Florida FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage - FAQs and Changes in 2024
Florida FHA Energy Efficient Mortgages, often referred to as EEMs, are loans designed for homeowners who want to make energy-saving improvements to their homes.
These mortgages allow individuals to finance energy-efficient upgrades alongside their primary home loan. In 2024, there were several changes to the Florida FHA EEM program.
This article will provide answers to frequently asked questions and detail the updates made this year.
Table of Contents
- Changes to the FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage Program in 2024
- Florida FHA Energy Efficient Mortgages - Frequently Asked Questions
- What is an EEM and how does it work in Florida?
- What are the different EEM programs available in Florida?
- What types of energy-saving upgrades can I finance using a Green Mortgage or EEM in Florida?
- What do I need to do to qualify for an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) in Florida?
- When should I consider an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) in Florida, and what are other options if EEM isn't right for me?
- What are the recent changes to the FHA EEM program in Florida for 2024?
- Why were these changes introduced to the FHA EEM program in Florida?
- Are there any upcoming changes to the FHA EEM program in Florida after 2024?
- Bottom Line
Changes to the FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage Program in 2024
The following are some changes to the FHA Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM) program that have occurred recently and will be in effect in 2024:
Increased loan limits - In December 2023, the FHA will increase its loan limits for 2024. This means that borrowers will be able to finance more energy-efficient improvements with their EEM.
Expanded eligibility for manufactured homes - In January 2023, the FHA expanded eligibility for EEMs to include manufactured homes. This means that more homeowners will be able to take advantage of the program to make their homes more energy-efficient.
Simplified energy assessment requirements - In February 2023, the FHA simplified the energy assessment requirements for EEMs. This makes it easier and more affordable for borrowers to get the home energy assessment they need to qualify for the program.
- New energy-efficient improvement categories - In March 2023, the FHA added new energy-efficient improvement categories to the EEM program. This includes improvements such as electric vehicle charging stations and battery storage systems.
The FHA is committed to making the EEM program the best possible option for homeowners who want to make their homes more energy-efficient.
The changes that have been made to the program in recent months and the initiatives that are currently underway are all designed to make the program more accessible, affordable, and efficient.
It is important to note that the FHA has not yet announced any specific changes to the EEM program for 2024.
However, given the FHA's commitment to the program and the changes that have been made in recent months, it is likely that the program will continue to evolve and improve in the coming year.
Florida FHA Energy Efficient Mortgages - Frequently Asked Questions
Florida FHA Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEMs) are special loans designed for homeowners who want to make energy-saving improvements to their homes.
Here are some frequently asked questions to help you understand this mortgage option better.
What is an EEM and how does it work in Florida?
An EEM, or Energy Efficient Mortgage, is a type of loan product that lets you pay for and finance energy-saving home improvements.
In Florida, you can find EEMs in standard, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mortgage types.
With an EEM, you get extra money as part of your house mortgage or when you refinance. You can use this money for things like updating an old HVAC system, changing windows, or improving a furnace to save energy.
Some people in Florida also use EEMs to buy a home that already saves energy or to refinance and add new energy-saving features.
The main goal of an EEM is to help you pay for home changes that lower your energy bills and help the environment.
The EEM program in Florida lets you borrow more money because it includes the cost of energy-saving updates for new or existing homes.
This kind of mortgage makes it easier for lenders to offer loans for buying or refinancing homes with energy-saving features.
What are the different EEM programs available in Florida?
FHA Loan EEMs
An FHA loan is a popular mortgage option in Florida because you only need a down payment of 3.5% of the home's purchase price.
With an FHA EEM, if the energy improvements' cost is less than the expected energy savings, you can add the improvement costs to your loan amount.
Besides the standard FHA loan requirements, borrowers don't have to qualify for the loan part used for energy-efficient upgrades.
For these loans, a home energy assessment is mandatory. Based on this assessment, the FHA will finance the improvements or provide 5% of the smallest amount from these options:
The adjusted property value.
115% of the median price of a single-family home in the area.
- 150% of the national conforming mortgage limit.
VA Loan EEMs
These are special loans for service members, veterans, and some spouses.
For a VA-backed EEM in Florida, you can add up to $6,000 for energy-efficient changes to the approved VA loan amount.
But, you must finish these changes within 6 months after buying the home.
These have the most flexible terms among EEM types in Florida.
With a conventional EEM, you can borrow the amount you qualify for, plus up to 15% of the home’s appraised value, to use on energy-saving improvements.
Always consult with a lender in Florida to understand the specifics of each EEM program and see which one is best for your needs.
What types of energy-saving upgrades can I finance using a Green Mortgage or EEM in Florida?
In Florida, an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) or Green Mortgage allows homeowners to finance various energy-saving changes to their homes.
While some specific upgrades might not be allowed for every loan type (like with VA loan EEMs, you might be able to add thermal-proofed windows but not overhaul an air-conditioning system), here's a list of common upgrades and expenses you can typically finance with an EEM:
Energy-saving appliances like refrigerators, washers, and dryers.
Energy-efficient windows and glass panes.
Furnaces and heat pumps.
Different heating and cooling systems, including solar.
Treatments to protect your home from weather.
Water heaters and their installations.
Sealing gaps with caulking and weather stripping.
Repairing and installing duct systems.
