Affordable Housing For Those Who Wait

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For first-time homebuyers on tight incomes in Payson, patience is the name of the game.

But more often frustration sets in before low to moderate income families can find an affordable home. That's why members of the Arizona Department of Housing home ownership division will be in Payson on April 26 and 27 to discuss programs that have been successful in almost every county across Arizona, but have not worked in this area because of the shrinking housing pool and rising property costs.

At the two-day workshop, presenters will discuss ADOH's low-interest mortgages and down-payment assistance program that is tailored for first-time homebuyers in rural Arizona.

The mortgage-backed securities program provides a 30-year fixed-rate, level payment mortgage. Single-family homes, attached mobile homes, condominiums and townhomes are eligible properties.

"These are available through your lender," said local real estate broker Cliff Potts. "They are 1 percent below the going rate."

Homebuyers seeking money for down payments and closing costs can apply for the down-payment assistance program, alone or in tandem with the low-cost mortgage.

These are grant-like subsidies that provide the initial investment for the purchase of a home. Consumers can borrow between 5 to 15 percent of the home's purchase price up to $20,000.

"You have to know how much house you can afford," said Iris Glass of ADOH's home ownership division. "We can help with that gap in financing."

"We try as hard as possible to try to find opportunities for families to get housing," said Jeff Gray, public information officer for ADOH.

But those opportunities are few and far between in the Rim Country.

"There are nine site-built homes under $200,000 on the market today," local real estate agent Cliff Potts said. "The cheapest is $168,000."

But Glass urges homeseekers to be patient and attend the ADOH no-cost, two-day workshop. Glass said the seminar will cover everything from budgeting to financing to escrow, and most importantly, staying focused.

"There are homes out there," Glass said. "It just takes research and a lot of time. You have to be realistic. You have to do your research."

The seminar takes place at the Payson Police Department April 26 and 27 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. To reserve a seat or for information, call (602)771-1028 or (602)771-1027.

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