Monday, August 31, 2015

FHA makes big moves with PACE and partnering with DOE for financing homes with solar power financing tax assessment.
HUD Press Releases
August 24, 2015

Guidance for Use of FHA Financing on Homes with Existing PACE Liens and Flexible
Underwriting through Energy Department’s Home Energy Score

Today, FHA announced anticipated guidelines for two new initiatives that will support borrowers
seeking to make energy efficient improvements to their homes, including guidance that will allow
borrowers to use Single Family FHA financing for properties with existing Property Assessed Clean
Energy (PACE) loans that meet certain conditions. FHA also announced its new partnership with the
Department of Energy (DOE) helping borrowers using Single Family FHA’s Energy Efficient Home
(EEH) program to take advantage of energy cost savings when measured by DOE’s Home Energy

PACE Guidance
PACE programs have the potential to increase the accessibility and affordability of energy saving
measures, consequently lowering energy bills to residents and reducing the environmental footprints of participating localities.

Single Family FHA supports responsibly expanding access to clean energy financing options for
creditworthy borrowers. Single Family FHA PACE guidance has the potential to allow homeowners to benefit from energy cost savings while preserving the marketability of properties with PACE loans.
In 2009 and 2010, many states adopted legislation allowing local governments to fund home energy
improvements that are repaid by assessments levied under their tax authority. While there are many
versions, PACE programs generally allow homeowners to finance energy efficiency improvements
for up to 20 years through tax assessments attached to the property. PACE allows homeowners to
benefit from the improvements immediately and spread the cost over time.

When the property is sold, the PACE loan may transfer to the next owner who is responsible for
repaying the loan. The ability to transfer the loan to the new owner allows for both the payment and the value of the retrofit to be transferred from one owner to the next.
Since in the event of default, the PACE loan as a tax assessment may have super lien status and/or take precedence over the first lien mortgage, some lenders have raised concerns. FHA is developing Single Family PACE guidance to overcome impediments in the purchase and sale of properties to which PACE loans are attached due to these concerns.

The Single Family FHA guidance will address the impact of PACE assessments on purchases,
refinances and loan modification options available to borrowers experiencing distress and will require
the subordination of PACE financing to the first lien FHA mortgage. The guidance will address the
eligible methods of subordination of existing PACE liens.

Taking into account the variety of types of residential PACE programs, FHA is developing PACE
guidance, which is also being informed by ongoing conversations with the Federal Housing Finance
Agency (FHFA), that at a minimum will include the following:

 Lien Position: Only PACE liens that preserve payment priority for first lien mortgages through
 PACE payment, structure, and term: PACE financing must be a fixed-rate, fully amortizing loan;
 Eligible Properties: PACE assessments must be attached to single family properties, as defined by
FHA, which are 1- to 4-unit dwellings, including detached, semi-detached and townhome
 Equity Requirement: PACE liens that preserve payment priority for first lien mortgages will be
eligible for financing that does not exceed FHA’s maximum combined loan-to-value (CLTV) ratio;
 Record Keeping: PACE liens must be formally recorded and be identifiable to a mortgage lender
through a title search;
 Additional Consumer Protections: PACE programs must comply with applicable federal and state
consumer laws and should include disclosures to and training for homeowners participating in the

PACE programs operate at the local level and vary widely. DOE PACE “Program Design Best Practice Guidelines” recommend key program requirements for acceptable PACE programs including the following:

 PACE programs should require notification of mortgage holders of record when a PACE
assessment has been placed on the property;
 PACE programs should finance PACE projects that are cost-effective and reduce the net energy
requirements as measured by approved DOE methods.

In finalizing guidance, FHA will work with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, DOE, Treasury and other industry stakeholders to advocate for strong consumer protections.
New Standards for FHA Single Family Energy Efficient Home – Incorporating DOE’s Home
Energy Score

FHA has partnered with DOE on an initiative that allows consumers to qualify for a higher loan
amount due to cost savings associated with energy efficient improvements. Under the new FHA and
DOE partnership, FHA will provide flexible underwriting to recognize the reduced costs of utilities
when those costs are established with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Home Energy Score in areas where the Home Energy Score is available. DOE’s new Home Energy Score is a low cost, reliable method for estimating the energy use of a home. The score is the equivalent of an easily-understood “miles per gallon” label for homes. The score measures the energy efficiency of homes on a scale of 1–10. Homebuyers or homeowners who want to obtain an FHA-insured purchase or refinance mortgage for a single family home that receives a Home Energy Score of 6 or higher will be eligible to increase their income qualifying ratio by 2 percentage points above the standard Single Family FHA limit. This means that FHA borrowers will be able to borrow slightly more when they buy or refinance a more energy-efficient home through FHA’s EEH program.

Through this partnership, FHA is supporting efforts to provide potential homeowners with an easy
way to measure the energy efficiency of their homes and to identify the combination of investments that will help make their homes more energy efficient.

