize is that with the right property (and loan officer) buyers can use the FHA 203K loan to improve a home with Green elements.

In terms of Green building and Green interiors, people always get fixated on the energy savings aspects. True, much of Green building centers on energy (and savings) but don’t overlook the health benefits (like using zero VOC paint)

With the 203K loan in mind, here we listed 5 Green improvements that can improve a home, save money and increase the value:

1-    Go Energy Star – Energy Star appliances remain the way to go to not only cut down on an energy bill but it works as a plus for the planet as well. Some Energy Star appliances can chop 20% of a monthly energy bill and they often cost about the same as their inefficient cousins.

2-    Insulate baby Insulate – With winter looming, it only makes sense to either add or upgrade the walls and the attic. Many Green insulation options such as Bonded Logic to soy-based polyurethane can be found.

3-    Water Water Everywhere – Things like low flow showerheads (which should be a given these days) represents an inexpensive fix but think about low flow toilets, tankless hot water heaters, and for the more adventurous a water catchment system.

4-    Replace those Windows – Anyone that has ancient leaky windows might consider replacing them. The low–E, dual pane windows continue to hit the market at a fast clip. To us they represent a no-brainer as they not only preserve energy costs but they cut down on outside noise as well. Typical Eco-Star windows only cost about $15 more then their leaky brothers.

5-    Not to many people in the Bay Area have those old (pre 1992) inefficient furnaces that have a standing pilot light but consider sending it out to pasture (not the junkyard but some place like Building Resources) as they waste abut 35 percent of the fuel the use. Better to use the 203K money for a “condensing furnace” with annual efficiency of at least 90 percent. That number along with the possible 27 percent savings on a heating bill definitely sounds better to us.

The Green Elements of CAR Expo 2009

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Attending the recently concluded CAR Expo in San Jose CA we could see that things weren’t exactly hopping, especially in the Green seminars and Green expo booths. Who could blame everyone, with the still lingering effect of the economy, unemployment and overall uncertainty? The Expo offered a bevy of economic forecasts, short sale sessions and new DRE laws going into effect but of course we went to check the green goings on. How’s the Green movement within the ranks of the real estate world? If my Green colleague and I would guess from the sparse attendance at the few green sessions and Green display booths then the state of Green Real Estate isn’t exactly on everyone’s radar.

The Going Green Member Forum offered informative green facts from a CHEERS rater as well as some finer points from Build It Green’s Elise Hunter about the Green Point Rated system. We discovered that the HERS Phase II rating will include: whole house energy homes, uniform rating system based on a statewide rating scale, as well as labeling procedures for homebuyers, renters, real estate industry, mortgage lenders who have an interest in home energy ratings. We say Hoorah to that! The speaker also snuck in some tidbits of info that even surprised us such as the “”Energy Efficient Mortgage” that ties into the 203B FHA loan that allows five percent of property value in most cases, while VA loans allows up to $6,000 in green upgrades. (more…)