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

Melting Pot: Global Cuisines Gain Popularity

August 28, 2015 12:27 am

A variety of ethnic cuisines are increasingly becoming part of everyday American diets, according to recent research by the National Restaurant Association – more so than they were five years ago. The research points to 80 percent of individuals consuming at least one type of ethnic cuisine each month.

“Americans generally are more willing to try new food than they were only a decade or so ago – especially in restaurants – underscoring that the typical consumer today is becoming more adventurous and sophisticated when it comes to different cuisines and flavors,” explains National Restaurant Association Director of Research Communications Annika Stensson.

Which cuisines reign supreme? Italian, Mexican and Chinese cuisines are most popular in terms of familiarity and frequency of consumption. Individuals are least familiar with Ethiopian, Brazilian/Argentine and Korean cuisines.

Brazilian/Argentine, Greek, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines are most commonly consumed on-premises at restaurants. Chinese, Ethiopian, Mexican and Italian are most commonly consumed via restaurant takeout or delivery.

Source: National Restaurant Association

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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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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