- A “Green Home” conserves energy and uses of non-toxic building materials
- The conservation of energy saves on heating and cooling costs
- The of non-toxic materials is very important for health and environmental reasons
- Energy inefficient homes increase the overall monthly costs of a home
- The use of toxic materials can damage health and actually create serious health problems like asthma, allergies, skin issues, headaches, eye irritation and dizziness
- The FHA 203k Rehabilitation mortgage allows a borrower to purchase or refinance a home while financing the costs of renovation to the property
- A home renovation can utilize non-toxic building materials such as non-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints; sealants that contain polyether rather than urethane or silicone bases; plywood that is free of formaldehyde; and natural clay plaster for walls instead of drywall (gypsum board)
- This turns a “K” into a “Green K”, helping a borrower create a much healthier environment for the family living in the property
- The FHA 203k can significantly reduce the time required to purge the market of real estate-owned (REO) and bank-owned stock
- The REO stock move faster and the banks could sell their REOs for higher prices
- Because the condition of a typical REO property is often quite poor, an owner-occupied homebuyer won’t have the cash to fix it up
- The bank would have to drop the price drasticly to attract investors with the cash to renovate it
- But the homebuyer who uses an FHA 203k Renovation loan can pay a higher price and have the money to renovate
The FHA 203k Renovation Loan Is The Real “Green Home Loan” As Energy-Efficient Improvments And Non-Toxic Building Materials Can Be Combined To Into One Renovation Transaction7 06 2011
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Tags: Rehabs, Home Renovations, Energy Efficient Improvements, FHA 203k, Energy Savings, FHA Financing, Non-Toxic Building Materials
Categories : 203k, Financing, Energy Efficient Improvements, The 203k Guy, Green Homes, Purchases, LEED, FHA, Mortgage Industry, REO's, Energy Efficient Mortgages, Bank-Owned, Housing Market
Green Home Remodels And Renovations: Contractors And Architects Must Educate Homeowners On The Most Effective Way To Maximize A Home’s “Geography, Structure, Systems And Aesthetics”17 12 2010
The FHA 203k Renovation Loan is the only true Green Home loan.
The remodeling contractor has to educate the homeowner to take the most effective approach for the project.
- Geography : “If you’re building a new home, the lot is the most important thing. If you’re doing a retrofit, you have to respect the existing architecture. You have to understand where the home is, what direction it faces, what you may need to change about the overhangs, things like that.”
- Structural: “A rammed earth house may work great in New Mexico but it’s perfectly worthless in Michigan. You have to respect the structural aspects. People read about a certain system and want to build their addition in that way, but I have to tell them I can’t build that for you in this state. I’m in the Mid- Atlantic region where we have a mixed-humid climate that is just vicious to build in. You have to be on your toes to know what you’re designing in that market.”
- Systems: “If you have a super air-tight house you don’t need a huge mechanical system. Or if you can use radiant instead of forced air or you can use less plumbing, or if you’re using solar thermal you don’t need as big a water heater. The structure will tell you a lot about what kind of systems to use.”
- Aesthetics: “Too often homeowners start with the aesthetics, but that’s stuff you can go back and change. You have to know the systems first before you pick out recycled glass tile or a sustainable bamboo floor.”
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Tags: Contractors, Energy Efficient Improvements, Green Homes, Remodels
Categories : 203k, Architects, Contractors, Energy Efficient Improvements, Energy Star, FHA, Financing, Green Homes, LEED, Refinance, Rehabs, Remodeling, The 203k Guy
“FundMyRemodel.com” Contractor Update: Homeowners Should Interview Qualified Contractors At Home For Remodels Where They Should Provide References And Perform A Thorough Energy-Efficiency Review Of Entire Home28 10 2010
“Some had planned on getting a bigger house as their family expanded, but they can’t sell, so they’re adding another bedroom instead,”
Many clients of First Choice Carpentry are looking to add value to their homes and improve their energy efficiency, according to Max Capestany, the Issaquah-based company’s project specialist.
The company has worked extensively in the Snoqualmie Valley, including framing houses on Snoqualmie Ridge. The tight housing market has changed some homeowners’ plans, he said.
“Some had planned on getting a bigger house as their family expanded, but they can’t sell, so they’re adding another bedroom instead,” he said.
Other homeowners are taking advantage of tax credits to improve their houses’ energy efficiency and save on their heating bills. Some are just taking advantage of a buyers’ market.
While it will continue to be a buyers’ market for the near future, tax credits for energy improvements will go away soon. The credits in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2008 expire at the end of the year.
