Sierra Club logo

Stopping Sprawl campaign home page - click here.
Get an overview. Sign up for an e-newsletter. Find out what you can do to help.
Environmental Update Main
Sprawl Main
In This Section
Sprawl Overview
Reports & Factsheets
Activist Resources
Get Involved!
Articles & Research
Population and Sprawl

Get The Sierra Club Insider
Environmental news, green living tips, and ways to take action: Subscribe to the Sierra Club Insider!


Stop Sprawl
Location Efficient Mortgages make convenient living more affordable.

Housing prices in convenient communities -- those with many job, shopping, recreation and other destinations nearby -- are often higher than in surrounding less convenient sprawling areas. However, families living in these convenient communities generally save auto expenses from owning fewer cars and driving less. These savings can equal $6000 or more annually for the average family. But the initial price of this housing often prevents their qualifying for a mortgage.

Now there IS an anti-sprawl tool out there that addresses these high housing prices. Location Efficient Mortgage services allows a mortgage lender to recognize the transportation-related cost savings of living in convenient, high-density communities with transit access by adding the savings onto the qualifying income of the consumer. For instance, a household making $50,000 may qualify for a 30-year loan of $163,000 at 8% using conventional underwriting guidelines; using Location Efficient Mortgage services that household could qualify for a $213,000 mortgage -- depending on how "location efficient" their desired piece of property or condominium is. The level of the savings results from extensive studies on auto ownership, driving levels, transit access and other variables which identify how much households are spending on their transportation needs.

Location Efficient Mortgage services are available in the cities of Chicago and Seattle; Los Angeles County; and the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. The mortgage services are currently part of an underwriting experiment sponsored by Fannie Mae, the nation's largest source of mortgage funds. We hope that demonstrated success of the mortgage will result in even more cities and regions where these services will be available. Call 1-800-7FANNIE for more information and a list of available lenders in your area. Also check out to see how much of a loan you can qualify for in Chicago, Seattle and L.A County (San Francisco Bay Area site is pending).

LOCATION EFFICIENT MORTGAGE services is a certification mark owned by the Institute for Location Efficiency. Unauthorized use of this mark is prohibited.

Up to Top | Printer-friendly version of this page