KIRO Radio's Tom Kelly digs deep into the Puget Sound real estate market
Real Estate

'Green' mortgage: Providers ponder energy rewards

The Senate is considering bipartisan legislation that would require Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, and other federal mortgage entities to revamp their rules to reward energy savings.

Supporters of energy efficiency want lenders to take the net savings from energy improvements into consideration when they underwrite and impose mortgage fees, and they also want appraisers to take into account the value of new items and retrofits.

Meanwhile, a study of 71,000 home loans by University of North Carolina researchers revealed that mortgages on energy-efficient properties are 32 percent less likely to default.

More than 125 multiple listing services nationwide provide "green fields" in online listing information displays so that energy improvements and certifications for Energy Star-qualified appliances, solar power, and other features can be described.

Moreover, the Appraisal Institute is offering green valuation training for appraisers and has established a comprehensive "green addendum" that could result in higher property valuations.

In addition, Genworth Mortgage Insurance plans to offer green rewards to U.S. borrowers like it already does in Canada where borrowers receive a 10 percent refund on mortgage insurance premiums, online discounts for common household items, and even a break on their debt-to-income ratio for underwriting purposes if the home meets national or provincial energy efficiency guidelines.

Top Stories

  • Does This Make Sense?
    Jason Rantz questions Inslee's plan to fund transportation with carbon pollution tax

  • Big Release
    Michael Medved takes a look at whether the latest Hobbit film is worth your interest

  • Holiday Map
    Find holiday events, Santa photo opportunities, and light displays
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Listen to the show
Hear Real Estate Today on KIRO Radio
Join Tom Kelly every Sunday at 9am on KIRO Radio to talk Puget Sound real estate.

Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.