Today's world is changing at a dramatic pace. Skyrocketing energy prices and a planet showing years of abuse have led many to consider the way they live and how to change their lifestyle. The easiest and best way to reduce our energy consumption and to help preserve the planet for our children and grandchildren is to start at home. The place where we spend the most time, where we consume the most energy and our biggest asset all in one. Our homes are responsible for huge outlays of money and responsible for preserving and creating wealth for our families. Now is the time to do you part, help the planet, take advantage of the incredible tax and utility company credits, increase the value of your home and prepare yourself for energy price increases by financing your energy saving improvements with FHA 203K> renovation financing.
FHA 203K renovation loans have been around for decades, but they have recently found a new use in helping people go green. How do they work? The process is simple really, one loan closing with money to purchase the property or to payoff current debt and an escrow account for repairs. Loans over $35,000 are facilitated with the aid of a HUD approved consultant designed to help administer contractor draws and insure repairs are done to FHA specifications. Loans under $35,000 don't require a consultant and repairs can be done by the borrowers chosen contractor or, in some cases, the borrower themselves. FHA awards benefits in terms of higher allowable debt to income ratios along with loan amounts that can exceed FHA statutory limits. So, how can you use the FHA 203K to go green?
1.) Green Up Your Appliances -- FHA 203K loans will finance new free standing appliances for your home. Why not use that opportunity to buy EPA recommended ENERGY STAR appliances? Imagine beautiful stainless appliances that save you a bundle in monthly energy costs.
2.) Save Water, Save Energy -- You can finance brand new low flow toilets as well as tankless water heaters. Low flow toilets use less than half the water that older models do and tankless waters provide unlimited hot water without all the wasted energy of a constantly working water heater.
3.) Want New Hardwoods? -- Opt for sustainable bamboo flooring. Bamboo reproduces itself to maturity in 5 years as opposed to the 40-100 years than normal hardwoods take. Make sure and opt for formaldehyde free glues.
4.) Environmentally Friendly Landscaping and Lawn -- Making an eco-friendly outdoor area that saves water and provides shade, helping you reduce heating and cooling costs, is not as hard as you think. How do we you do it? First of all choose local plants that require less water and less pruning. Pruning creates waste and fills landfills, avoid it if possible. Choosing local plants can help you conserve water and require less work. If you have an irrigation system install a "smart" system that calibrates water needed based on local climates and plant needs.
5.) Solar Panels -- Solar is one of the easiest ways to dramatically cut monthly energy bills. Installing solar panels is so encouraged by HUD that they will allow you to exceed statutory loan limits to do so. In many cases the Federal, State and Utility company tax credits will pay for a good portion of the purchase and installment of solar panels. The rest we can finance.
6.) Better Insulation -- An obvious choice for a green home, insulating your home better can help you save thousands on energy bills.
7.) Choosing Green Building Materials -- A key aspect of any green FHA 203K renovation is the selection of environmentally friendly building materials. To reduce transport pollution and energy costs go local first. The second thing to look for is recyclable materials such as Glass, Terrazzo, Ceramic and Porcelain.
These are just a few of the myriad of green renovation choices you can finance with an FHA 203K renovation loan. There are literally hundreds of other ways to green your home, save yourself hundreds in monthly energy costs, increase your resale value and do your part in preserving the planet. The time is now to take action and do what you can. You never know, you might just be able to dramatically cut your monthly energy bills, create a bundle in home equity and substantially improve the marketability of your home.