Factoring energy efficiency into a home’s value

Under the SAVE (Sensible Accounting to Value Energy) Act, estimated energy-consumption expenses for a house would be included as a mandatory new underwriting factor. When you apply for a mortgage to buy a house, how often does the lender ask detailed questions about monthly energy costs or tell the appraiser to factor in the energy-efficiency …

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87% of First-Time Homebuyers Don’t Foresee Payment Troubles

Prospective homebuyers cite worries about future unemployment, concerns about property affordability, and the local economic outlook as issues that hold them back from jumping into the market, according to an industry survey commissioned by Genworth. But the Virginia-based mortgage insurer says these economic concerns have not translated into excessive mortgage stress among recent U.S. homebuyers. …

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Home improvement loans

FHA and Fannie Mae offer loans for home energy improvements. The FHA’s PowerSaver program allows those homeowners who are eligible to borrow up to $25,000 for “green” improvements, while Fannie Mae has an add-on program to mortgages specifically for energy-improvement. You can read all about these two loans at the Los Angeles Times.