A VA streamline refinance, also known as an IRRRL, allows US military veterans and service members to lower their rate and payment with very little documentation.
Another advantage to this program is the ability to pay for energy efficient improvements while refinancing.
VA streamline refinance rules state that the new loan amount can only cover the existing loan balance and closing costs. But there is one exception. The homeowner can get cash to improve the efficiency of their home, resulting in lower costs over time.
The IRRRL applicant may finance energy efficient improvements up to $6,000 and roll that amount directly into the loan.
Allowable VA Streamline Energy Efficient Improvements
You can wrap the costs of these improvements into your VA streamline refinance:
- High efficiency windows
- New HVAC units or heat pumps
Even solar heating systems and solar components qualify.
Since VA rates are so low, many homeowners are able to reduce their payment and take cash out for efficiency upgrades, therefore lowering their homeownership costs all around.
Energy Efficient Improvement Reimbursement with a VA Streamline
Have you already done the improvements and need reimbursed? The VA streamline also pays you back for qualifying efficient improvements provided you close your VA streamline within 90 days of completing the work.
Keep your receipts for proof of materials and labor you have already paid for.
Completing Energy Efficient Improvements Yourself
Some homeowners are skilled at home improvement. If you are able to adequately install the energy-efficient improvements yourself, you can still use a VA streamline to pay for them.
The only thing to keep in mind is that you can only finance the cost of materials into the new VA loan. The estimated value of your labor can’t be included in the costs.
Whether you will do the work yourself, or hire a qualified contractor, you must document the costs for each improvement.
Apply for a VA Energy-Efficient Mortgage
It’s such an appealing feature of a streamline refinance that it’s hard to understand why its popularity hasn’t gained more traction. It’s still a very niche loan offering. In fact, some loan officers aren’t even aware of its existence, so it’s important to find an experienced VA loan officer here who knows the ins and outs of this beneficial loan type.
See if you could qualify to lower your VA loan interest rate and payment, and at the same time, make your home more energy efficient.