Affordable homeownership is available to income eligible homebuyers through our Shared Equity Program. We provide grants to assist you in purchasing an eligible single-family home of your choice, and work with you to obtain a mortgage loan from a local bank.
How does the program work?
Before you are eligible to apply for the Shared Equity Program, you must meet the following criteria:
- You have completed the Smart Start to Homeownership Program.
- You have been verified as “mortgage ready,” meaning you are eligible to obtain a mortgage in the price range of a typical shared equity home.
- You have saved at least $1,500 to be used for closing costs.
- You earn at or below 120% of the area median income for the county in which you are buying.
Once you have met all of the eligibility criteria, there are two ways to purchase a home through the program.
1. You can purchase a home on the real estate market
Approved applicants can receive grant funds to help subsidize the cost of a home for sale on the real estate market. Here is how it works: Once you are approved for the Shared Equity Program, you can start looking for a single family home that meets your needs. If the house meets our program requirements, WWHT provides a grant of 25% of the sale price, up to $44,000. In return, WWHT retains ownership of the land, which assures long-term affordability to future homeowners of that property.
2. Purchase an existing Shared Equity property
Approved applicants may buy a home already part of the Shared Equity Program. When a current homeowner who owns a shared equity home decides to sell their house, WWHT helps the seller find another income-eligible buyer. The home is sold to the new buyer at below market value. If you are approved for the program, you could be that new buyer. View homes for sale in WWHT’s Shared Equity Program.
How do you get started?
If you know that you are likely to qualify for a mortgage (your credit score is above 640, you have some savings in the bank and you have a steady source of income that can support a mortgage payment) we recommend that you enroll in the Smart Start to Homeownership Program right away. This program starts with an 8-hour homebuyer education class that will walk you through all aspects of homeownership. The workshop is followed by individual sessions with a homeownership counselor who will help you develop a budget, calculate your affordability and verify your income. Once you are ready to apply for the Shared Equity Program, our counselor will help you compile your application for submission.
However, if you are interested in this program, but need some time getting “mortgage ready,” we recommend that you start with our Money Talks! Program. Money Talks! starts with a two hour seminar that focuses on the role of credit and how your credit score impacts your ability to obtain a mortgage and other forms of financing. After the seminar, you’ll have the opportunity to work up to six months with a financial coach who can help you repair, rebuild or establish credit as well as identify any other financial goals you want to achieve.
To read more about this program please read the attached article from our Fall, 2010 newsletter.
Click here to contact Lending and Shared Equity Manager, Bruce Whitney.