Lease a solar energy system for your home with a Power Purchase Agreement

Instead of buying a solar photovoltaic (PV) system, you can lease it through a power purchase agreement (PPA). PPAs are financial arrangements in which a third-party developer owns, operates, and maintains the renewable energy system. Solar power purchase agreements are called SPPAs. Under an SPPA,  you agree to site the system on your property and purchase…

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DIY Projects to Save Energy: Adding Insulation

An important step in reducing energy in your home includes adding more insulation. As long as you follow the product manufacturer’s “safe handling instructions,” DIY (do-it-yourself) insulation projects can often fit within your budget and completed in a weekend. Eco-friendly options include products made from recycled newsprint and blue jeans Many different types of insulation…

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Fabulous Prefabs: an affordable option for first-time homebuyers

You might be thinking, “will I ever be able to own a home?” The good news is that there are many options for homes that are both affordable and sustainable. The construction industry has traditionally consisted of “stick-built” homes, which are labor-intensive, and can take many months, depending upon weather conditions. The majority of construction…

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What is a “net zero” home?

Think of your home as an electric meter working backwards. When averaged over the course of 12 months, if your solar or other renewable energy system generates the same amount of energy as your house consumes, the effect is known as “net zero.” “Positive energy” is the result of your system producing more electricity than…

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Goodreads Giveaways

Ten lucky people throughout the U.S. and Canada are getting their signed paperback copies of Live in a Home that Pays You Back from our September giveaway.  More than 3,300 people entered the contest. You can still try again!  Another 10 signed books will be given away in the Goodreads giveaway starting October 10th.  Winners…

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Indoor Air Quality – why it matters

A study completed by the International Energy Agency (IEA), Capturing the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency, examined health outcomes resulting from energy-efficient measures completed by residential homeowners. A number of efficiency measures were studied, including insulation, air sealing, heating systems, and ventilation. Results from every type of measure indicated “reduced symptoms of respiratory disease,” and…

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Home Energy Scores

Give your home an energy checkup A home’s energy efficiency is based on a whole-house assessment. Known as an “energy score,” the efficiency rating of a home is based on measurable performance factors of individual appliances or operating systems. New homes today are often built under “green building standards.” After the home is completed, a…

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Non-traditional credit documents can strengthen mortgage approval

According to the data from the 2019 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) 8.9% of mortgage applicants (about 1.3 million people) were denied. The number one reason for denial is a high debt-to-income ratio, followed by “credit history.” Although the majority of consumers have a credit score, there are many with minimal credit experience or have…

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Mortgage agencies update COVID-19 rules for self-employed borrowers

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has issued updated COVID-19 temporary rules for mortgages purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Mortgage lenders may apply the restrictions for loans currently in process; however, requirements are mandatory for all loan applications received on or after December 14, 2020. The COVID-19 temporary rule for self-employed borrowers has been…

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