Utility bills may be one of the new issues homeowners have to face when purchasing a home. They can be a really big burden depending on the house, and are often more burdensome than property taxes or even home owner's insurance. Basically, a new bill that was introduced to the Senate is calling on lenders to take a home's energy cost into consideration during mortgage underwriting, along with principal, interest, taxes and insurance.
The bill is called the SAVE Act - Sensible accounting to Value Energy and it requires the 3 major mortgage companies - Fannie, Freddie and the FHA - to include energy costs into EVERY loan they insure, guarantee or buy. The bill also calls on mortgage agencies to instruct appraisers to raise their property valuations when energy efficieny savings on a home can be shown. The higher value can then be used to justify a higher loan amount if needed.
I feel like this is a good idea in the sense that homeowners will KNOW what to expect with energy costs, BUT it will make it so much harder for people to qualify for loans. I think with the debt to loan ratio, it is already taken into account and homeowners have some idea of what to expect from experience. If they don't there is a problem.
What is your opinion? Is this a good idea or is it going to cause problems?