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NSP homes 'a great opportunity' for buyers



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September 08, 2010 - Ortonville- Buyers beware.

The real estate market has bargains galore right now amidst a flood of foreclosures and plummeting home values, but in the village, two brand new homes will be more than just a bargain for the lucky buyers.

Construction on the homes located at 61 Narrin St. and 174 Ball St. will be completed by Oct. 1. As part of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, the homes will be sold at current market value and buyers must qualify, but if approved, they get two perks— no down payment and no interest charges.

"For affordability purposes, the village does down payment assistance," said Terri Desselles, buyer finance director for Home Renewal Systems. "For a $100,000 home, they may offer $20,000 to help that person qualify and it's forgiven until they move. It's an amazing program... The down payment is the most important part, and it can be forgiven entirely."

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program is a federal program established in October 2008 to provide grants to counties, which in turn approve funds for local municipalities to acquire properties for demolition or rehabilitation purposes. Last fall, homes at the Narrin and Ball street properties were demolished and construction began on new homes this year. A third home at 21 Church St. was demolished earlier this year, but it was not rebuilt due to the size of the lot.

The new home on Ball Street is a 1,438 square-foot ranch, while the home on Narrin is a 1,530-square-foot 2-story colonial. Both homes have three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, attached garage and full basement.

Jeff Katzen, president of Home Renewal Realty, is handling the sales and marketing of the homes. The prices on the homes, he said, will be determined by the village's final costs, which have not yet been disclosed.

Applicants to purchase the Ball Street home must earn less than 120 percent of the area median income, while the Narrin Street home must be sold to a family who earns less than 50 percent of the area median income. Guidelines are established by HUD, and for example, for a family of four, 120 percent AMI would be $83,750, while 50 percent AMI for a family of four would be $34,900.

Buyers must be credit worthy for a 30-year mortgage, Desselles noted, and for qualifying purposes, the typical ratio of 31 percent of income is used. Applicants must also complete eight hours of homeownership education through Oakland County's Housing Counseling Unit.

Katzen said five applications have already been received and he will continue to take more until two qualified applicants are approved.

Desselles notes that Home Renewal is working with 17 other communities in the NSP process, including Holly, Lake Orion, Pontiac, Keego Harboar, Hazel Park, Ferndale, Oak Park and Royal Oak Township.

"This is an opportunity for someone to get a gorgeous home," she said. "It's hard for first-time home buyers to get a dream home and these are dream homes."

For more information, call 866-996-9754 or visit www.homerenewalmi.com.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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