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The 203k Is the ‘Green Mortgage’

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Commentary Dennis Walsh

RISMEDIA, June 18, 2010—We’re living in a world that’s turning green. I’m sure you’ve noticed. Everyone, it seems, every organization, every product, every man, woman and child wants to be green in this age of eco-consciousness. And a lot of the effort put behind the green movement is a really great thing–hopefully future generations will thank us.

On the other hand, a lot of what’s going on is really “greenwashing,” where any excuse to label something environmentally friendly leads to marketing claims that are standing on some very thin ice. Seriously, other than its color, how green can an automobile really be? How about chemical cleaners or genetically engineered foods? These products are stretching the use of the term beyond any sensible meaning.

The good news is that in the construction and renovation of America’s housing, we can incorporate materials, designs and practices that make a significant contribution to sustainability and protecting our environment. And, to support this effort, there’s been a lot of momentum created through the efforts of the U.S Green Building Council’s LEED program, the National Association of Home Builders Green Building Program, the Energy Star program and many others. Those in the business of building and remodeling homes as well as those buying and owning homes have become more aware and more committed to this cause.

The great news is that one of the most important keys to successfully greening America’s current stock of housing can be found in using the 203k loan, and along with it, the Energy Efficient Mortgage. The 203k really is the “Green Mortgage” since it offers a practical, cost-effective solution to providing funds for these improvements.

The 203k allows homeowners to amortize the cost of improvements that provide long-term cost savings over the life of the mortgage, enjoying the benefits of a lower interest rate than a short-term financing option would offer. Using an Energy Efficient Mortgage, these improvements can be added to a 203k loan, allowing homeowners to exceed the FHA loan limit total by the approved energy efficient costs. For many, this offers an opportunity to not only offset the cost of these improvements with utility savings, but even an overall reduced cost of homeownership. And in the process, we’re helping reduce America’s energy dependence.

As the emphasis on preserving our environment and natural resources continues, it makes sense for us to do our best to help more Americans not only make their homeownership dreams come true – but with the power of the 203k, also turn those dreams truly “green.”

For more information, visit www.re-buildusa.com.

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