Pursuing energy efficient mortgages

There are two types of energy efficient mortgages (EEMs): those for either new or existing homes. You can obtain one of these loans for a new home, an existing home, or a refinance. The advantage is a lower interest rate, which is subsidized by the federal government.

Here’s a quick breakdown of who’s providing what, but keep in mind that I’m talking about the government, so terms and programs are subject to change at a lawmaker’s whim:

Fannie Mae: The Federal National Mortgage Association encourages lenders to provide EEMs by establishing guidelines and certain types of incentives. Check out what’s available at www. fanniemae. com. You can also get a list of lenders who have signed on with the programs.

Freddie Mac: The Federal Home Mortgage Loan Corporation does the same basic things as Fannie Mae but is generally more interested in long­term loans. Check out its offerings at www. freddiemac. com.

^ Farmer Mac: This agency is part of the U. S. Department of Agriculture and is for those of you who are down on the farm. Go to www. usda. gov for details.

Thinking about other mortgage options

Here are some other potentially useful government agencies:

Department of Energy (DOE) at www. doe. gov.

^ Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at

www. hud. gov.

^ Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at www. va. gov/vas/loan.

State agencies often provide subsidized loans as well. Check out the prospects at www. naseo. org, the Web site for the National Association of State Energy Officials.

Updated: August 18, 2015 — 12:54 pm