The FHA 203k Renovation Loan Is The Real “Green Home Loan” As Energy-Efficient Improvments And Non-Toxic Building Materials Can Be Combined To Into One Renovation Transaction

7 06 2011
  • A “Green Home” conserves energy and uses of non-toxic building materials
  • The conservation of energy saves on heating and cooling costs
  • The of non-toxic materials is very important for health and environmental reasons
  • Energy inefficient homes increase the overall monthly costs of a home
  • The use of toxic materials can damage health and actually create serious health problems like asthma, allergies, skin issues, headaches, eye irritation and dizziness
  • The FHA 203k Rehabilitation mortgage allows a borrower to purchase or refinance a home while financing the costs of renovation to the property
  • A home renovation can utilize non-toxic building materials such as non-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints; sealants that contain polyether rather than urethane or silicone bases; plywood that is free of formaldehyde; and natural clay plaster for walls instead of drywall (gypsum board)
  • This turns a “K” into a “Green K”, helping a borrower create a much healthier environment for the family living in the property
  • The FHA 203k can significantly reduce the time required to purge the market of real estate-owned (REO) and bank-owned stock
  • The REO stock move faster and the banks could sell their REOs for higher prices
  • Because the condition of a typical REO property is often quite poor, an owner-occupied homebuyer won’t have the cash to fix it up
  • The bank would have to drop the price drasticly to attract investors with the cash to renovate it
  • But the homebuyer who uses an FHA 203k Renovation loan can pay a higher price and have the money to renovate

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Green Home Remodels And Renovations: Contractors And Architects Must Educate Homeowners On The Most Effective Way To Maximize A Home’s “Geography, Structure, Systems And Aesthetics”

17 12 2010

The FHA 203k Renovation Loan is the only true Green Home loan.

The remodeling contractor has to educate the homeowner to take the most effective approach for the project.

  • Geography :  “If you’re building a new home, the lot is the most important thing. If you’re doing a retrofit, you have to respect the existing architecture. You have to understand where the home is, what direction it faces, what you may need to change about the overhangs, things like that.”
  • Structural: “A rammed earth house may work great in New Mexico but it’s perfectly worthless in Michigan. You have to respect the structural aspects. People read about a certain system and want to build their addition in that way, but I have to tell them I can’t build that for you in this state. I’m in the Mid- Atlantic region where we have a mixed-humid climate that is just vicious to build in. You have to be on your toes to know what you’re designing in that market.”
  • Systems: “If you have a super air-tight house you don’t need a huge mechanical system. Or if you can use radiant instead of forced air or you can use less plumbing, or if you’re using solar thermal you don’t need as big a water heater. The structure will tell you a lot about what kind of systems to use.”
  • Aesthetics: “Too often homeowners start with the aesthetics, but that’s stuff you can go back and change. You have to know the systems first before you pick out recycled glass tile or a sustainable bamboo floor.”

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“” Green Homes: Tuscon Home Harvests Rain Water, Uses Runoff From Showers, Laundry And Sinks For Irrigation And Has A 3.2-Kilowatt-Hour Solar Panel System

10 09 2010

“…the home should become the first in Tucson to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certified platinum rating, said Rich Franz-Ünder, Pima County’s green building program manager. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design…”

A north-side home, built by a father-and-son team, is slated to be the first in Southern Arizona to receive the highest rating for energy efficiency given by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The first house in Southern Arizona likely to receive the highest rating, LEED certified platinum, for energy efficiency. Photo courtesy of NICOLE BRULÉ-FISHER

The house at 1240 E. Blacklidge harvests rain water, uses runoff from showers, laundry and dishes to irrigate desert landscaping, and has a 3.2-kilowatt-hour solar panel system.

Of course, the first thing a meticulous, eco-friendly homebuyer may notice when walking up to the house is the fountain bubbling in the front yard. Fountains use power and lose water through evaporation.

But Drew Lutz, who built the house with his father, David, said the two balanced the energy cost of each component with the comfort it may provide. Someone, after all, is going to live there. The fountain adds aesthetic appeal and drowns out the street noise from nearby Mountain Avenue, he said.

“The biggest thing is compromise,” Drew Lutz said. The ultimate aim is to sell the house and make a profit.

The 2,000-square-foot house – listed at $440,000 – is no doubt a higher-end product. It has glossy, scored concrete floors, bamboo cabinets and large insulated windows. It’s surrounded by corrugated metal fencing accented with caged rock pillars. Drew Lutz said he and his father, who together make up Lutz Construction, wanted to incorporate a new look into Tucson’s traditional feel.

“I feel like Tucson is lacking in modern design,” he said.

