Executives explain program offering down payment assistance for new homebuyers – NBC Connecticut

First-time home buyers could get a huge boost with state assistance. The new “Time to Own” program offers a down payment and closing costs for people who earn certain incomes.

And the longer you stay in the house, the less you will have to repay.

“We’re trying to encourage sustainable, long-term homeownership here,” said Nandini Natarajan, CEO of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA), which runs this pilot program with $20 million allocated to the project. help for homebuyers by the State Bond Commission.

“It’s about creating an opportunity and having more buying power at a time when it’s very competitive,” Natarajan said.

If you’ve tried to bid on a home recently, you know this market is a beast, but state housing leaders like Natarajan hope the program will help first-time homebuyers or people who don’t have not owned a home in the last three years. years, be competitive by helping to cover $25,000 to $50,000 in down payment and closing costs with a forgivable loan.

Additionally, housing officials say it should help accepted applicants build equity instead of paying monthly rent to the landlord, rent that is similar in price to a mortgage.

“So you get your capital, you can send your kids to college, and you get the benefits of homeownership,” said Seila Mosquera-Bruno, commissioner of the state’s Housing Department.

The Time to Own loan is structured as a ten year 0% ‘no amortization’ loan, essentially a lump sum loan, with a one-tenth discount each year.

To put it simply, if you sell the house after five years, you will have to pay back 50% of what was originally given to you.

Stay ten years, you won’t owe a penny in return.

“So if they stay for three years, you know, they want to leave the house or they have to leave the house. I mean, the rest of the loan that wasn’t canceled would be due then,” Natarajan said.

“It’s basically based on how long you stay, so we want to make sure the home buyer gets that home and raises their family and it’s not just a turnaround, is it? Because that these are valuable state resources, and we want to enable long-term home ownership,” Natarajan continued.

Homebuyers must apply and meet low and moderate income requirements, and have lived in Connecticut for three years.

According to state officials, a borrower who meets the eligibility requirements can get assistance of up to $50,000 depending on the location they are looking to buy.

The map of cities in the state, by Opportunity Zone, can be found here.

“It’s about making sure families have options, right? To access those higher opportunities, because you can get up to $50,000 for communities where houses are a bit more expensive,” Mosquera-Bruno said.

Mosquera-Bruno said this aid can help people live the American Dream.

People with incomes over 100% AMI are not eligible for Time to Own assistance, CHFA spokesperson Marcus Smith explained.

This table lists eligible income.

“Numbers refer to a percentage of the area median income, or “AMI,” of the applicant. The amount of a loan an applicant is eligible for is determined, in part, by whether the applicant’s income is below 80% AMI, or between 80 and 100% AMI,” Smith explained.

Smith said that in Fairfield County’s case, the 80% AMI threshold is $108,720 and the 100% AMI threshold is $135,900.

The program is garnering a lot of attention on our website and social media pages, attracting hundreds of comments, shares and tags from friends looking to buy their first home.

Many comments online question the fairness of this program.

“Please make one of my mortgage payments for me as a reward for paying my mortgage on time for the past 22 years,” one person wrote.

Natarajan replied, “It’s a tool the state has to bring home ownership and increase it for people who are struggling in the rental market today.”

Others write comments like, “It’s easy to buy a house with no down payment if you can’t afford maintenance and taxes. »

Mosquera-Bruno said part of the requirement to get help is mandatory homeownership advice.

Additionally, lenders are responsible for ensuring that buyers’ monthly payments are something they can afford.

“We underwrite loans to the highest possible standards. We have very responsible lending guidelines,” Natarajan explained.

She says they partner with lenders CHFA has worked well with in the past.

“During the last financial crisis, the Housing Finance Agency loans were not the defaulted loans,” Natarajan said.

How many applicants will receive support? It is to be determined.

Applications are now being accepted. The program launched on Monday and already associate mortgage lenders are hearing that there is a lot of interest.

“Our home office in West Hartford, they had 75 calls at 12:30 p.m. this afternoon,” Rose Mary Ruocco-Cyr, First World Mortgage Officer, said Tuesday.

She said that also does not include incoming calls to other branches.

“The market is a bit bananas right now. The prices are going crazy. Property prices are going up,” said Jesus Carrero, branch manager of First World Mortgage Southington, who said it was nice to see the excitement.

To learn more about the program, visit their website or call the CHFA Owner Helpline at 1-844-281-4663.

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