Until then, homeowners can receive tax credit for installing Energy Star materials or appliances. The credit is up to 30 percent of the project’s cost or $1,500, whichever is lower.
Plenty of things have an Energy Star rating: windows, dishwashers, insulation, shingles and so on. A home remodel project is a big commitment for a homeowner, and there are some things they should keep in mind, Capestany said.
The first question they should ask is “Who’s doing the work?”
“The temptation of every homeowner is to get caught up in the types of materials being used,” Capestany said. “What’s most important is who you have doing the work.”
Don’t just go for the cheapest contractor. Check out their credentials and track record first.
When a contractor comes out to look at your house, ask for references on the spot, Capestany said.
“Anyone who’s legit in this business has four or five references saved on their phone,” he said.
Ask for the person’s contractor license number, and look it up on the website for the Washington State Department of Labor and Industry.
Check Angie’s List for customer reviews.
Talk to the contractor about how he or she does his or her work.
“Just taking time with the contractor in the home before any documents are signed” can save major headaches down the road, Capestany said.
If it is a general contractor, ask for a thorough energy-efficiency inspection of your house. This simple task can prevent a homeowner from wasting hundreds or thousands of dollars, he said.
Capestany recalled one house where the owner had installed an air conditioning unit because inside was sweltering hot in the summer.
The owner didn’t have a general contractor look at the house, which would have revealed that the attic was not properly ventilated and causing the house to heat up.
Walking around a house, Capestany said, he can quickly spot where a home is losing heat.
“Sometimes, I’ll go into a house and see 1970’s-era single-pane windows with aluminum casing,” he said. “When you stand next to the window, you can literally feel the cold air coming in.”
When crunching numbers, homeowners should consider a project’s cost versus the expected savings, Capestany said. Remodeling Magazine has useful cost-versus-value comparisons.
Seek information from professionals.
“Home shows are a great source of information,” he said.
Some homeowners are also taking advantage of the fact that it is a buyers’ market.
Ahren and Allie Johnson hired First Choice Carpentry to redo the exterior of their home in North Bend.
The project involved adding gutters, masonry work, a new entryway, new window trim and painting.
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Tags: Contractors, Energy Efficient Improvements, Home Renovations, Remodel, Remodeling
Categories : 203k, Contractors, Energy Efficient Improvements, Energy Star, Green Homes, Refinance, Rehabs, Remodeling
FundMyRemodel.com “Green Mortgage” Update: The FHA 203k Is The Only Real “Energy And Green Improvement” Mortgage As Few Lenders Bother To Understand And Offer “Energy Efficient Mortgages” (EEM) And “Energy Improvement Mortgages” (EIM)22 09 2010
These programs are not new; they have been around very a long time, 15 to 20 years. Lenders are not offering them because they don’t know enough about them and they don’t think they are necessary. They are not required to even discuss them.
What is on the horizon for green mortgages?
Short of a true green mortgage (which does not exist), the closest program is the FHA 203(k). This program can allow you to add both energy and green improvements to a home. There’s a lot more noise about them right now. I believe we will see some changes to the programs in the months to come but I encourage everyone in the industry to ask that their lender learn about these programs and start offering them.
What are EEMs and EIMs?
These are loans that credit a home’s energy efficiency in the mortgage itself, giving borrowers the opportunity to finance cost-effective, energy-saving measures as part of a single mortgage. They allow borrowers to stretch their debt-to-income qualifying ratio in order to qualify for a larger loan amount and a better, more energy-efficient home.
An energy efficient mortgage (EEM) is typically used to purchase a new home that is already verified by a third party as energy efficient, such as an Energy Star-qualified home. An energy audit, performed by a certified energy rater, is required to prove efficiency and report expected monthly savings.
Energy improvement mortgages (EIMs) are for existing homes that need an energy retrofit. An energy audit identifies items that will make the home more energy efficient, and the costs of these improvements are added to the mortgage loan. EIMs are available for either a purchase or refinance of an existing home.
EEM and EIM guidelines are different depending upon the type of loan, so be sure the lender you are working with understands the details. FHA, VA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac all have EEM and EIM programs.
The market for these types of mortgages should be very popular considering the fact that out of 128 million existing homes in this country, 95 million need some type of energy retrofit. The average American home is about 35 years old. Insulation wasn’t required until the mid ’70s. Energy efficiency wasn’t really considered until the 1990s. Look at all these homes that need energy retrofits and then look at all the refinances we’ve had recently: How many of the owners of those homes were offered an EIM? Not many, and getting an accurate count has been near impossible. It’s a crime.