In the coming weeks, the home should become the first in Tucson to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certified platinum rating, said Rich Franz-Ünder, Pima County’s green building program manager. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

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Award-Winning Green Homes: “The Sage” Is A Small, Ultra-Sustainable Demonstration Home In Eugene, Oregon (Video)

27 08 2010

Due to popular demand, we have combined all twenty videos into two segments of ten episodes each. This segment highlights the first 10 episodes.

Project Details

The Sage, Eugene, Ore. | Size: 1,447 square feet | Cost: $206 per square foot | Completed: June 2009 | Certification: LEED-Platinum | HERS Rating: 23 | Architect: Arbor South Architecture, Eugene | Builder: Arbor South Construction, Eugene | Verifier: Earth Advantage, Portland, Ore.

Green Highlights
Energy: R-32 and R-45 open-cell Demilec Agribalance spray-foam insulation / 2.1-kW solar system and solar hot water / U-0.27 Weathervane Vantage low-E windows with argon fill / CertainTeed Landmark Solaris solar-reflective asphalt roofing / Trane 16-SEER high-efficiency heat pump / high-efficiency fluorescent and LED lighting / KitchenAid Energy Star appliances / prewiring for electric vehicles | Resources: high fly-ash concrete foundation / locally produced lumber and floor joists / FSC-certified oak cabinets / Pioneer Millworks reclaimed wood flooring / Sustainable Flooring cork flooring | IAQ: zero-VOC paint / low-VOC floor finishes / Trane HRV | Water: drought-resistant xeriscaping / rainwater collection / Danze low-flow faucets and showerheads / Kohler dual-flush toilets

Green Homes Profile: Maryland Home Boasts 69 “Eco-Friendly And Energy-Efficient” Features That Made It “Maryland’s 2009 Green Home of the Year”

22 08 2010

“The purpose of this (green) house is that it doesn’t look different from any other house.”

Emerson Eco-Model home in Maryland.

The “bones” of the home help reduce energy costs.



  •  Some parts, like walls, floor joists and roof trusses were pre-built in a factory, reducing waste.
  • On site, the first floor headers and heels were raised, allowing the placement of additional insulation around the windows.
  • South-facing windows in the home are Pella Sun Defense styles with extra sheer, bronze-colored glazing and insulation to reduce the sun’s glare and heat. Mike joked,

“These windows are like putting on a heavy pair of sunglasses. They cut down on the sun’s UV rays.”

  • Within the home’s exterior and interior walls, NCFI open cell foam insulation has been sprayed, filling up the cavities to cut down on energy loss and air leaks.
  • Throughout the house the floors were either pre-finished bamboo or cork, both renewable resources. The bamboo flooring was manufactured with “low VOC” (volatile organic compounds) adhesives.
  • Nearly every wall was painted or papered using low VOC materials; one bedroom featured walls painted with “no VOC” paint. “These McCormick paints finish off-gassing in three or four days,” he said.
  • Bathrooms have dual flush toilets. Depending upon what was put in the toilet, a user could choose a 1.1-gallon or 1.6-gallon flush.

 “For a family of four, this feature can save 4,000 gallons of water every year,” Mike said.

  • Throughout the house, low flow faucets and shower heads were installed using 20 percent less water than regular faucets and showers, with similar results.
  • The bathrooms boast attractive tiles made with recycled content. “They’re nice!” he said. “You’re not giving anything up here.
  • ” One bathroom featured an Eco-Stone countertop made of 75 percent recycled content.
  • All the bathroom fans had multiple-choice timer settings.
  • Talk of low and no VOC materials continued into the kitchen, where the locally-sourced cabinetry has no added urea formaldehyde.
  • The brushed stainless steel Energy Star refrigerator and freezer duo looked huge. “They’re oversized to encourage homeowners to get rid of the old fridge in the garage that’s draining electricity because it is old and inefficient,” said Mike.
  • The home’s Energy Star refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher and washing machine can reduce water and energy costs 25 percent over regular appliances.
  • One wall held a GE Ecomagination Home Management System. Touching the small screen, a homeowner can check on the home’s water and electricity consumption and costs-to-date.
  • A plate on a second wall held a lighting control system.
  • Mike was eager to talk about the tankless hot water heater, the manifold plumbing system and the cross-linked red and blue polyethylene pipes in the basement, along with the basement’s pre-cast, nine-foot high walls.
  • He made sure we saw the Velux sun tunnel, a flexible domed tunnel skylight. Up on the second floor, it casts a sunny glow. And, we looked at every eco-friendly nook and cranny inside.

