Selling Reno And Sparks Real Estate Blog


A Mortgage That Can Save You Money ~ The Energy-Efficient Mortgage

Energy-efficient mortgages can add value to your home and reduce your utility bills!

If you are like me and would rather buy a older home but want the energy efficiency & monthly cost savings the new construction homes come with, then you should consider buying the older home of your dreams and get an Energy-Efficient Mortgage (EEM).

Older Southwest Reno HomeSeveral federal agencies and many lenders now allow you to finance a wide range of energy-saving home improvements with your home loan. Fannie Mae, The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and the VA all offer loan programs with special benefits for energy-efficient improvements.

The energy efficient mortgages stretch buying power by allowing the lender to increase  your income by the amount of estimated energy savings, thus increasing the debt-to-income ratio. The cost of the improvements are added to the mortgage, but typically lower energy bills will offset the higher monthly loan payment. The goal is to make improvements that will save you money on your monthly utility bills, make your home more environmentally sound & more energy efficient while increasing the resale value of your home.

Some of the energy-saving home improvements might include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Tankless Water Heaters

  • Solar Panels

  • Geothermal Heating

  • Insulation Systems

  • Dual Pane Windows

  • Lighting & Appliances

  • Heating & Air-Conditioning Systems

If you are interested in getting a Energy Efficient Mortgage the first step, after finding a home,  begins with an energy-rating survey. Assessing the home's energy efficiency and generating a score using a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index is completed by a  trained Energy Rater. The rater goes to your home and completes an inspection to find out just how energy efficient the property is. The rater will take into account factors like insulation, windows, heating and cooling systems, and local climate to give the home an overall rating. A rating index is from 1 and 100. A lower index indicates great efficiency. 

HERS Rating EvaluateThe survey helps determine which improvements will be included in the loan. Once the loan is approved and the home is sold, work starts immediately to make the home more energy efficient. You loan officer or real estate agent can help you find a certified  HERS rater.

The cost is generally between $200 to $500. This amount can be financed into your loan if necessary.  With conventional loans, funding for energy improvements is usually capped at 10% of the final appraised value of the property while FHA & VA loans typically have more stringent limits.

Home buyers and homeowners have different reasons for greening their homes. For some it's about cost-benefit; they want to know how quickly upgrades will pay off and enhance property value. Heath concerns such as improving indoor air quality motivate others. Some are interested in greening their homes for overall comfort, aesthetics, enhancing the quality of life, or just keeping up with the latest green trends. Regardless of the motivation, there are many benefits of greening an existing home.

As an NAR Green Designee, I have advanced training in seeking out, understanding, and marketing homes with green features. I can help you separate fact from fiction to make informed decisions regarding green real estate. I can help you see the green potential of a home by pointing out ways to increase energy efficiency and suggest upgrades and fixes will help save your home save energy, add value to your home and reduce your monthly utility bills. Feel free to contact me with any questions about the energy-efficient mortgage and questions about greening your home.

Energy efficient mortgages are not just for home buyers. If you currently own a home and are looking for remodel options or simply making a few cost effective home improvements, then you should consider looking into the EEM assistance. Here in Northern Nevada, NV Energy has many ideas on how you can add  value to your home with Energy Star rebates and tax incentives.

A Mortgage That Can Save You Money ~ The Energy-Efficient Mortgage


*Originally posted at August 2014 by Terrie Leighton

Your Home. My Priority. Since 2003

NV LIC: S.0061129

Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE)
Certified Default Resolution Specialist (CDRS)
Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource ~ Certified (SFR)
NAR's Green Designation ~ Certified Green
Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE)
Property Manager NV PM# 167199

Ferrari-Lund Real Estate

 Cell ~ 775.846.5424

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Comment balloon 9 commentsTerrie Leighton • August 06 2014 02:30PM


This is totally new to me as a concept... but it's a great one. Thanks for sharing the information.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) over 5 years ago

Thank you Nina ~ I think this loan program has only been available for a few years not but if you are looking at a remodel or buying an older home that needs updating it seems like a perfect choice in financing to me.

Posted by Terrie Leighton, Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno (Ferrari-Lund Real Estate ) over 5 years ago

Terrie - Thanks for the great list of information about the energy efficient mortgage that can save you money.

Posted by John Pusa, Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest) over 5 years ago

I would like to have a tankless water heater some day...great ECO options!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) over 5 years ago

Thank you @MikePusa for leaving a comment and reading about the EEM ! It's a great way for buyers to purchase a home that needs a little updating. i hope you will share with your home buyers. Have a great day!

Posted by Terrie Leighton, Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno (Ferrari-Lund Real Estate ) over 5 years ago

Hi Kristin Johnston, Waukesha Realtor 414-254-6647 ! I so want a tankless water heater! One day maybe!! Have a great day!

Posted by Terrie Leighton, Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno (Ferrari-Lund Real Estate ) over 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing information about using the Energy Efficient Mortgage for financing older properties and improving their energy efficiency at the same time.  Sounds like an excellent program.  Also thanks for following 


Posted by Joyce Marsh, Regal Christie's International Real Estate (Regal | Christie's International Real Estate) over 5 years ago

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this Joyce! I hope you have a great weekend.

Posted by Terrie Leighton, Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno (Ferrari-Lund Real Estate ) over 5 years ago

Thank you for the great tips. I will share this post with others.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 5 years ago

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