RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

FHA to Issue Borrower Guidelines for Energy-Efficient Improvements

August 28, 2015 12:27 am

As part of the White House’s National Clean Energy Summit, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) plans to issue a set of guidelines supporting borrowers seeking to make energy-efficient home improvements, allowing them to use Single Family FHA financing for properties with existing Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans that meet certain conditions.

PACE can vary from state-to-state, but generally allows homeowners to finance energy efficiency improvements for up to 20 years through assessments attached to the property. PACE allows homeowners to benefit from the improvements immediately and spread the cost over time. When the property is sold, the PACE loan remains with the property and the next owner is responsible for repaying the loan.

The Single Family FHA guidance will allow lenders to evaluate the conditions under which borrowers purchasing, refinancing properties, or modifying their loans with existing PACE assessments will be eligible to use FHA-insured financing. Through this guidance FHA is committing to develop more specific guidance in the near future that will include these requirements: PACE liens that preserve payment priority for first lien mortgages through subordination are eligible; PACE assessments must be fixed-rate and fixed repayment schedule; PACE assessments must be recorded and identifiable to the lender; and PACE assessments must be attached to single-family properties, as defined by FHA, which are 1- to 4-unit dwellings.

The FHA will also be partnering with the Department of Energy (DOE) to incorporate its use of the DOE’s Home Energy Score into Single Family existing FHA’s Energy Efficient Home (EEH) program. The FHA will provide flexible underwriting to recognize the reduced costs of utilities.

Homebuyers or homeowners who want to obtain an FHA-insured purchase or refinance mortgage for a single-family home that receives a Home Energy Score of 6 or higher will be eligible to increase their income qualifying ratio by 2 percent above the standard Single Family FHA limit.

The DOE developed the Home Energy Score as a low-cost, reliable method to estimate a home’s energy use. It is the equivalent of a vehicle miles-per-gallon rating for homes. The calculation methodology relies on a 10-point scale in which a “1” corresponds to the least energy-efficient homes and a “10” corresponds to the most energy-efficient homes. According to the DOE, the average U.S. home will score a “5.” The official DOE-recognized Home Energy Score can only be assessed by a qualified energy assessor.

Source: HUD

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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More Homeowners DIY Exterior Improvements

August 28, 2015 12:27 am

More homeowners are taking a “design-it-yourself” approach when it comes to improving the exteriors of their homes – in fact, according to a recent survey commissioned by Royal® Building Products, homeowners aren’t afraid to step in and make their own design decisions to better their home’s outward appearance.

“Today's homeowners are more empowered than ever to be a part of the decision-making process when it comes to the exterior design of their homes,” explains Marilyn Chase of Royal Building Products. Over half of respondents to the survey desire a say in the material used for the exterior of their home, as well as a say in the specific products being used to build it.

Nearly 65 percent of homeowners believe making upgrades to a home’s exterior is a wise investment, and an identical percentage believes a renovation to the exterior adds value.

When making exterior improvements, the majority of survey respondents say they would take aesthetics, curb appeal and the overall neighborhood into consideration. Interestingly, nearly three-quarters of respondents believe coordinating the exterior color of a home with the interior color scheme is unimportant.

Structural pains when making exterior improvements present concerns. Approximately half of survey respondents expressed fear over rotting, cracking, and moisture and wind damage.

Source: Royal® Building Products

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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