Green Homes: Harder To Refinance?

Building a home with “green” materials is becoming more popular. But be careful when building a home using green materials or remodeling your home using green materials — it may make it more difficult to refinance when it comes time to refinance.

According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, at least one couple is having this problem:

Getting financing for unusual homes has never been easy. Near Granby, Colo., Richard Messer opted not to look for a conventional mortgage because there was nothing conventional about what’s inside his walls: 50 tons of paper Coors beer packaging used as insulation. Mr. Messer got a $60,000 loan from friends to help pay for it. “The problem for anyone trying to do a unique house is financing,” he says.

Wayne Bryant, a 56-year-old steamfitter, spent much of last year looking for a way to refinance a $417,000 construction loan on his underground house high in the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado. The first appraiser to examine his property didn’t even come down from Denver to look at it, saying he had made a few phone calls and determined that there were no comparable transactions in the area, Mr. Bryant says.

No matter what state you live in, one thing to consider when using “green” or recycled products to build your home is “how will this impact my ability to finance this house”?

As the credit crisis drags on and banks are picky about who they are lending money to, one thing is certain:  Owners of odd homes can be out of luck.

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