A Single Family FHA Mortgagee Letter with specific program requirements/details and an update to the Single Family Housing Handbook 4000.1 to address the guidance for both of these initiatives will be forthcoming in the next several months.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Oasis School Summer Update (8/21/15)

Oasis School Summer Update (8/21/15)

A week ago, fellow agents and I traveled out to Oasis School in Thermal to meet three of the four Fourth Grade incoming classes plus the Special Ed class.

Our office has been preparing for the trip since school let out at the start of summer when we bid a fond farewell to last years’ classes as they climbed the success ladder and prepared to graduate to Fifth Grade. That visit was an unbelievable success and I wish to take a moment and thank so many kindhearted folks in North La Quinta who found it in their hearts to search through their closets and garages for children’s books. These contributions from you, along with our own efforts, allowed us to give the nearly 100 kids a choice of three books each for summer reading. Books open the mind to a world of endless possibilities. The kids were so elated – it was amazing !!!

Back to this year, we conducted numerous events in the office to get prepared for the three Fourth Grade classes and Special Ed kids (For nearly 10 years, we have been sponsoring 3 of the 4 Fourth grade classes plus the Special Ed class). We also experienced many kindhearted agents in our office who’ve made separate donations in the interest of the kids. Our efforts provide a filled pencil box along with other supplies necessary for a successful start to the school year. The visit was a wonderful experience. It is always so rewarding to experience the enthusiasm of youth and such a pleasure to visit at the start of the year to see the new faces, find out who they are and share a little bit about ourselves with them. After all this, plus a cookie and a juice box, we bid them well and told them we’d be back to visit again. Some kids already knew and some were elated to hear that.

Our efforts towards enriching their Holidays’ experience started when we arrived back home from this visit … arms chock full of Thank You cards plus our hearts melting from a barrage of their thankful smiles.

We never would've believed that we could get so much from giving ... Each experience is very rewarding!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Thinking about removing your lawn?

Recently I started a project of my own and I want to share some information I learned in the process and after I got started ...

Rebates for conversation from lawns to desertscape are available from IID and some other water districts, as their funds may be available. IID requires an application to be completed online and you must have a sketch of the project available to upload. Response to your application can be anywhere from 3-6 weeks ... 

AND ... 

a new rebate is now available at: . This became available August 12th and must be applied for online as well. This rebate is up to $2.00/ft maximum (The IID rebate is $1.00/ft) and this rebate is not on top of any other rebate and solely covers the differences between any other rebate and the $2.00/ft maximum. 

Unfortunately, I started my project before 8/12/15 and so I am not eligible for anything over the IID rebate but I wasn't aware of it when I started so nothing really lost ... only savings in my future ...

No mowing

No edging
No weeding
No fertilizing
No scalping
No watering

I don't think any of us will ever get away from dealing with the ants but I still believe I am on the plus side ...

In addition, both entities offer toilet replacement rebates ...

Friday, August 14, 2015

City and IID need your help Today !!!

Tustin Larson, City of La Quinta AGENCY
Hello Residents - IID has asked the City to pass on the following news release:
The Imperial Irrigation District is requesting a reduction in energy usage today during the critical hours of 1-7 p.m. as hotter temperatures drive energy demand.
“If energy usage is not reduced, IID may be forced to institute rolling brownouts this afternoon,” said Marion Champion, IID spokeswoman. “Our system was at peak capacity yesterday and with hotter temperatures in the forecast today we are asking all of our electrical customers to conserve.”
IID’s electrical grid sustained significant damage during a severe summer storm last week, and while the district has restored power to the area, it is important that the energy system is not overtaxed. IID asks customers to shift energy-intensive tasks – like laundry and dishwashing – to off-peak hours and conserve energy throughout the day. This will alleviate pressure on the system and help maintain reliability.
On Aug. 6, a severe summer storm damaged IID’s electrical system in the eastern Coachella Valley making more than 100 transmission and distribution poles inoperable and leaving hundreds of customers in the Mecca/Thermal area without power for as long as three days. Crews worked around the clock to construct temporary infrastructure and bring the power back on. Final repairs may take as much as one or two months.
The following suggestions can help reduce summer energy use:
Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher.
Develop a routine that allows you to avoid the use of major energy-consuming appliances like washers, dryers and dishwashers between the hours of 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Remember to have your air conditioner serviced annually and change filters monthly. Seal any leaks in your cooling ducts, install weather stripping around doors, and make sure your fireplace damper is closed so cool air doesn’t escape
Use floor and ceiling fans or an evaporative cooler to help keep your home cool.
Use awnings, solar screens, or trees to keep ultraviolet rays from hitting windows.
Close windows and doors when the cooling system is running.
For more conservation tips, please visit
Aug 14 in General to City of La Quinta