‘Green’ mortgage ups purchase power

Cost of energy-efficiency improvements rolled into loan

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A friend of mine, Phil Hall, is editor of Secondary Marketing Executive magazine, one of the more esoteric trade publications dealing with the secondary market for mortgages. On a more prosaic level, however, Hall has become a very passionate supporter of something called the Energy Efficient Mortgage, or EEM. Sometimes called the "green mortgage," it is a type of mortgage that credits a home's energy efficiency in the mortgage itself. In Hall's words, "With this product, borrowers are able to add energy-efficiency installations as part of a mortgage while extending the debt-to-income qualifying ratios. Thus the borrower can qualify for a larger loan amount on a home with superior energy efficiency." What, you never heard of the EEM? Don't worry you're not alone. In fact, it's like a top-secret government program; just where do we hide our nuclear waste or where in the White House was former Vice President Dick Cheney's office? While not quite as old as C...