Appraisal Institute Calls on Congress to Pass Green Real Estate Bill
June 6, 2013 08:00 AM
CHICAGO (June 7, 2013) – The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers announced its support today for federal legislation that would improve the mortgage underwriting process by ensuring appraisers are provided relevant property information relating to green and energy-efficient features.
The Appraisal Institute expressed its backing of the recently introduced Sensible Accounting to Value Energy Act of 2013, which is sponsored by Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo, and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.
“We strongly support the SAVE Act because it would require the use of qualified, competent appraisers,” said Appraisal Institute President Richard L. Borges II, MAI, SRA. “We also are pleased that it would help ensure that appraisers have access to data and information needed to analyze the effects of energy-efficient home improvements in the marketplace.”
The SAVE Act would instruct federal loan agencies to assess a borrower’s expected energy costs when financing a house. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development would issue updated underwriting and appraisal guidelines for any loan issued, insured, purchased or securitized by the Federal Housing Administration or any other federal mortgage loan insurance agency.
The bill establishes two methods for determining expected annual energy costs: average utility costs, derived from the Department of Energy’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey database and adjusted for the square footage of the home, or if available, a qualified, independent energy report of the subject property. The measure includes two primary features, both optional: an affordability test and a loan-to-value adjustment.
Borges said the SAVE Act would help protect taxpayers from another foreclosure crisis; would lower utility bills for U.S. households; would remove from federal mortgage policy an impediment to home energy efficiency; would drive business and job growth in the construction and manufacturing sectors; would expand the accessibility and affordability of energy-efficient homes; and would reduce U.S. energy dependence.
“The Appraisal Institute is pleased this bill would help improve communication and the flow of information among appraisers, lender clients and those interacting with the mortgage lending process,” Borges said. “The SAVE Act would require that appraisers are provided with all relevant information relating to energy-efficient features of properties. And by defining these types of appraisal assignments as ‘complex,’ the SAVE Act would help ensure those properties are valued by an appraiser with enhanced competency who can more thoroughly analyze and make appropriate judgments for building energy performance and who can help lenders understand their collateral risk.”
In addition to the Appraisal Institute, real estate and building organizations supporting the SAVE Act include:
American Institute of Architects
Green Builder Coalition
International Code Council
Leading Builders of America
National Association of Home Builders
National Association of Realtors
U.S. Green Building Council
The Real Estate Roundtable
Learn more about the SAVE Act from the Institute for Market Transformation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of energy efficiency, green building and environmental protection in the United States and abroad.
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The Appraisal Institute is a global professional association of real estate appraisers, with nearly 23,000 professionals in almost 60 countries throughout the world. Its mission is to advance professionalism and ethics, global standards, methodologies, and practices through the professional development of property economics worldwide. Organized in 1932, the Appraisal Institute advocates equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in the appraisal profession and conducts its activities in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. Individuals of the Appraisal Institute benefit from an array of professional education and advocacy programs, and may hold the prestigious MAI, SRPA and SRA designations. Learn more at www.appraisalinstitute.org.