Senators Michael Bennett and Johnny Isakson have sponsored a bill known as SAVE- Sensible Accounting to Value Energy. If this bill becomes law, then mortgage lenders like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration would look at gas and electricity bills for the house you want to purchase, and could possibly look at your own previous energy payments, to determine whether or not you can afford to purchase your home.
It remains to be seen whether this bill will become law. People usually do pay more in energy bills than they pay in property taxes or homeowner’s/mortgage insurance combined. (Yes, even in Houston!) Would this help or hurt the home industry? Would it be good or bad for consumers? On the surface, it seems like a good idea. Many first-time home-buyers don’t take energy payments into account when they purchase or build a home. It does cause one to wonder how far the Nanny-State mentality will go in getting government into every aspect of our personal and professional lives. The senators seem to suggest that this bill would prevent another housing bubble like the one that crashed the economy in 2008. The problem was in sub-prime mortgages, predatory lending practices and taxpayer bailouts for Fanny, Freddie, and most of Wall Street, not the bills homeowners are paying. We will have to wait and see how this works out, both for consumers and the process of getting a mortgage.