The Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) recognizes that energy efficient homes cost homeowners less to operate on a monthly basis than standard homes because they use less energy. Home buyers who chose energy efficient homes can afford to spend more on their housing expenses because they will likely spend less on their energy costs. The EEM allows borrowers to qualify for a larger mortgage as a result of the energy savings. The EEM benefits those buying new, energy efficient homes or those purchasing existing homes that need energy improvements.
Here are some helpful FAQs from my site about EEM:
Q: How does the EEM benefit the borrower?
A: The EEM benefits the borrower in several ways. First, the estimated energy savings are added to the borrowerâ€™s income to allow the home buyer to qualify for a larger total mortgage amount. Second, by increasing borrowing power, the EEM allows borrowers to include the costs of energy improvements into the total mortgage amount. 100% of the energy improvements, typically up to 15% of the value of the home, can be financed and paid for over the life of the mortgage, reserving the borrowerâ€™s cash for more immediate, move-in costs. Third, the value of the home is adjusted by the value of the energy efficient improvements.
Q: What types of homes can qualify for the EEM?
A: The EEM can be used for one-unit, single-family, owner occupied principal residences, PUDs, and condominiums. The homes may be new construction or existing housing.
Q: Can a home that is already energy efficient qualify for the EEM?
A: Yes, the EEM can be used for homes that are energy efficient at the time of purchase.
Q: What types of transactions can the EEM be used for?
The EEM can be used for both purchase and refinance transactions. The standard EEM can be used for limited cash-out refinances.
Q: How does a home qualify for the EEM?
A: Existing homes must have a RESNET accredited rating report to evaluate the homeâ€™s energy efficiency in its current state or to identify opportunities for cost-efficient energy efficient upgrades.
If the home was newly constructed, the home can have a rating report. After completion, the home is evaluated with a home energy rating.
Q: What is a home energy rating?
A: The home energy rating is a standard measurement of the homeâ€™s energy efficiency. An energy rating allows a home buyer to easily compare the energy costs for the homes being considered.
Q: Is the home verified as EEM?
A: The home energy rater inspects the home and measures its energy characteristics, such as insulation levels, window efficiency, wall-to-window ratios, the heating and cooling system efficiency, and the solar orientation of the home. Performance testing, such as a blower door test that measures door and duct leakage may be used. The home receives a point score between 1 and 100, depending on its relative efficiency. An estimate of the homeâ€™s energy costs is also provided. A homeowner who wants to upgrade the energy efficiency can use the energy rating to evaluate and pinpoint specific, cost-effective improvements.
Q: How does an energy efficient home qualify for an EEM?
A: The rating report compares the energy efficient home against a similar home meeting the minimum energy requirements of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) (often called the â€œreference home). The rating confirms that the home when built achieves the intended design and performance specifications.