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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

GOVERNMENT SPONSORED DOWN PAYMENT AND CLOSING COST ASSISTANCE
NOW AVAILABLE TO HOME BUYERS

Linda F. Simpson, President's Message

Last November my message in the Gazette's Spotlight On Homes addressed the Neighborhood Stabilization Plan; the County's eagerly awaited down payment and closing cost assistance program (December 18, 2008, REALTORS® Partner With Government Leaders to Craft Down Payment Assistance Plan). I explained that Congress awarded over $10 million to Prince George's County to address the issue of vacant and foreclosed homes and I detailed how these funds would be used to create down payment and closing cost assistance loans for low income buyers of foreclosed residential properties.

Since that time the County's Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have been working to finalize the program guidelines. Representatives of the Prince George's Association of REALTORS®, lenders, title companies and others were invited to participate in meetings to comment on the preliminary plans, improvements were made to streamline the application process and make it more readily available to more people, and as of June 30, down payment funds are NOW available.

Here's the simple steps you can take . . . to make your dream home a reality.

 


  • Any REALTOR® is able to assist buyers with regard to this program.
  • Applications for down payment assistance are NOW being accepted. You can start your home search, loan qualification and other steps in the process now.
  • Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance loans in amounts up to the lesser of 3.5% - 7% of the purchase price or $15,000 - $20,000, is now available to qualified buyers of foreclosed properties. A wide range of income levels qualify. You may earn from 30% to 120% of the area median income.
  • Purchaser's total household income must not exceed 120% of the area median income (e.g. At 120% a family of three may earn up to $106,250 in annual income).
  • Applicants must be able to qualify for a first mortgage through a Participating Lender, to purchase the home.
  • The prospective property must be a vacant foreclosure located within certain Prince George's County zip codes.
  • Applicant must be a first time home buyer, defined as "not owning a home within the last three years."
  • Applicant must have a minimum cash contribution of $1,000 to $2,000.
  • Applicants must attend 8 hours of HUD approved Home Buyer Education classes.

Individuals interested in taking advantage of this program should contact a REALTOR® to prequalify and to begin your home search.

There is approximately $9 million of federal and state money dedicated to down payment and closing cost assistance. It is estimated that this will translate into more than 700 loans. We at the Prince George's County Association of REALTORS® have been pleased to participate in the design of this plan and we look forward to its implementation.

Linda F. Simpson, President
Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®



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