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A new piece of legislation may force lenders to factor in a borrower's anticipated energy costs when underwriting a government-backed mortgage, says the Institute for Market Transformations.
The Sensible Accounting to Value Energy Act, co-sponsored by Senators Michael Bennet and Johnny Isakson, if enacted, would have lenders for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration examine a borrowers electricity and gas payments to determine if they would still be able to meet their monthly mortgage payment afterwards.
"The SAVE act would address this blind spot, giving a more complete picture of the costs of homeownership and borrowers’ capacity to service debt," said a statement from the senators.
Annually, many homeowners spend more on energy expenses than either real estate taxes and home insurance. The Senators say the SAVE Act would open doors for homeowners to make energy upgrades a part of their mortgage.
This bill would affect homeowners nationally, but Houston homes are generally subject to higher energy costs, especially during the summer season. But there are options for making a home more energy efficient. Fixing leaks, installing insulation, upgrading the A/C and going solar are all viable options to keep utility costs down.