Earth Advantage, Countrywide Partner on Discounted Rate Program for Green Homebuyers

By Lisa Iannucci, Green Building CorrespondentPortland, Ore.–Slowly, more mortgage companies are coming on board to offer discounted rate programs to homeowners who are interested in investing in green homebuilding. Earth Advantage Inc., a nonprofit corporation and homebuilding source for sustainable and climate solutions located in Portland, Ore., has partnered with Countrywide Home Loans, a division of Countrywide Bank, FSB, to launch the Countrywide’s new Green Incentive Program for home buyers. In this program, Countrywide provides a .125 percent interest rate reduction on a Countrywide loan used to purchase a newly constructed green home. The program will initially be available to qualified home buyers in 13 states.“This relationship with Countrywide is a culmination of commitment and effort in developing an additional value proposition for green building,” says Sean Penrith, executive director of Earth Advantage Inc. “As environmental stewards, we are thrilled to offer this Green Incentive Program to buyers and builders of homes that we certify.”The home must be recognized by third-party standards, such as Earth Advantage, Energy Star Homes, and LEED for Homes. Earth Advantage homes are designed to use 15 percent less energy than houses built to standard Oregon code practices. In 2007, Earth Advantage certified over 2,500 homes, totaling approximately 9,100 homes over the life of the program. Earth Advantage will also be working closely with Countrywide’s certified builder representatives in Oregon and Washington to provide knowledge and expertise on green building, third-party certification programs and the benefits of sustainable homes.