A Smart Option for Energy Efficient Improvements

A Smart Option for Energy Efficient Improvements

The pandemic has kept us in our homes like never before and, in that time, many of us started looking around and thought, “Hmm, what can I update?”

As you consider home improvement projects, did you know that as part of a Veterans Administration (VA) loan, you can receive a special mortgage offer to make energy enhancements?

It’s called an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM), an opportunity to create valuable cost-saving updates within your home and reduce your utility bills.

VA loans are available to active-duty military members, reservists, and veterans.

Here is a partial list of enhancements you can make to your home through the EEM program:

       Solar systems for heating water for domestic use

       Solar heating and cooling systems

       Caulking and weather-stripping

       Furnace efficiency modifications limited to replacement burners, boilers, or furnaces designed to reduce the firing rate or to achieve a reduction in the amount of fuel consumed as a result of increased combustion efficiency

       Devices for modifying flue openings which will increase the efficiency of the heating system

       Electrical or mechanical furnace ignition systems which replace standing gas pilot lights

       Clock thermostats

       New or additional ceiling, attic, wall and floor insulation

       Water heater insulation

       Storm windows and/or doors, including thermal windows and/or doors

       Heat pumps

       Vapor barriers

How much money you can receive through an EEM depends on the circumstances.

You can finance up to $3,000 based solely on the documented costs. However, you may finance up to $6,000 provided the increase in monthly mortgage payment does not exceed the likely reduction in monthly utility costs.

If you require more than $6,000, you will need the VA to examine the situation and make a ruling.

I helped a client purchase a home through a VA loan, and the client also took advantage of the EEM program to finance new windows into the loan.

That means the client paid for the windows as part of the monthly mortgage payment. The cost of the windows is rolled into the loan.

Does an EEM make sense for you? If you are eligible for a VA loan, think hard about the energy updates you would like to make to your new home - and let the renovations begin.

Shikma Rubin, NMLS ID #1114873, is a loan officer with Tidewater Home Funding, LLC. in Chesapeake, Virginia. She enjoys the chance to lead workshops and webinars on how to buy a home. Have mortgage questions? You can reach her at srubin@tidewaterhomefunding.com or 757-490-4726. This article was originally published on The Virginian-Pilot on September 14, 2021: https://bit.ly/3nGQ297