Tag Archive | "mortgages"

Mortgage Professionals See Increase in Housing Market

Mortgage Professionals See Increase in Housing Market

The American housing market continues to look strong as we enter the fourth quarter of 2012. With an all-time low 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate of 3.40% the housing market also appears to be lifting off the ground. Add the increasing home buyers purchasing power today and buyers are realizing the low mortgage rates will not last. Mortgage professionals are also well aware these low rates will not last and the next few months will be busy.

Governments Help Balance the Housing Market

New federal government housing programs are helping the markets across the United States stabilize. Keeping people in their homes is helping to reduce the foreclosure rate and short sales everywhere. Once there is balance nationwide the housing market will then be seen increasing in values again.

State Governments Fund Energy Efficiency Programs

In addition to federal programs, some states are actively forming programs to help the real estate industry. Utah is rehabilitating older homes to make them more efficient. This includes making homes safer and cleaner for its occupants. Cleaner homes is proving to be important for families with children who have asthma or other allergies. Utah’s new Green and Healthy Home’s Initiative is a plan to help these special buyers.

Green homes that are energy efficient typically sell for higher prices when compared to similar homes in the area. As home buyers continue to trend in this direction hopefully other states will follow Utah’s lead with housing programs.

Training and Accreditation for Professionals

First time buyers are finding it difficult to obtain loans for their houses with high deposits. This growing trend is greatly impacting jobs and the American economy in other areas, such as do-it-yourself projects, gardening, furniture and more. Mortgage professionals are always looking for ways to help new buyers acquire home loans. Training programs and accreditation seminars bring new information to help these professionals succeed.

Thankfully there are many companies dedicated to keeping the mortgage industry well informed and educated with this changing market. In addition to providing training services to companies, websites like TrainingPro.com also allow mortgage professionals to train from their own homes with live instructor taught classes online. These options allow mortgage professionals to stay updated and current in their requirements, while saving fuel costs at the same time.

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The Basics to an Energy Efficient Mortgage

The Basics to an Energy Efficient Mortgage

This guest post is by Michael Ciocca of Total Mortgage.

By now, I am sure you are aware of all the benefits of going green, whether it is better health, lower utility bills, or the great feeling of knowing that you are helping to impact the earth in a positive way. Did you know your passion for green living could help you qualify for a larger home loan? Thanks to Energy Efficient Mortgage offered by the FHA, your dream green home may be a reality.

In order to qualify for an Energy Efficient Mortgage, the property you are interested in must first get a Home Energy Rating Systems report.  This report will be prepared by a professional Energy Rater, and will factor the current appliances, building materials, local climate and utility rates in order to rate your home and calculate energy costs.  The house will then receive a rating, on a scale of 1-100, the lower the score, the more energy efficient the home.

An energy efficient house can often help you save money every month even with a large mortgage. For example, you are interested in an energy efficient home that is more expensive than the other homes you have been looking at. The energy efficient home has average energy bill of around $90 a month, while the other houses average around $140. The energy efficient home has a mortgage of $1,040 and the other house costs about $1,000 a month. When you add the energy bills, the energy efficient home is $10 cheaper a month. In most cases, your savings will be much higher than this example.

Is your dream home not energy efficient? Not to worry, as Energy Efficient Mortgage can also help you with that.  When the Energy Rater compiles his report, he also makes suggestions that can help the home to achieve a better energy rating. If in the end, the upgrades will pay for themselves through savings on energy bills, you can factor these upgrades into your mortgage. You will then pay your mortgage regularly with the upgrades factored in, giving you an easy way to help make your house green. In addition, this program is available for people that are refinancing, giving you the funds you need to upgrade an old house.

What does this mean for the prospective home buyer? It means that when everything is taken into consideration, you can actually qualify for a larger mortgage. Borrowers can use the FHA mortgage program in combination with an EEM to get a loan that is higher than what is normally allowed. For example, a home buyer who purchases a home for $200,000 with 3.5% down will then have a mortgage for $193,000. But if that buyer can show that $5,000 in energy efficiency upgrades will save the buyer money each month, that buyer may be able to have an extra $5,000 added to their mortgage to finance those upgrades. So the new loan would be $198,000 even though that is 99% financing. So remember, the next time you are looking to refinance or buy a new home, going green always has its benefits!

For more information on EEMs and to find qualified lenders, visit http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers..

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