RESNET’s HERS Index has been getting a whole lot of press recently. It’s steadily gaining traction with builders and home sellers, who are marketing their homes via HERS Index Scores . Homebuyers are now comparing houses based on their scores before they decide to buy.
After all, a lower HERS Index Score means a more energy efficient home, which translates into lower energy costs for both homeowners and potential homebuyers.
If you’re a homeowner looking to sell your home, you have to get an energy rating.
What’s an Energy Rating and Where Can I Get One?
A home energy rating is a comparative analysis of how energy efficient your home is when compared to similar homes. In other words, a certified RESNET Home Energy Rater will conduct a series of tests on your home to ascertain how efficiently it’s performing. Based on the performance results, the rater will issue the home a HERS Index Score (which shows how well your home rates in terms of energy efficiency) and provide you with a detailed report highlighting the energy problems in the home.
What’s Tested during an Energy Rating?
A certified RESNET Home Energy Rater will conduct testing (i.e., an air leakage test, duct leakage test and combustion safety testing) in such areas as:
Why Get an Energy Rating?
As a homeowner, an energy rating provides you with a good idea about issues like:
If you’re in the market to buy a home, well, there’s no better way to establish the real cost of one than by its HERS Index Score. The cost of a home is more than just the mortgage – it’s also your monthly energy bills. By reviewing homes by their HERS Index Scores, you can tell which one is more affordable, sort of like comparing the MPG (miles-per-gallon) stickers on new cars.
The housing industry is changing and the HERS Index is leading the charge. Therefore, it makes good sense to contact a certified RESNET Home Energy Rater for an energy audit; as they say, knowledge is power and knowing your HERS Index Score can lead to a whole lot of power – literally!
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Mortgage interest rates, as reported by Freddie Mac , have increased over the last several weeks . Freddie Mac, along with Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors, is calling for mortgage rates to continue to rise over the next four quarters.
This has caused some purchasers to lament the fact that they may no longer be able to get a rate below 3.5%. However, we must realize that current rates are still at historic lows.
Here is a chart showing the average mortgage interest rate over the last several decades:
The Aspiring Home Buyers Profile from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is required to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The results of the survey show that non-homeowners cite the main reason for not currently owning a home, as not being able to afford one.
This brings us to two major misconceptions that we want to address today.
1. Down Payment
NAR’s survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 39% of non-homeowners say they believe they need more than 20% for a down payment on a home purchase. In actuality, there are many loans written with a down payment of 3% or less.
Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with new programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket.
2. FICO® Scores
An Ipson survey revealed that 62% of respondents believe they need excellent credit to buy a home, with 43% thinking a “good credit score” is over 780. In actuality, the average FICO® scores of approved conventional and FHA mortgages are much lower.
The average conventional loan closed in August had a credit score of 752, while FHA mortgages closed with a score of 683. The average across all loans closed in August was 724. The chart below shows the distribution of FICO® Scores for all loans approved in August.
If you are a prospective buyer who is ‘ready’ and ‘willing’ to act now, but are not sure if you are ‘able’ to, let’s sit down to help you understand your true options.
| 10 a.m. - Noon
Join Historic Columbia for a Garden Workshop and learn about southern garden perennials and southern garden design, execution and maintenance. Special guest David Poston, senior horticulturist at Moore Farms Botanical Garden in Lake City, S.C., will share some of his favorite garden perennials that thrive in warm, humid climates. In addition, Historic Columbia’s garden experts will be on-hand to share the ins and outs of show stopping perennials that are easily able to fit within your southern garden. More information here