Every year, the Federal government gives homeowners tax credits for specific home improvements. Although the official 2019 tax credits for window installation have not yet been officially released, we believe they are coming. With the current climate in Washington, we certainly cannot expect any bipartisan agreement on much of anything. Yet we remain optimistic that the tax credits offered over the last several years will look similar to future tax credits in 2019 and beyond. After all, it makes complete sense for the Federal Government to continue this program as tax credits are a fantastic incentive for Homeowners to replace their existing windows and doors with Energy Efficient Hurricane Windows.
What is PACE Financing?
PACE, which stands for property assessed clean energy, is a new concept in financing home and commercial property improvements. Named one of the top 20 “world-changing” ideas by Scientific American magazine, PACE financing is an easy and effective way to finance a range of upgrades that save energy, conserve water, harness renewable energy, and protect against natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes. Administered at a local level, PACE financing makes it easier for property owners like yourself to invest in your future, increase comfort and security, reduce your energy usage and, ultimately, it may help you save money over the long-term.
How Does PACE Financing Work?
With PACE, property owners can get 100% financing based on available equity in their property and ability to pay, among other factors. The amount financed, plus interest and any applicable fees, is then added to your property taxes and paid over time – on your annual or semi-annual property tax bill, or via escrow as part of your monthly mortgage payment. PACE financing is secured with a continuing lien on your property.
What is the History of PACE Financing?
PACE financing began a decade ago when a group of Berkeley, Calif. homeowners petitioned to have their utility lines placed underground. The city would pay the upfront cost (from a bond) and the homeowners who benefitted would repay the cost through their property taxes over a given number of years. Stakeholders thought the same concept could be applied to energy efficiency and renewable upgrades, and the model for PACE was created.
In 2008, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation that authorized this special type of property assessed financing, and the concept became a reality. Today, PACE-enabling legislation exists in 33 states, plus Washington D.C. Of those, commercial PACE is active in 20 states, and residential PACE is offered in three: California, Florida, and Missouri. Throughout the nation, PACE programs have created more than 42,800 jobs and enabled nearly 176,200 upgrades to residential and commercial properties as of early 2018, according to PACENation.
While PACE programs are enabled by state legislation and approved by local governments, PACE financing is not a government discount or incentive program.
How Do I Qualify for PACE Financing?
Eligibility is based primarily on the available equity you have in your property and your ability to pay, among other factors. No minimum FICO score is required. For example, homeowners and commercial property owners must have at least 10 percent equity stake in their property, must be up-to-date on mortgage payments and taxes, and cannot be in bankruptcy (some jurisdictions require being clear of bankruptcy for a certain number of years).
Why Choose PACE Financing?
A competitive alternative to credit-based financing, PACE offers no money down financing for eligible home improvements that can help lower your utility bills, improve your comfort and indoor air quality, and increase your property value. The cost of improvements can be spread out up to 30 years in some states, and your first annual payment may be deferred for up to one year or longer (subject to underwriting guidelines, approvals and date of financing).
If you decide to sell your home or commercial property, the PACE assessment or special tax may be transferred to the new owner. However, while property taxes are legally transferable when you sell or refinance your property, most mortgage lenders require a full payoff of the PACE balance at the time of sale. Therefore, if you are thinking about selling or refinancing in the near future, check with your lender first.
What Home Improvements and Commercial Upgrades are Eligible for PACE Financing?
Hundreds of home and commercial improvements qualify for PACE financing. Among the more common are solar photovoltaic(PV) systems, roofing, HVAC systems, impact-resistant windows and doors, drought-tolerant landscaping and many more. View a list of eligible improvements in Florida, California or Missouri, and find out if PACE is available in your area.
What Contractors are Saying
According to Scott Berman President of Florida Window and Door, “As a Pace provider we have had the opportunity to install tens of millions of dollars worth of Hurricane Impact Windows and Doors utilizing this financing program. It has encouraged and enabled Homeowners to protect their homes from the threats of hurricanes, improved energy efficiency and increased property values as a result of these improvements. This program is a fantastic financing option that makes energy efficient storm protection affordable to the masses. And our company is honored to be a part of it.”