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Tags: Energy Efficient Improvements, Energy Savings, FHA 203k, Green Homes, Mortgage Loans
Categories : 203k, Energy Efficient Improvements, FHA, Financing, Green Homes, Homes, Purchases, Refinance, Rehabs, Remodeling, The 203k Guy
FundMyRemodel.com Green Homes: UNLV Center For Energy Research (CER), Pulte Homes And NV Energy In Collaboration To Develop Advanced Energy-Saving Technology In Homes (Video)11 09 2010
Robert Boehm, Ph.D., the director of the UNLV Center for Energy Research (CER), describes the Villa Trieste project — a collaborative effort between UNLV, Pulte Homes and NV Energy to produce residential homes incorporating advanced energy- and cost-saving technologies. CER researchers are monitoring the real-world energy usage to help design the next generation of residential energy systems.
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Tags: Energy Efficient Improvements, Energy Savings, Green Homes, UNLV, Videos
Categories : Design, Energy Efficient Improvements, Green Homes, Videos
Green Homes Profile: Maryland Home Boasts 69 “Eco-Friendly And Energy-Efficient” Features That Made It “Maryland’s 2009 Green Home of the Year”22 08 2010
“The purpose of this (green) house is that it doesn’t look different from any other house.”
The “bones” of the home help reduce energy costs.
- Some parts, like walls, floor joists and roof trusses were pre-built in a factory, reducing waste.
- On site, the first floor headers and heels were raised, allowing the placement of additional insulation around the windows.
- South-facing windows in the home are Pella Sun Defense styles with extra sheer, bronze-colored glazing and insulation to reduce the sun’s glare and heat. Mike joked,
“These windows are like putting on a heavy pair of sunglasses. They cut down on the sun’s UV rays.”
- Within the home’s exterior and interior walls, NCFI open cell foam insulation has been sprayed, filling up the cavities to cut down on energy loss and air leaks.
- Throughout the house the floors were either pre-finished bamboo or cork, both renewable resources. The bamboo flooring was manufactured with “low VOC” (volatile organic compounds) adhesives.
- Nearly every wall was painted or papered using low VOC materials; one bedroom featured walls painted with “no VOC” paint. “These McCormick paints finish off-gassing in three or four days,” he said.
- Bathrooms have dual flush toilets. Depending upon what was put in the toilet, a user could choose a 1.1-gallon or 1.6-gallon flush.
”For a family of four, this feature can save 4,000 gallons of water every year,” Mike said.
- Throughout the house, low flow faucets and shower heads were installed using 20 percent less water than regular faucets and showers, with similar results.
- The bathrooms boast attractive tiles made with recycled content. “They’re nice!” he said. “You’re not giving anything up here.
- ” One bathroom featured an Eco-Stone countertop made of 75 percent recycled content.
- All the bathroom fans had multiple-choice timer settings.
- Talk of low and no VOC materials continued into the kitchen, where the locally-sourced cabinetry has no added urea formaldehyde.
- The brushed stainless steel Energy Star refrigerator and freezer duo looked huge. “They’re oversized to encourage homeowners to get rid of the old fridge in the garage that’s draining electricity because it is old and inefficient,” said Mike.
- The home’s Energy Star refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher and washing machine can reduce water and energy costs 25 percent over regular appliances.
- One wall held a GE Ecomagination Home Management System. Touching the small screen, a homeowner can check on the home’s water and electricity consumption and costs-to-date.
- A plate on a second wall held a lighting control system.
- Mike was eager to talk about the tankless hot water heater, the manifold plumbing system and the cross-linked red and blue polyethylene pipes in the basement, along with the basement’s pre-cast, nine-foot high walls.
- He made sure we saw the Velux sun tunnel, a flexible domed tunnel skylight. Up on the second floor, it casts a sunny glow. And, we looked at every eco-friendly nook and cranny inside.
“A lot of things in this house I have in my own home,” he said. “I’m a member National Association of Home Builders 20 Club in this area. I learned from the other members and went through courses. Much of what Baldwin Homes was doing in our higher quality homes is already ‘green.’ As I became a better builder, I became a greener builder.”
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Tags: Energy Efficient Improvements, Energy Savings, Green Homes, Green Investment, Maryland
Categories : Contractors, Design, Energy Efficient Improvements, Energy Star, Green Homes, Homes, LEED, Rehabs, Remodeling, Solar, Windows