Recently we did some new Green renovations to our home. Our property is about 20 years old and obviously many parts of it were needing an upgrade. When I was chosen to be part of the BMO Eco Smart Mortgage Blog Tour I thought this was perfect as I knew I had recently done some renovations so I thought our house would be Eco for sure! I have to honestly say that even though I believed that my husband told me we would need more upgrades. LOL
BMO (Bank of Montreal) has a special mortgage rate for homeowners looking to make energy efficient upgrades to their home. Did you know that 50% of Canadian homeowners site utility costs as the biggest surprise of home ownership? With our Canadian weather goes from the cold extreme to the hot extreme we all know we are going to be using utilities, but do not realize how big the chunk really is.
For Canadians who meet BMO’s energy efficiency criteria, The BMO Eco Smart Mortgage is a new mortgage product with market-leading five-year fixed rate of 3.89 per cent – a rate significantly lower than comparable green mortgage products. Which is great because this is an additional reward for those homeowners who have done these upgrades and will save you even more money in the long run!
The process is quite simple as well to find out if you would qualify! A homeowner downloads the appropriate checklist (house or condo) from the BMO website. The check-list includes things such as: High-efficiency heating and cooling systems, Solar, tank-less or ENERGY STAR qualified hot water system and ENERGY STAR qualified windows, doors and major appliances. If after reviewing the checklist, the homeowner feels their home qualifies; they then contact a BMO branch to talk to a mortgage specialist. BMO will send an appraiser into the home of the consumer to confirm the house qualification.
The great thing about going through the checklist is that you learn more about your house and truly how green or not green it is. I downloaded the BMO Eco Smart Mortgage checklist from the BMO website. Single family homes need to have the required energy features from 6 of the 7 categories listed in order to qualify. Whereas someone that has a condo has to have the energy features from all 5 of the categories they have.
After going through the list I am sad to say that my husband was right and we did not qualify, but we are very close. The areas that we need to upgrade still is our windows, doors and our appliances! We would only be required to do two out of the three and then we would qualify, but of course the more we do the better Eco our home will be and the more savings over the long term! So once we are finished doing the upgrades we could then contact a BMO branch and talk to a mortgage specialist about our next step – it’s that easy.
Nearly half of all Canadians are planning energy upgrades in the next year, are you one of them? I definitely recommend checking over your property with the checklist even if it is not time to remortgage, because knowing how Eco your home is just as important!! Maybe you will get a reality check like myself :-)
WIN IT: One of my lucky Canadian readers will get the chance to win a $50.00 gift certificate from Rona to put towards upgrades to their home!!
Mandatory Entry: What upgrades will you be doing in your home to make it more energy efficient this year??
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Contest Ends May 15th at Midnight Eastern Time. Open to Canada residents only!! Winners will be chosen by random.org and announced soon after the contest ends. Winner will be notified by email then has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
Disclosure – I am participating in the BMO Eco Smart Mortgage program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of BMO - Bank of Montreal. I received a gift card as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.