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Residential Department: From the Editor: July 2013

 

From the Editor

The notion of green building or sustainable housing often has been relegated to a niche interest — something that only happens in California or for the wealthy. This is changing, however, as green initiatives are popping up all over the country with the encouragement of federal and state programs. And although the vision of a completely green house is a compelling one — with solar panels on the roof, bamboo flooring, energy-efficient appliances and more — these initiatives encompass more than that. The spectrum of green practices includes everything from simply using Energy Star rated appliances and more efficient insulation to solar water heaters and biomass-fueled boilers. 

Regardless of where on the spectrum your clients may fall, the green movement appears to be here to stay, and mortgage professionals must be prepared to help their clients find the financing they need to purchase — or renovate — the green home of their dreams. This month’s BackSpace takes a closer look at trends in green housing on Page 106. The Appraisal Institute’s Richard L. Borges II takes a look at the other side of the green movement: valuation. Many consumers question what the value of green is, and many originators and lenders struggle with getting a green home appropriately appraised. Borges examines this problem and what can be done to improve the situation on Page 29. 

Going green doesn’t only mean buying green products, however. New Penn Financial LLC’s Joe Curtis details seven ways you can make your office more environmentally friendly — and more productive — on Page 58.

Moving toward a more paperless office will help the environment and your bottom line in the long term, and recent policies may be pushing the mortgage industry in that direction. Magnolia Technologies’ Rachael Sokolowski analyzes recent regulations that call for documents to be kept in an electronic format on Page 64. That is just one element of the many regulatory changes that are coming, however. AllRegs’ Richard Triplett sifts through the many rules that will begin implementation in 2014 on Page 62.

Another important shift in policy happened this past January when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac released their new representation and warranty framework. These changes may help ease the pressure for mortgage bankers and lenders who were feeling the heat of buyback demands since the recession. Read more from RiskSpan Inc.’s Allen H. Jones and Leah Price on Page 21.


 

Jennifer Garrett was an editor at Scotsman Guide. For questions on this article, call (800) 297-6061 or e-mail articles@scotsmanguide.com.

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