The Home Buyer's Korner

Information presented should be used for educational purposes only.

December 20th, 2013

Guy looking up in color

If you’ve been considering going green, talk with your mortgage lenders about the Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) and receive additional funds for purchasing energy efficient items and help make your home purchase more environmentally friendly.

Installing a solar energy system may be a very smart way to help you save money, in addition to helping the environment!

The federal government, many states and even local utility authorities are providing tax incentives and rebates for installing solar panels and other energy efficient appliances in 2013. Taking a little time and research your options could save you thousands in savings, which makes going green all the more to your advantage. when choosing a place to call home.

To help get you start finding out what you might qualify for here are a few links:

Homestar Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program

Windows, Doors and Skylights

Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency

Once you’ve decided to go green there are many installers to select from, but not all might have the necessary experience. If you’re thinking about a solar energy system or other energy efficient items be sure to ask the questions and get references!

Some question to help you get start would be:

How many solar panel systems have they installed?

You want to make sure to find a reputable company that has significant solar experience and has successfully completed at least 50 installations.

Ask for seasoned referenced (at least a few years old) before you sign anything. Doing so gives you an opportunity to ask about your contractors follow up service as well.

What is the output in kWh per year?

Many times, solar panel brands will claim to be more efficient than others.

You’ll want to weigh the annual output against the price to determine what system is going to be the most cost effective for your home.

When getting an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) it’s important to note you’ll want to have an energy audit on your home purchase, as part of the inspections process to maximize your homes energy efficiency before sizing the solar power replacement system. You may be able to install a significantly smaller, and less costly system simply by doing a few additional home improvements.

How long is the warranty on the panels?

Most high quality solar panel systems have a warranty of at least 25 years.

Top-of-the-line panels usually guarantee an output of no less than 90 percent after ten years and no less than 80 percent after 25 years.

Be wary of any company whose panels don’t come with a warranty.

Do they include a warranty on labor?

Many states require a warranty on labor in order to receive your rebate.

Reputable installers should have no problem including at least a 10-year warranty.

What is the final price?

Don’t get separate pricing for the parts, labor and rebates. Get a comprehensive price, so you can directly compare the total cost and kWh per year among providers.

Also, pay attention to the difference between purchasing your solar power system versus the leasing options available.

Leasing has become popular due to the low — or possibly no– up-front cost, but most experts agree that purchasing the system leads to a quicker payoff and return on your investment and you can’t included the cost in your EEM or FHA 203K if you lease your system.

If you’re interested in learning more about homeownership, visit our local “Real Estate Broker” & “Mortgage Lender” Google+ Communities located to the right of our blog.


FHA 203K

Your Home Purchasing or Refinancing & Renovation Tool

Mortgage Loan Officers, Real Estate Agents & General Contractors

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The Conventional Alternative to FHA 203K

Great for Real Estate Investors and Second Home Renovations

You Mortgage Loan Officer, Real Estate Agents & General Contractors

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Up to $10K for Home Improvements, Renovations or a Simple Remodel

Your Mortgage Loan Officer, Real Estate Agents & General Contractors

are ready to assist you with your home purchase


Organizing your home shopping experience affords a wise decision making process.

This simple home inspection tool makes your ultimate buying decision a smart one.

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