Starting and Staying Green
Today’s housing market provides amazing opportunities for 1st Time Home Buyers to purchase energy efficient homes filled with beauty and elegance.
Buyers who do their homework are finding wonderful deals on previously owned homes perfect for Green Renovation.
Given the home industry’s Buyers market, perhaps now more than ever before there’s ample room for GEE’s Energy, WOW and Done Packages, providing dream homes that save energy, money while helping to Save the Planet.
Financing the Great Green American Dream…
Your growing family just isn’t fitting in that apartment. It’s time for your first home … And you being a patriotic American want it to be Green and save Energy. Sounds Logical…
Let’s say, for example, that you are concerned about Climate Change, Peak Oil, Resource Conservation, and buying less from people who are convinced that America is The Great Satan … All of that. And with the arrival of your second child, the apartment just isn’t working anymore … It’s time to buy your first home. Here’s how that might sound
You: I’m pre qualified, I found a Realtor & it’s time to go shopping. I’m hoping to find it all, More space for the kids, A modern kitchen, and Energy Efficiency to help the planet – and my Utility Bill! Yahoo!!! Let’s go shopping! Surely we can include efficient heating and cooling, insulation and sealing, good windows and maybe even solar??? Everyone knows that stuff will cut down my Utility Bill….. dont they? Since it will save more than it costs on a 30 year mortgage, it makes sense to me.
Realtor: ”Not so fast,” says my Realtor. “I hate to inform you, but that’s not the way the banks see it. And you’ve heard of the modern Golden Rule: “He who has the gold, makes the rules.” ”Banks have the gold & typically loan no more than 50% of what Energy Upgrades cost … sometimes nothing at all. So if you want Green and Energy Upgrades, you may have to come up with the extra cost in CASH.”
You: Well, cant they see that my utility bill will be less, so I’ll have more money to afford those upgrades in my mortgage?
Realtor: You would think so, wouldn’t you? But they will only loan on the appraised amount.
You: Well surely the appraisers will see the value of energy upgrades that cut the utility bill.
Realtor: A few will. Most cant or wont or just dont. Most simply say, “Hey, my job is only to reflect the market, and our statistics, dont show increased value for those things you’re talking about.
- Most Bankers and Appraisers seem to be fighting against Americans who wish to help us toward Energy Independence by purchasing an Energy Efficient Home.
Now if you want to talk about Granite Counters … we can add Value for those …. It’s this many square feet in this neighborhood with this many bedrooms … So here’s your appraisal.
You: Wow, it seems like the Banking and Appraisal Industries are really holding us back in getting our housing more efficient, getting free of Foreign Oil and meeting our Climate Goals.
It’s true. Neither one think it’s their job. Actually some in each of those industries would like to be more progressive (and a very few are) but they are saddled with outdated regulations and bureaucracy. They are waiting for Political Leadership and you see how that’s working these days….
You: Well I cant wait for the Bankers and Politicians and Appraisers to get their act together. I need an Energy Efficient house NOW. You know my finances, What are my options?
Realtor: Well, with the expanding family, and your budget, you probably aren’t going to be able to just go “pick one off the shelf” (the MLS) that will meet your needs and be an Energy Saver. The only way I can see for you to get your Dream Home is to work with a Creative Team who know how to think outside the box and work together to work around the Old School Bankers and Appraisers. A creative Lender, A creative Realtor like me, and a Creative Seller and a creative Contractor who work together will be able towork around the retrograde Bankers and Appraisers and get you into your Dream Home … with those Energy Upgrades.
You: Working Around? Hey, is this legal?
Realtor: Totally legal. A good team simply thinks outside the box, always goes for the “second right answer,” works together, and utilizes all the new programs that are available.
You: OK what do we need to do?
Realtor: You’re already qualified, but that loan officer isn’t known for creativity. I suggest we work with a lender who specializes in Energy Efficient Mortgages and FHA 203K Mortgages. I work with a couple who do nothing but those types of mortgages.
You: Great, that first guy didn’t seem familiar with those. Who else is on the team?
Realtor: You’ll need a Contractor who know’s their stuff on the Energy as well as how to work all the programs to get you all the rebates and incentives possible. They need to be BPI Certified and have a close working relationship with a HERS Rater (Home Energy Rating System)
You: OK, I assume you know someone like that? I have no clue.
- Maybe the best way to get the Dream Home and get it Green is to start with something like this. … And let a creative team build your dream from design to the Energy Package to Unconventional Financing that works!
Realtor: You bet. I’ve worked with (XYZ Company, call for details) I’ve seen them produce some huge savings for their clients … and the big energy drains were not what everyone thought they would be.
You: OK, what else?
Realtor: Well, You need a seller who is a true believer in Green and also willing to be flexible and work with the team to make it all happen. Most sellers and Investors just want the most they can get, while putting in as little as possible. Some dont really understand that the house works as a system and just put in a few highly marketed parts of the system. Those houses dont work. Most are looking for all cash and a short escrow.
You: Sounds like business as usual. What’s my other choice?
Realtor: There are a few sellers, like GreenEarthEquities who understand the house as a system. Dave Robinson, the owner has been pushing Energy Efficiency Legislation since 1988 & has been the president of the California Building Performance Contractors Association and will bend and flex to get you into the Green Home of your dreams.
You: What kind of flexing are we talking about?
Realtor: Well, I’ve seen GreenEarthEquities offer a buyer who couldn’t quite qualify a “Rent to Own” program. The buyer finished up their credit repair while on a lease and then completed the sale. This was definitely a situation where the Bank said “No” and Dave said “Yes” They have also been willing to carry back a portion of the sale price. Sometimes they arrange part of the project to be on a lease, like the Solar System … if it makes more sense. They are willing to combine finance programs like the EEM and 203K and the new 3% program (Zero in some counties) that isn’t tied to debt ratio, but only energy savings…. And they’ll help you take advantage of all the new incentive programs as well.
You: Wow!, I see there’s more to this whole thing than just listing a house and hoping it sells. But my brain is on overload. Can we talk about this some more when we meet with the team?
- It Takes A Team! Old School, “by the book” thinking just wont allow you to get your green dream home with the Banking and Appraisal systems that are working against you. Dont worry, a good team can work around them.
Realtor: Absolutely. I’ll get the team together for a strategy session where we’ll hear all of your wish list and concerns and lay out all the options before we go shopping. When’s best for you? I’ll give you a call….
Does that sound like your team of professionals? If not, I’m sorry, because it should. For more on selecting your team, see Planetsavers University on this site. Locally, (in Fresno, CA) our team is together & ready to serve you, whether you want to buy your dream home or invest in Saving The Planet, One House At A Time.
Additional 1st Time Home Buyers Information
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