What is all the whoopla about the EEM?
The Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) was set up in 1993 to Green UP the nation's housing stock. We must be more responsible for conserving our natural resources. Being more energy conscious is a MUST. Everyone wants to upgrade their windows to "dual pane" windows... they look nice and modernize the LOOK of the home but are they an effective means of spending your money on a rehab project? NO is the short answer. In most cases they make the home more aesthetically appealing and may make it sell faster but for being a prudent way to spend your money for a ROI (return on investment) it's just NOT there.
How should you go about KNOWING where to put your money for the PAYBACK you are really looking for? That is easy... get a HERS inspection. HERS = Home Energy Rating System. This is a comprehensive report that assesses the energy usage and loss and will provide information that will show you exactly what you should spend your money on to save you the most money in the shortest possible time and really make a difference in your energy usage and the money you pay for that energy. In most cases under floor and attic insulation are much more effective than dual pane windows. Every home inspection course I've ever taken has indicated that dual pane windows are one of the worst investments with regards to PAYBACK that you can make yet you might consider sealed triple-pane windows as an alternative. Now this is not to say you shouldn't use dual pane windows if you have an extensive rehab project. Just realize that it is the perception rather than the energy efficiency that you are using them.
Piggyback the EEM on top of the 203k. Instead of just "rehabbing a home" get a HERS report and be sure to rehab your home in the most efficient manner to maximize your savings. Wow, that is profound.