Crazy Urban Legend Hits the Real Estate World

Be forewarned — no, this is not about kidney harvestingNigerian Lottery winnings, or Bill Gates giving everyone lots of money for forwarding an email — there is an email making the rounds titled “HR 2454: CAP AND TRADE ENERGY BILL”, which purports that new legislation will require all homes to retroactively pass new energy standards before they are sold.

Some even say that all homes will now be required to get a “label” for your house every year, proving that your home meets new energy standards.

This is all patently and unequivocally FALSE. (and you can even checkSnopes.com here to doublecheck)

Firstly, whoever started this email has a serious conspiracy theory complex. They also probably fall into the category of “birther”, “teabagger party member”, or “Glenn Beck-lover”.

Bottom line, our gub’mint is not going to do anything – ANYTHING – that will adversely affect the real estate market, which is absolutely one of the key elements in our ongoing, slow economic recovery. Why do you think they recently overwhelmingly voted to extend the first time buyer $8K tax credit bill, as well as extend the $729K conforming loan limit? They want to encourage people to have more confidence in home ownership.

Anyway, I also consulted our National Association of Realtors (NAR) position on this, and below is what it said. The most revealing statement, which contradicts this email is that this bill  “Does not create a federal energy audit requirement for real property”

“The U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act by Reps. Waxman (D‐CA) and Markey (D‐MA). Following NAR’s long‐standing policy to only take a position on legislation, or provisions within legislation that have a direct affect on real estate, NAR worked with our Congressional allies to strip the Energy Bill of provisions that would have adversely affected our industry.

After multiple consultations with the NAR Climate Presidential Advisory Group, the NAR Land Use, Property Rights and Environment Committee, and state associations who had dealt with energy audit legislation at the state level, the Land Use, Property Rights and Environment Committee directed NAR staff to concentrate on the real estate provisions in the bill.  As a result, NAR issued calls for action and made this a talking point for Capitol Hill visits during its recent Midyear meeting.

Overall, REALTORS® succeeded in making a number of positive changes affecting the real estate provisions of the bill. The House‐approved bill:

  • Does not create a federal energy audit requirement for real property;
  • Exempts existing homes and buildings from any federal guidelines for new construction energy efficiency information labels.
  • Prohibits the implementation of any labeling during a sales transaction.
  • Leaves the decision to states as to whether to require energy audits, disclosures, etc.
  • Provides property owners with significant financial incentives, matching grants and tools to make property improvements and reduce their energy bills;
  • Prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating residential and commercial buildings under the Clean Air Act;
  • Eliminated an early proposal to allow citizens to sue over minor climate risks under the Clean Air Act; and Establishes green building incentives for HUD housing, including a loan program for renewable energy, block grants and credit for upgrades in mortgage underwriting.”
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Filed under Community Info, mt. carmel, real estate, redwood city

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