“A lot of things in this house I have in my own home,” he said. “I’m a member National Association of Home Builders 20 Club in this area. I learned from the other members and went through courses. Much of what Baldwin Homes was doing in our higher quality homes is already ‘green.’ As I became a better builder, I became a greener builder.”

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Green Home Real Estate: “” Is An “MLS Exclusively For Green Homes And Properties”

12 08 2010


“…Founder Dave Syring saw a number of problems with the existing major Multiple Listing Service platforms (those used by real estate agents to post homes for sales); Chief among them, were that only real estate agents could access the listings and none were dedicated to green homes. So last March, Syring took things into his own hands and launched ListedGreen, an MLS exclusively for Green homes and properties. This is a sustainable business from the ground up, from its solar-powered servers to its contributions to Global Green USA…” (From MyGreenHomeBlog)

Listed Green® is a third-party green, online advertising platform, exclusively for “bringing together” Buyers and Sellers of healthy, sustainable, energy efficient and ecologically smart homes and developments for sale or rent.

But ListedGreen® doesn’t just stop there.

We also maintain and create new alliances among numerous innovative, energy efficient, sustainable builders, architects and developers – while elevating green building certification building programs from all over the world.

Some examples of our greener commitment:

  • We are proud members of the local chapter of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) – continuing to learn, educate, and stay informed of the newest building technologies, while networking with like-minded green building professionals.
  • As approved business members of Co-op America, we can expand knowledge of energy efficiency and grow along side like-minded environmentally friendly people, while making a statement for the well-being of our children’s future and our carbon footprint on this great earth.
  • We are also members and Eco-Activists for Global Green USA.
    A portion of our proceeds is donated every month to this great organization and hopefully Listed Green can make a difference by posting important green articles and new challenges before all of us. We encourage you to join Global Green USA.

Listed Green works with green lending and appraisal professionals – helping elevate the true market value of green, sustainable, energy efficient properties and developments.

Our background has been in Green Real Estate, and we strive to be “greener” by:

  • Personally reviewing each property listing (content) to ascertain they are actually green, energy efficient and/or sustainable – NO “GREENWASHING”
  • E-Faxing instead of paper wasting fax machines
  • Only using 100% recycled paper when we need to use paper
  • Having our business cards printed on 100% recycled paper with environmentally friendly inks
  • Making monthly contributions to environmentally pro-active organizations such as Global Green USA
  • Supporting green building practices and “spreading the word” about new innovative energy efficient technologies

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“Fund My Green Remodel”: The Key To Understanding What A “Green Home” Represents Is “Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency And Indoor-Air Quality”

11 08 2010

The key, he says, is to understand what green really means. Most people believe green means energy efficiency, he says, but that's just one part of a three-prong strategy that also involves water efficiency and indoor-air quality.


Step 1: Hire an energy specialist to test your home for leaks – in air-conditioning ducts, windows, walls, the attic. The tech will use a blower, a computer and other equipment to test how “tight” your home’s envelope is – mainly the walls and roof – and recommend repairs and upgrades. A company like REEis in Scottsdale will do this kind of envelope test and give your home a score. Once you seal your ducts (ask your electric utility if you qualify for a rebate on the job), caulk the windows, repair attic insulation and make other improvements, you can have the test again to learn how much better the home is performing.

In fact, you can waste a lot of money on expensive new products like super-efficient windows, solar panels or a new air-conditioning system if you don’t tend to the envelope first. Even the most efficient products won’t make you more comfortable or cut your energy bills if you install them in a house that’s leaking cool (or heated) air.

Step 2: Once your home’s envelope is performing as it should, you can make a plan to replace older, energy-inefficient items as you can afford them. Examples: Trade single-pane windows for double-pane versions; switch all of the incandescent lightbulbs in the house to compact fluorescent lights or even LEDs, choose new kitchen appliances that are Energy Star-rated, and maybe plant a shade tree or two outside a west-facing window with high exposure to the sun.

Step 3: Invest in plumbing fixtures that make water savings automatic. If your toilets are the ancient models that swallow 5 gallons of water with every flush, buy low-water versions that use 1.6 gallons or less. The Environmental Protection Agency has a new WaterSense designation for faucets, showerheads and even lawn-watering fixtures that use less and waste less.

Step 4: Properly ventilating bathrooms and kitchens can help your whole family breathe easier. And choosing less-toxic versions of paints, carpets and other materials can go a long way to improving your home’s indoor-air quality.

Step 5: Use your new green features in an efficient way. Don’t screw an incandescent lightbulb into a fixture designed for use with a more-efficient CFL. Don’t continually override the automatic set-back on your programmable thermostat to make your home cooler just as you’re leaving the house. Let your new products do their job – which is to create comfort and energy savings.

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