What is the HERO Program and how does it affect Real Estate?

Have you heard about the "HERO Program" and wondering what it is all about? Are you thinking of some new improvements to spruce up the home but worried about cost, then this program is something you might want to consider.  

HERO is an acronym that stands for: Home Energy Renovation Opportunity.  It is the #1 energy efficiency financing program in United States.  HERO partners with local governments to make energy efficient, water efficient and renewable energy products more affordable to homeowners.  

HERO financing is paid through the homeowners property taxes.  The repayment is included in your property tax bill.  You will see a line item titled HERO Financing on your property tax bill and if property taxes are impounded your lender will adjust your monthly payment to include the amount due for HERO financing.

Eligibility criteria includes (terms apply):

  • Mortgage related debt must not exceed 90% of the value of the property.
  • Mortgage payments must be current and not have (1) 30-day late in the last 12 months
  • Property taxes must be current
  • No outstanding involuntary liens can be on the property
  • Homeowners must not have had any active Bankruptcies with the last seven years (some approvals may be possible if payment history has improved)

If you are looking at doing repairs but think you may sell your home in the future some details to consider:

Can you sell or refinance a property if it has a HERO assessment?  
  • Properties can be sold or refinanced at any time.   The remaining assessment can be paid off or legally transferred to the new homeowner.  Lenders can have different requirements so it is something to look into.

Does a HERO assessment affect the buying or selling process?
  • Selling a home with this assessment entails providing clear disclosures.  Listing agents should disclose to interested buyers that this an additional tax assessment on the tax while also explaining the benefits energy/water savings. 
  • If you are purchasing a property the HERO assessment will appear on a Preliminary Title Report.

Do buyers purchasing a home with HERO assessments need to qualify or reapply for the program:
  • The potential buyer of a home with HERO assessment does not need to qualify or re-apply.  The tax assessment is simply transferred to the new owners or paid off by the current homeowner should the buyer not agree.

For more information regarding the program make sure to go to www.heroprogram.com.  You can search by area, product and programs to see what might be available for you.  In Orange County there are approximately 40 different incentives.

The above information is provided as a courtesy and is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. 


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