USDA Rural Development is giving agency staff the authority to approve larger loans than usual for homebuyers purchasing new energy efficient homes. This process replaces the Rural Energy Plus program, which was discontinued in September 2012 for Section 502 direct loans. Rural Energy Plus remains in place for Section 502 guaranteed loans.
The new notice, an Unnumbered Letter dated February 14, 2013, allows USDA staff to give special consideration for newly constructed homes that meet any one of five sets of energy standards. Because energy efficiency lowers utility costs, it may be treated as a “compensating factor” that indicates a homebuyer can safely assume more debt than USDA’s standard amount.
Posted: February 15, 2013