Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Preparing Residents to Become Homeowners on Cape Cod

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Nov 02, 2017 @ 03:12 PM
Homebuyer17-3.jpgHAC Housing Counselor Karin Bar teaches a First-Time Homebuyer workshop in September. The classes are offered in four-day or two-day sessions as well as online for those unable to attend in person. 

On the last Thursday of September, 36 people sat quietly in the conference room at HAC’s office at 460 West Main Street in Hyannis.

Individually, they may have been different, but they all shared at least two similarities – they each rent a home or an apartment on Cape Cod. And they all hope to one day become a homeowner.

On this night, HAC Housing Counselor Karin Bar provided guidance on how they can achieve those dreams as part of the agency’s First-Time Homebuyer Workshop. HAC offers the class eight times a year; in 2016, 282 people, representing 196 households, took the class to prepare them for the home buying process.

“They are always full and in demand,” said Bar, who has been teaching the classes for the past three years.

There are a number of reasons people take the classes. Certain loan programs, including those offered by MassHousing, Fannie Mae, Massachusetts Housing Partnership, and the United States Department of Agriculture, require it.

“To get down payment assistance, it’s a requirement,” Bar added.

It’s also necessary for anyone who wants to purchase an affordable or deed-restricted home.

Homebuyer17-1.jpgJohn Hughes (left) of Falmouth and Ernesto Garcia of South Yarmouth review materials during a First-Time Homebuyer workshop held in October. 

Topics covered during the workshop include budgeting, credit, and loan programs available to homebuyers. Clients also have access to local experts, from Realtors to real estate attorneys to insurance agents to home inspectors, who walk students through each step one must take to fulfill the American dream.

“I think this program is a great tool for when you’re ready to buy a home,” said John Hughes of Falmouth, a financial specialist with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s Gaming Commission. He had originally taken the course in 2015 and was back for the course in September so he could maintain his certification to keep him eligible for loan programs aimed at first-time homebuyers.

As to why he wants to become a homeowner, he said, “for stability.”

Ernesto Garcia, who rents an apartment with his fiancée in South Yarmouth, is less sure about purchasing a home, but the classes helped clarify the process. “If you have any doubts, what they teach makes it clearer,” he said.

Wanting to become a homeowner is one of the biggest decisions people will make in their lives. HAC’s First-Time Homebuyer workshop is aimed at not only taking the stress out of the equation, but making it enjoyable for participants.

“This is like the maternity ward… This is fun. People are excited and thinking about buying a house,” Bar said of the workshop. “At the end of every class series, we have people fill out an evaluation form and there has never been anyone who says it wasn’t worth it.”

Register for HAC's First-Time Homebuyer Workshop

Those interested in signing up for a First-Time Homebuyer class can do so by clicking this link. HAC also offers a number of other financial literacy classes including Rebuilding Your Credit; Budgeting; Be a Successful Tenant; Community Resources; and Home Forever. Click here to see a full class listing offered by HAC.  

Tags: HCEC, Homebuyer Education, homeownership, Karin Bar, housing consumer education, First-Time Homebuyer workshop, affordable homeownership, first-time homebuyer

Choose Your Own Affordable Home in Yarmouth

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, Oct 25, 2017 @ 01:46 PM

Yarmouth Buydown Photo.jpg

With housing at a premium, becoming a homeowner on Cape Cod continues to be difficult for low- to middle-income wage earners. In Yarmouth, a handful of residents will have an opportunity to achieve that dream through a buydown program HAC is administering for the town.

The program will enable 4 residents to purchase a market rate home at an affordable price. “Inventory has gotten really expensive so a buyer could find a market rate property priced at $289,000 and buy it at $189,000 with a deed restriction,” said Gael Kelleher, HAC’s director of Cape Community Real Estate. “It is the best deal in town. You can’t beat it.”

Qualified applicants must be first-time homebuyers (some exceptions apply), earn 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for Barnstable County, and have no more than $75,000 in household assets. To participate in the program, residents must fill out an application and return it to HAC’s offices at 460 West Main Street by Friday, November 17 by 5 pm.

Applications are available at HAC; Yarmouth Town Hall at 1146 Route 28; Yarmouth Housing Authority at 534 Winslow Gray Road; and all Yarmouth public libraries.

Winners will be selected by lottery and will receive a buydown of 35% of the purchase price of a market rate home of their choice, up to $100,000. The following are maximum prices of homes that can be purchased in Yarmouth through this program: $339,000 (four bedroom); $319,000 (three bedroom); $295,000 (two bedroom); and $273,000 (one bedroom).

Any house purchased through the program will be recorded and deed restricted as affordable.

Contact HAC Real Estate Assistant Betsie Rumbaugh at ccre@haconcapecod.org or 508-771-5400, ext. 285 for more information on the Yarmouth Buydown Program.

Tags: Gael Kelleher, Cape Community Real Estate, homeownership, affordable homeownership, Yarmouth Buydown Program, Yarmouth

Affordable Condo in Mashpee

Posted by HAC Staff on Fri, Oct 06, 2017 @ 12:17 PM

Mashpee Property Photo-1.jpg

Call this 1-bedroom, 1-bath condominium yours for only $169,000. Located in a quaint, quiet neighborhood in Main Street Village, this condo is in a four-unit building on the upper level.

The condo, which comes with a resale restriction, has two deeded parking spaces, a detached garage, ample basement and closet space, and gas-forced hot water heat.

Eligible applicants must be first-time homebuyers. Incomes may not exceed 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for Barnstable County which is equivalent to $75,800 for a one-person household and $86,600 for a two-person household. Household assets must be less than $75,000.

Click here to download an application for this home. And click here to see more affordable homes for sale on Cape Cod. If you have questions about this or other homes, contact HAC Real Estate Assistant Betsie Rumbaugh at ccre@haconcapecod.org or 508-771-5400, ext. 285.

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Cape Community Real Estate, Mashpee, homeownership, Betsie Rumbaugh, affordable homeownership, first-time homebuyer