Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cash out –Go Green Power!

Effective in 2009, the government is giving residential homeowners certain tax incentives to go green. And even without a tax incentive, it sometimes just makes sense. With rates so low, it may be the perfect time reason to consider cashing out and greening up…

In the past few months, energy consumption has crossed a lot of minds. It seems to be a topic of conversation among many groups of people, not just the ones you figure are conversing about it. I’m talking about people who recycled before we had curbside service, hauling their smelly milk cartons and bottles to the local recycling center. Dedicated and environmentally conscience. Now, it seems to be the talk of the town, even among those people who think a triangle with a “1” inside of it is an answer that floats up from the bottom of the Magic Eight Ball.

One major source of energy consumption for all individuals is our homes. There are minor and major upgrades that one can do (many sometimes needed), that pay back in the long run. And sometimes in the short run. But one doesn’t always have cash on hand to make it happen.

Thus, with rates at a historic low, it’s a perfect time to consider these upgrades. First and foremost, consider it as taking equity out of your property to add equity to your property. There are many items which removing equity from your home to finance is considered imprudent. Increased home upgrades for energy efficiency is not one of them. A trip to Jamaica is.

For instance, one very inexpensive, but “big bang” for your buck upgrade is installing a radiant barrier. Radiant barriers are most effective on homes that are inadequately or poorly insulated. If your attic space is 1000 square feet, the upgrade would cost approximately $1250, fully installed. But it could save you up to 30% of your expense required to cool your home. In addition, it also positively affects your heating expenses, but not as dramatically. So, it really wouldn’t take you long to recoup your investment.

And that old refrigerator in the garage? Do you know how much energy that out dated appliance costs you monthly to cool your soft drinks and beer? You’re better off buying a super cheap, energy star rated new one.

As a personal example, I went out and bought a front loading washer and dryer, kicking our old set to curb. The old set was 15 years old and finally biting the dust. My friends now tease me because I am such a fan of the new appliances. I should be on a commercial for them. Our energy bill went down dramatically and my slave time in the laundry room decreased dramatically, too. Do you know how many towels and blue jeans you can stuff into those things?

On another note, Uncle Sam will reward you if you’re making solar upgrades to your home in 2009. Solar energy (replaces electric) installations get a 30% tax break (with no cap), and solar thermal installations get a30% tax deduction (but have a $2000 cap). Solar energy is the new patriotic incentive. TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) offers additional incentives. Read about the Generation Power Program at .

Let My Experience Work For You!
Email your home loan financing questions to Kristin Abouelata, Home Loan Specialist with Mortgage Investors Group, at or call direct: (865) 567-0113 Toll Free: 1-800-489-8910. For more information visit her website at Home Loans Plain Talk.


Stan said...

Radiant Barrier is a great do-it-yourself project. We installed Radiant Barrier Attic Foil ourselves in a weekend and dropped our Summer cooling bills 18%. Good pictures and install instructions at

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