Environmentally efficient home purchase made easier

provided by Fannie Mae

Home buyers now have additional financial incentives to purchase energy-efficient homes, thanks to a new initiative between Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., a national leader in residential finance, and Fannie Mae (FNM/NYSE), the nation's largest source of financing for home mortgages. Countrywide will now make available to its customers the Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) and the MyCommunityMortgage(TM) Energy Efficient Mortgage, two products that recognize the savings value of energy conservation in the loan evaluation process thus allowing borrowers to qualify for a larger mortgage. The announcement was made at the Residential Energy Services Network's (RESNET) annual conference being held February 23-25 in San Diego, California.

    “We are very pleased to offer our customers these two important new financing options to help more Americans achieve the dream of home ownership, and to help families get more for their money,” said John Richardson, senior vice president of Countrywide's national builder division. “Through this partnership with Fannie Mae, we are helping to put more energy-efficient, affordable, and environmentally friendly housing within reach for more families.”

    “Countrywide is an invaluable partner in this effort to use the housing finance system to expand homeownership opportunities while promoting the design, construction, and purchase of more energy-efficient homes,” said Barry Zigas, senior vice president of Fannie Mae's national community lending center. “Both of these innovative mortgage products enable Countrywide borrowers to put energy savings to work for them in qualifying for a mortgage.” Fannie Mae will purchase the eligible loans originated by Countrywide as part of its Housing and Environment Initiative.

    The Energy Efficient Mortgage product benefits those buying new, energy-efficient homes or those purchasing existing homes that need energy improvements. The EEM has a low down payment requirement, and requires a low three percent borrower contribution for closing costs that can come from a gift, a grant, the borrower's own funds, or other sources.

    The MyCommunityMortgage Energy Efficient Mortgage requires the lesser of $500 or one percent of borrower contribution to the transaction. Utility and manufacturer rebates can be applied toward the transaction. Monthly projected energy savings will be added to borrower income in the qualification calculation. The MyCommunityMortgage EEM is for borrowers who are at or below 100 percent of area median income, with exceptions for high-cost areas.

    Benefits of these energy-efficient mortgage products include:

  • Monthly energy savings increase borrower income
  • Energy savings reduce monthly operating costs
  • More comfortable home in all seasons and climates
  • No additional down payment for energy improvements
  • Quality assurance with required third-party energy rating report.

    Both EEM products can be used for one-unit, single-family, owner-occupied principal residence, and condominiums. The homes may be new construction or existing housing and must have a Home Energy Rating System report to evaluate the home's energy efficiency in its current state or to identify opportunities for cost-effective energy efficient upgrades.

    For more information on these energy efficient mortgage products, consumers may call Countrywide at (800) 262-4214.

    Founded in 1969, Countrywide Financial Corporation, formerly Countrywide Credit Industries, Inc., is a member of the S&P 500, Fortune 500 and Forbes 500. Countrywide, through its subsidiaries, provides mortgage banking and diversified financial services in domestic and international markets. Mortgage banking businesses include loan production and servicing principally through Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., which originates, purchases, securitizes, sells, and services primarily prime-quality loans. Countrywide Home Loans was recently ranked number one overall in the third quarter 2002 Gomez Internet Mortgage Scorecard. The company is headquartered in Calabasas, California and has more than 25,000 employees with over 500 offices.

    Fannie Mae is a New York Stock Exchange company and the largest non-bank financial services company in the world. It operates pursuant to a federal charter and is the nation's largest source of financing for home mortgages. Fannie Mae is working to shrink the nation's “homeownership gaps” through a $2 trillion “American Dream Commitment” to increase homeownership rates and serve 18 million targeted American families by the end of the decade. Since 1968, Fannie Mae has provided $4.5 trillion of mortgage financing for more than 49 million families.