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Erin Stumpf's Real Estate Blog

Sacramento Real Estate and other items of local interest

By Erin Stumpf | Broker in Sacramento, CA
  • Sacramento Energy Upgrades - reduce your energy consumption and locate incentives, rebates, contractors!

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Sacramento County, Remodel & Renovate in Sacramento County, Going Green in Sacramento County  |  April 5, 2011 8:04 PM  |  2,212 views  |  No comments
    Looking for ways to reduce your energy consumption, conserve water, or utilize renewable forms of energy?...and lower your utility bills?...and maybe even finance the improvements? Wouldn't it also be nice to be able to research different rebates and incentives for making such improvements to you home?

    Well thanks to an alliance among California counties, cities, non-profit organizations, the state's investor-owned utilities (Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company, and San Diego Gas & Electric Company), and publicly owned utilities -- now you can find programs, financing, rebates, and incentives available in your area (Sacramento and surrounding areas included)! The alliance is known as "Energy Upgrade California."

    You can check out the website http://www.energyupgradeca.org and search by county and zip code to find different programs your home may be eligible for, and find contractors, financing, rebates and incentives for your energy upgrade projects. The goal of Energy Upgrade California is for this to be a comprehensive list, however it may not include all rebates and incentives in a given area. Energy upgrade rebates are administered by participating utilities.

    Randomly selecting a few zip codes looking for available programs -- in my zip code 95818 (Land Park), there are 60 different programs available. In 95864 (Arden), there are 44 programs available. In 95628 (Fair Oaks), there are 52 programs available...you get the idea!

    There are a variety of programs on the list -- installing sun-reflecting "cool roofs", replacing old appliances with new high efficiency appliances, adding wall and attic insulation, replacing incandescent lighting with fluorescent lighting, replacing pool filtration motors or pumps, replacing old central heating and air conditioning units, replacing old water heaters, installing Photovoltaic Systems (solar), installing residential small wind turbines, planting shade trees, installing low-flow water fixtures, and more!
  • Get Greener! Take Advantage of FHA's Energy Efficient Mortgage Program!

    Posted Under: Going Green in Sacramento County  |  October 9, 2009 11:19 PM  |  706 views  |  1 comment
    I am frequently asked about the FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage Program by buyers seeking to purchase homes in need of energy efficient upgrades. This programs allows buyers to finance the cost of energy efficient improvements through the mortgage loan. The buyer's loan can be increased according to EEM guidelines to cover energy improvement costs. Monthly mortgage payments increase slightly, but the buyer generally will save money on a monthly basis over the term of ownership of the home because energy bills (power / gas) are decreased...

    A buyer can borrow up to 5% of the value of the property (not to exceed $8,000) above and beyond the contract purchase price of the home. Generally, FHA loan limits can be exceeded to accommodate an EEM, there is no additional downpayment required on the amount above the original contract purchase price, and there are no addition appraisal requirements.

    So what types of improvements can a buyer make via the Energy Efficient Mortgage? A few examples;
    -Replace a central heat & air system
    -Add insulation
    -Install dual pane windows
    -Replace a water heater

    If you would like to find out more information about the EEM and get pre-approved for your loan, you can contact Marlena Olson with the Vitek Mortgage Group at 916-486-6931.
  • Go Green in Sacramento - SMUD's Energy Efficiency Initiatives

    Posted Under: Going Green in Sacramento County  |  May 18, 2009 5:48 PM  |  1,142 views  |  No comments
    So if ya'll follow me on Twitter, you already know that on Friday morning I was lucky enough to attend a presentation by Nancy Bui, Director of Ward Two for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) at the "Public Issues Forum" hosted by the Sacramento Association of Realtors.

    A couple fun facts about SMUD before I get too far...did you know that SMUD is the sixth largest community-owned electric system in the US in terms of the number of customers served? I sure did not know that! SMUD provides services to more than 550,000 customers (more than 1.3 million residents) over a 900-square-mile area that includes Sacramento County and a small portion of Placer County.

    Anyway...we are very lucky to have SMUD in Sacramento. Why?
    • They are making their "carbon footprint" smaller. They are planning to meet the new greenhouse gas emmission standards set forth in legislation AB 32 ahead of schedule (before the year 2020).
    • Currently 17% of their energy generation is done via "renewable" energy sources.
    • As a SMUD customer, you can choose to have your energy come from mother earth. You can choose to buy energy from natural sources of energy as the sun, the wind, or methane gas through SMUD's Greenergy® program.
    • SMUD is helping local builders plan energy efficient home communities. They have partnered with 11 local home builders to construct over 4,100 new "Smart Homes."
    • SMUD offers financing and rebate programs for energy efficient upgrades. You don't have to purchase a brand new home to have one that is energy efficient! You can finance new central heating and air conditioning, dual pane windows, solar / photovoltaic installations, etc. and get rebates for things like purchasing new Energy Star appliances, sealing your HVAC ductwork, installing a whole house fan, etc.
    • They are rolling out "AMI Meters." These "Smart Grid" meters will be rolled out to all SMUD's customers over the next few years, and will replace the meters in your main panel. Through a web interface, SMUD customers can log in and view their energy consumption in real time, and modify they way they are using electricity in their homes to save money and energy.
    • SMUD offer free shade trees for your home! They are a long time partner of the Sacramento Tree Foundation and according to SMUD, tree roots help clean rainwater and add stability to the soil, they produce oxygen and help cleanse the air we breathe, and if properly placed they can cut your home cooling costs by up to 40 percent.
    • SMUD has a really neat online energy consumption calculator that any SMUD customer can use to help determine your current energy usage, and that suggests strategies to make your household more energy efficient, and suggests ways might save on your bill.

    SMUD is looking for ways to make Green, energy efficient technology more accessible to its customers. We Sacramento residents are truly lucky to have such a forward-thinking and progressive local utility provider on the bleeding edge of this movement!

  • SMUD & Sacramento Tree Foundation's FREE Shade Tree Program

    Posted Under: Going Green in Sacramento County  |  August 26, 2008 3:54 AM  |  1,875 views  |  1 comment

    My husband and I decided to check out SMUD's (Sacramento Municipal Utilities District) and the Sacramento Tree Foundation's free shade tree program. We were visited by a "Community Forester" today who helped us to determine where we should plant our trees, and what trees to plant. There are about 30 types of Can you believe it - the SMUD shade trees and stakes, ties and fertilizers are delivered to your house within 10 days after the site visit! Looks like we will be planting a few Goldenrain Trees...we have almost a half acre parcel, and these get pretty big. They definitely will provide adequate shade.

    If your home has an eastern, western or southern exposure that heats up during the summer, you may be eligible to receive free trees from SMUD. Shade is not the only benefit to planting trees...according to SMUD, tree roots help clean rainwater and add stability to the soil, they produce oxygen and help cleanse the air we breathe, and if properly placed they can cut your home cooling costs by up to 40 percent.

    On of the things I like most about my home in the Arden area is all of the mature trees that line our streets...these will make a nice addition to the landscape. To set up an appointment with a Community Forester, click here.

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