CoHousing and Mortgages
From: balaji (
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2006 18:55:04 -0800 (PST)

Has anyone on the list used an EEM (energy efficient mortgage) to finance
cohousing development?

The following CNN article, by the way, is a good introduction to the EEM
concept, for those not already familiar with it.


Tuscaloosa Cooperative Association

Energy efficient mortgages
Natural gas prices are rocketing and electricity demand is soaring. So if
you want to save money on your energy bill, consider looking to your
mortgage lender.
By Gerri Willis, CNN
August 3 2006: 1:30 PM EDT

NEW YORK ( -- Paying for home improvements and cutting your
energy bills is no easy task. Just consider, blowing in insulation can
cost you $1,500 to $2,000 while replacing your furnace can cost you $4,000
for a typical home.

But energy efficient mortgages let you roll in the cost of improvements
into your mortgage. Of course you'll be paying higher monthly payments but
ideally your utility bills will be lower.

Here's what you need to know.

1: Get your rating
In order to qualify for an energy efficient mortgage, you'll need to get
an appraisal with a Certified Energy Rater in your state. Check out These raters test the home and determine what needs to be
done in order to get the most energy efficient home. That may mean a new
furnace, thicker insulation or newer doors. Keep in mind that getting the
rating certificate will cost you about $300.

2: Find a lender
Bottom line: It's difficult to find a lender. There's a lot more
paperwork; the loans are complex and lenders don't make that much money on
these loans.

But here's how you can find a lender in your area. Go to
and click on find local homebuilders and other partners. Then you'll want
to look for lenders who offer special financing.

Another tactic is to log onto the Residential Energy Services Network at These are certified home efficiency raters who can point
you to lenders in your area.

3: Don't let Uncle Bob do your repairs
Choose your contractor wisely. If the energy improvements didn't cut your
utility bill, you're still on the line for a larger mortgage. You can
either use a contractor you trust, or find a certified contractor at the
Building Performance Institute. That Web site is Just
remember, improvements must be made 90 days after you close on the house.


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