Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Energy Effcient Homes?

Poll: Nine in 10 U.S. Homeowners Concerned About Home Energy Efficiency

Home energy efficiency is valued by the vast majority of American homeowners, with 89 percent of national survey respondents indicating that making their home more energy efficient is important to them personally.

Key findings from the September 2010 national survey include:

* Less than one in three homeowners believe their homes are "very" energy efficient
* While the majority reported knowing "a lot" about how to make their homes energy efficient, they mistakenly identified "older windows" as the top energy-loss culprit
* 90% said it is important to have a professional energy auditor who is "certified by an independent national organization"

"These findings are a call to action to the industry to help consumers tap into the true value of an independent energy audit," said Steve Baden, executive director, RESNET. "While the benefits of window replacement are obvious, it is often a less visible and less expensive repair – for example, sealing cracks around air conditioning and heating ducts – that can significantly improve a home's energy efficiency and cut homeowners' utility bills."

D.C.-based Clarus Research Group, a Qorvis company, conducted a market survey of 800 U.S. homeowners(1) on behalf of RESNET, an industry leader in the energy efficiency marketplace. The sample was defined as adults over 21 years of age who currently own a home or plan to purchase one within the next year. The survey was conducted by Ron Faucheux, Ph.D., president of Clarus and a nationally recognized research and polling expert.

Key among other survey findings:

* 86% of homeowners would trust an energy audit performed by someone who was "certified by an independent national organization" over someone who was not
* 80% of those surveyed said that if they were in the market to buy a home, an energy audit conducted by an "unbiased professional" would be important to them

Poll from RISMEDIA

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

If your on the buying fence now's the time get off...

FHA Gives Home Buyers One-Month Window

September 1, 2010--The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is giving homeowners and buyers until October 4 to lock in a low monthly insurance premium, according to Gibran Nicholas, chairman of the CMPS Institute, an organization that trains and certifies mortgage bankers and brokers. “After October 4, the monthly insurance premiums on FHA loans will increase by over 63%.”

What does this mean for home buyers?
A home buyer purchasing a $200,000 home using a $193,000 FHA mortgage before October 4 would pay an insurance premium of $88.46 per month. If the same home buyer waits until after October 4, the insurance premium would jump to $148.01.

“In this example, the home buyer would lose $59.55 per month, or $7,146 over a 10-year timeframe,” Nicholas said. “Although the upfront mortgage insurance premium is going down after October 4, the real impact to the home buyer is actually a net increase in their out of pocket costs because the monthly premium is going up by 63%. Remember, sellers can pay the upfront premium or it can be financed into the loan amount, so homebuyers rarely pay the upfront premium out of pocket. On the other hand, the increase in the monthly premiums will be paid right out of the home buyer’s pocket with their mortgage payment each month.”

Ironically, home buyers who plan to be in the mortgage for less than three years and decide to pay the upfront fee themselves (instead of having the seller pay it for them), may actually save money by waiting until after October 4 to apply for an FHA loan.

“Home buyers with a short term time horizon may actually benefit from this change because the upfront premium will be reduced to 1% from 2.25%,” Nicholas said. This change will impact over 30% of the home buyers in today’s market who use FHA-insured financing. Home buyers considering an FHA loan should find and contact a CMPS professional in their area to discuss their options and what this means for their situation.

from: RISmedia