Large turnout at prospective homebuyer’s meeting

LĪHU’E, HI – April 10, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — About 100 people in the county’s Homebuyer List Program attended a meeting at the Līhu’e Civic Center last weekend.

“We wanted to provide an update on county homeownership programs so participants are aware of the current status of these programs, and to answer any questions they have,” said Eugene Jimenez, director of the county Housing Agency. “We were very pleased with the turnout, and advised them on the steps they need to take to remain homebuyer-ready.”

Among the county programs that were covered at the meeting were the following: Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP); Leasehold; and Homebuyer Loan and List programs.

Jimenez noted that funding for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program is provided through the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.

The county is expected to receive approximately $4.2 million dollars for NSP, which will be used to purchase six or more foreclosed homes and resold to eligible buyers, and also to build three single-family homes on county-owned lots and sold as leasehold properties to eligible buyers.

The county’s Limited Equity Leasehold Program has been in existence since 2005, and every year eligibility requirements may change depending on the median income.

For 2009, the criteria for a three-bedroom home are as follows:

– Those earning 50 percent of the median income can purchase a home for $124,000.

– Those earning 80 percent of the median income, $225,800

– Those earning 100 percent of the median income, $266,000

The purpose of the program is to provide long-term affordable homes with 99-year leases to eligible buyers that can be transferred to their heirs that meet the eligibility criteria.

If an heir does not meet the requirements, the home is sold back to the county at the original sale price plus a fair share of the market appreciation.

The county’s Homebuyer Loan Program offers second mortgages to those who fall in the 80 percentile bracket that have their first mortgages with a conventional lender including American Savings Bank; Bank of Hawai’i; Central Pacific Bank; First Hawaiian Bank or USDA Rural Development.

The loan program allows an eligible homebuyer to obtain a second mortgage from the county at a low interest rate with a small down payment in order to purchase a home.

The Homebuyer List Program was established two years ago to provide a mechanism for homebuyer-ready residents to be given the first opportunity to buy affordable and workforce housing units that are built by the county or by private developers as a requirement for their projects.

To enroll in the Homebuyer List Program, an applicant must be a Kaua’i resident and complete a home ownership education class.

Currently there are 395 participants in the Homebuyer List Program.

For more information, please contact the Housing Agency at 241-4444.

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