With electricity prices skyrocketing and the costs of day-to-day living become higher, the need to make your home energy efficient is now more important than ever. An energy efficient home – powered in large part by renewable energy, will drastically reduce your outgoing expenditure. Money saved is money that could be better transferred to your mortgage principal. Or better still, depending on your circumstances, it could be spent on holidays, your children’s education or simply to ease the financial burden in other aspects of your life.
Across the US, there are millions of veterans that may be eligible for an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) that will markedly decrease their energy costs. This Veteran Home Loan is offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs as part of its Home Loan Guaranty module.
Veterans can take advantage of a VA Home Loan that seeks to assist them in reducing their energy costs. This is a compelling proposition for homeowners due to the significant costs that can be saved on a monthly and yearly basis. Over the lifetime of a person’s home ownership, switching to green energy can save many thousands of dollars.
A VA Home Loan allows qualified buyers the opportunity to incorporate into their purchase or refinancing loan, the cost of applicable energy improvements. This correlates to ongoing savings that reduce household financial hardship. With an approved loan, active and retired military service members can choose to purchase and implement a range of energy efficient devices. These may include ventilation systems, heating and cooling devices and lighting products.
Active Military members can use their Basic Allowance for Housing (known as BAH) as a means of applying for an EEM. This allowance is paid monthly to eligible service members and their families. BAH rates are set annually and are predetermined by factors such as rank, dependant status, years of service and location. Before applying for an EEM, active military members should enquire as to whether they have enough BAH for home loan eligibility in their location.
All applicants for a Veteran Home Loan will still be assessed according to Uniformed Mortgage Lending standards. Factors including income, employment status (min 2 years active duty service, with 2 years remaining on active status) and credit history will all need to be reviewed.
Spending additional money on energy resources can seem daunting at first, but this should be viewed as a long-term investment. An energy-efficient home will lower electricity costs and lead to a reduction in the costs associated with heating, cooling, and other expenses. These are savings that you can expect to see within the first 12 months of making changes.
These are some on the EEU (energy efficiency upgrades) upgrades you can roll into your mortgage or your home refinance to receive the upgrades:
- windows and doors
- solar heating and cooling
- heat pumps
- insulation upgrades for ceilings, walls and attics
- water heater
Eligible veterans and their spouses can use the EEM loan for projects of all sizes. The only requirement is that the renovations and modifications reduce your energy expenditure. To put this bluntly, the only requirement is that you’re willing to save money on your energy costs!
Energy efficient mortgages are applicable for a range of loan types. Under the Veterans Affairs program, borrowers can generally add up to $6,000 – $20,0000 in improvements to their loan, if the home meets VA Appraisal and lending guidelines.
These loans can be put towards EEU upgrades:
- installing a solar water heater
- installing and solar heating and/or cooling system (HVAC)
- installing storm windows and doors, including thermal windows and doors
- performing caulking and weather stripping of a home
- adding water heater insulation to a home
EEU’s represent a vast array of energy efficient options at your disposal.
THE TIME TO BUY A HOME IS NOW!
After your energy audit has been conducted, you will be provided with an approximate cost of your energy-efficiency improvement. The EEM loan will normally be held in an account and released to you after the improvements have been updated or installed.
In addition to reducing energy costs, a clean home can significantly enhance your resale value. It has been proven time and again that prospective home buyers are likely to pay higher amounts for more energy efficient homes.
And it’s not just a lowering of costs that are leading more Americans to search for energy efficient homes. Living in a home powered by clean energy means that you’ll be decreasing your carbon footprint. With climate change a factor that will likely affect future generations, it’s comforting to know that you can do your part to implement positive environmental change.
Veterans Affairs Energy Efficient Mortgages represent a perfect option for active and retired service persons to lower their energy expenditure and in doing so, provide a cleaner, more reliable future for their children.
If you’re a veteran, then you should waste no time in applying for an EEM today.