Real Estate Questions Answered Here
by Art Santellen, REALTOR®
Before I begin this week's column, I just wanted to share one last thought about buying a home.
Buying a home of your own is a lot of hard work. Most work is performed by you, getting yourself financially ready to your own. But, it's really worth the trouble. Love and a home helps keeps families together These are my kin and this is my what the American Dream is all about.
of the hard buy a home of is the glue that land.
Q: Art, where can I go to get help buying my first home?
A: Well, the first person to see is a Realtor sufficiently familiar with the various homebuyer assistance programs available to you.
One obvious source of help is the Federal government. Not only do the feds offer help to veterans in the form of VA (zero down payment) loans, they also offer non-veterans FHA (low down payment) loans. These loans programs are offered by most mortgage banks and mortgage brokers throughout Colorado.
In addition, the feds offer Department of Agriculture sponsored Rural Farm and Ranch Loans as well as Rural Home loans. Some DA loans are handled directly by the Department of Agriculture and some finds are channeled through non-profit organizations like the Colorado Rural Housing Development Corporation. This non-profit corporation has housing opportunities in the San Luis Valley, Pueblo, and Greeley and soon in Colorado Springs. You will want to call Al Gold at (303) 428-1448 and tell him Art Santellen referred you to him for help buying a home.
The single most successful and well known of the State programs is CHAFA. This program helps people interested in residential purchases, rehabilitation of existing homes, and it even helps non-profit organizations in buying apartment complexes for affordable rentals. Ordinarily, an "issue of money is made 3 or 4 times a year. The mortgage interest rate is below market rates and CHAFA will grant a certain amount of money for down payment assistance. Again, this program is administered by a number of mortgage companies throughout the state. Not every mortgage lender is certified to offer CHAFA money so ask first.
Recently, there has been a lot of information in the news about the El Paso County Bond Program. Actually, this program has been around for several years. The money is usually available in the summer and hopes to attract homebuyers for certain "targeted areas. A map of these targeted areas is available by talking to Realtors familiar with this program and with the handful of mortgage lenders authorized to offer County Bond money. It is similar to CHAFA in that it offers mortgage assistance by offering a belowmarket interest rate and down payment assistance. Yes, you will want to ask your lender if it handles County Bond money
The City of Colorado Springs is given the task of administering several millions of dollars in federal money to help homebuyers. The two primary recipients of this money is the Housing Authority of Colorado Springs (NOT a city government agency) which offers down payment assistance up to $10,000 and a very low interest rate. The monthly payment does not exceed $35. You can call Judy at 578-6334 and tell her Art Santellen asked you to
The second major recipient is the Rocky Mountain Community Land Trust. This non-profit organization will help you with a cash donation of as much as $30,000 toward the purchase of a home. They will co-own the property with you and split the equity with you if you later decide to sell your home. The idea is to keep your home affordable for the next family. The cost for their participation is about $50 per month. You will want to call Jan at 447-9300 and tell her your Uncle Art sent you.
Wells Fargo Mortgage, and there may be others, have community assistance programs to help you buy a home. The one Wells Fargo program most familiar to me is the D-CHAP program. This mortgage loan program is designed for individuals with disabilities. It is applicable to everyone where at least one member of the family is disabled. This program not only offers a below-market interest rate; it is also more forgiving in its calculation of your debt-to-income ratio. In other words, you don't have to earn much money to qualify for a loan. You will want to call Bev Widdel at 381-1163 and (oh, you know already).
In addition to these programs, many banks and mortgage lenders offer literally hundreds of other programs to help people buy their first home. You will want your Realtor to help you through the maze of public and private programs available to you.
Next week: documented evidence why people are going crazy over the price of homes in Colorado Springs. The following week: the biginning of a 5-part series on how to sell your home.
NOTE: As you can see, I really do get questions from the public. To add your question to this list, please send them to me at the address listed below. Thanks.
The answers to these, and other fascinating real estate questions will be answered here, in Hispania News, next week.
When you're ready to buy or sell a home, see a REALTOR®
Art is a REALTOR® with Heritage Realtors in Colorado Springs.
If you have a real estate question you’d like answered, please send them to:
Art Santellen, care of Hispania News
PO Box 15116
Colorado Springs, CO 80935