Insulating homes - walls, floors, attics, etc.
- Certain roofing improvements that save energy.
Always check with your lender in Florida to see what specific upgrades are allowed under the EEM program you're interested in.
What do I need to do to qualify for an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) in Florida?
In Florida, if you want to get approved for an EEM, there are several requirements you need to meet:
Credit and Documentation - First, you have to qualify under the minimum credit and documentation rules of the EEM lender.
Cost-Effective Improvements - The changes you plan to make to your home should save you more in energy costs than what they cost to install. This means the savings on your energy bills over the improvements' life should be more than the improvement costs.
Home Energy Rating Report - An energy expert needs to check your home's energy efficiency. They will use the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) to see how much energy your home uses now and how much it could save with the changes. This report will estimate your possible energy savings.
Financing the Report and Inspections - The money you need for the energy rating report and any related checks can be added to your EEM loan. This means you can borrow money not just for the energy-saving changes but also for the costs of finding out what changes to make.
- Other Loan Requirements - Besides the EEM-specific rules, you also have to meet the normal rules for the kind of loan you are getting. This is true even if it's not an EEM.
Before applying, talk to a lender in Florida to make sure you meet all the rules and understand the process.
When should I consider an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) in Florida, and what are other options if EEM isn't right for me?
When an EEM is a Good Choice
In Florida, an EEM is often a great choice for homeowners looking for long-term value.
If you're thinking about adding solar panels or other energy-saving technologies to your home, an EEM might be a good fit. Also, if you want to lower your monthly utility bills, an EEM can help you make the changes you need.
Alternatives to an EEM
If an EEM isn't what you want or you can't get one, Florida offers other ways to pay for home improvements:
Cash-out Refinance - If you've built up equity in your home, you can refinance your mortgage and take out some of that equity as cash. You can then use this cash to pay for home improvements.
Home Equity Loan - This is a separate loan where you borrow against the equity in your home. It's another way to get money for home improvements without refinancing your whole mortgage.
- Personal Loan - These loans aren't tied to your home. The interest rates might be higher than for home loans, but they can still help you pay for energy-saving changes.
Before you decide, talk to a lender or financial advisor in Florida to understand all your options and choose the best one for your needs.
What are the recent changes to the FHA EEM program in Florida for 2024?
In 2024, the FHA introduced several updates to the Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) program in Florida:
Increased Loan Limits - As of December 2023, the FHA increased its loan limits for 2024, allowing borrowers to finance more extensive energy-efficient home improvements.
Eligibility for Manufactured Homes - Starting January 2023, manufactured homes became eligible for EEMs, making the program more accessible to a broader range of homeowners.
Simplified Energy Assessment - In February 2023, the FHA made it simpler and more affordable for borrowers to obtain the required home energy assessment for the EEM program.
- New Energy-Efficient Categories - By March 2023, the FHA added new categories to the EEM program, including electric vehicle charging stations and battery storage systems.
The FHA remains committed to continuously improving the EEM program, making it more efficient, affordable, and accessible for Florida homeowners.
Why were these changes introduced to the FHA EEM program in Florida?
The FHA's goal is to make the EEM program in Florida the best possible choice for homeowners looking to make their homes more energy-efficient.
The changes, such as expanded eligibility and simplified processes, aim to make the program more user-friendly.
By adjusting the program based on evolving needs and feedback, the FHA ensures that the EEM remains relevant, accessible, and beneficial to Floridians.
Are there any upcoming changes to the FHA EEM program in Florida after 2024?
As of now, the FHA hasn't announced specific changes to the EEM program for post-2024.
However, with the FHA's ongoing commitment to enhancing the program and the adjustments made in recent times, it's likely that the program will see further refinements and improvements in the coming years.
Florida homeowners interested in the EEM program should stay updated by regularly checking official FHA announcements or consulting with local lenders.
Florida's FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) program is designed to support homeowners in their quest to make their homes more energy-efficient.
These special mortgages offer Floridians the opportunity to finance essential energy-efficient upgrades along with their primary home loans.
In 2024, significant enhancements were made to the EEM program, reflecting the FHA's commitment to sustainability and homeownership in Florida.
These changes, which include increased loan limits, expanded eligibility for manufactured homes, simplified energy assessment procedures, and the inclusion of new energy-efficient categories, are a testament to the FHA's dedication to evolving with the needs of homeowners and the environment.
While the FHA has not announced specific modifications post-2024, the recent changes suggest a positive trajectory for the program.
This proactive approach from the FHA indicates their goal to keep EEMs accessible, beneficial, and in line with modern energy efficiency standards for homeowners in Florida.
For anyone in Florida considering energy-efficient upgrades or buying a home with such features, it's advisable to stay informed about the FHA EEM program and consult local lenders to capitalize on the benefits.
With over 50 years of mortgage industry experience, we are here to help you achieve the American dream of owning a home. We strive to provide the best education before, during, and after you buy a home. Our advice is based on experience with Phil Ganz and Team closing over One billion dollars and helping countless families.
About Author - Phil Ganz
Phil Ganz has over 20+ years of experience in the residential financing space. With over a billion dollars of funded loans, Phil helps homebuyers configure the perfect mortgage plan. Whether it's your first home, a complex multiple-property purchase, or anything in between, Phil has the experience to help you achieve your goals.