Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

New Home Available in Brewster

Posted by HAC Staff on Fri, May 24, 2019 @ 05:51 PM

White Rock Commons (May 2019)

Located at White Rock Road, this new 3-bedroom home is priced at $189,000 and comes with an affordable deed restriction.

Eligible applicants must be first-time homebuyers, with certain exceptions, and earn no more than 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) for Barnstable County. Household assets must be no more than $75,000.

Click this link for an application. The deadline to apply is Friday, May 31. For more details, contact Gael Kelleher at 508-771-5400, ext. 284 or ccre@haconcapecod.org

To view more affordable listings, visit www.capecommunityrealestate.org

Tags: Gael Kelleher, Cape Community Real Estate, homeownership, real estate listings, affordable homeownership, Brewster

Creating New Memories for Cape Family

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, May 24, 2019 @ 05:36 PM

Michael Fields-1

With Housing Assistance's help, Michael Fields and his fiancee were able to purchase a home on Cape Cod. 

Growing up in Belmont, Michael Fields used to vacation on Cape Cod when he was a kid. “The Cape holds special memories for me,” he said.

Thanks to the help of Housing Assistance, Michael and his fiancée will now be able to give their two-year-old son the opportunity to create his own special memories here on the Cape.

After taking our First-Time Homebuyer workshop last summer, the pair worked with our real estate department, Cape Community Real Estate, to purchase a home in West Yarmouth they had been renting for nearly three years.

“They were so thankful and so excited,” Director of Real Estate Gael Kelleher said of the family. “I’m very lucky at my job because we help make people’s dreams come true.”

“The employees at Housing Assistance were unbelievable,” said Michael. “They were very willing to take the time to walk me through everything so it was easy to understand.”

Since purchasing their home, the couple have taken our Home Forever Post Purchase workshop and have plans to take our Money Matters class, both of which are taught by Director of Education and Engagement Cheryl Codair.

Of his most recent class, Michael said, “It was extremely informative… They made sure everyone understood that your financial responsibilities don’t just stop with the purchase of a home.”

While owning a home has come with newfound responsibilities, it has provided Michael, a select banker at the Falmouth branch of Santander Bank, with “a sense of security and stability,” he said. “Everybody wants security in their job and their home. Owning your own place provides comfort and peace of mind… It is a great feeling to know you own this.”

Interested in becoming a homeowner on Cape Cod? Housing Assistance's Cape Community Real Estate Department has several listings available. Visit www.capecommunityrealestate.org for more info. 

Tags: homeowner, Gael Kelleher, Cape Community Real Estate, Nonprofit Real Estate, homeownership, real estate listings, first-time homebuyer, Yarmouth, Cheryl Codair

Lovely Eastham Condo

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Apr 12, 2018 @ 12:38 PM

 

70 Dory Front for use

This one-bedroom, one-bath Eastham condo at 70 Dory Lane is being offered at $154,399 with a deed restriction. Featuring 750-square feet of living space and a garage, it’s perfect for a first-time homebuyer on Cape Cod.

The $123 monthly condo fee covers snow removal and landscaping.

Eligible applicants must be first-time homebuyers, with some exceptions; have a household income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for Barnstable County; and have less than $75,000 in assets.

Click this link for an application. To see more affordable listings for sale, visit Cape Community Real Estate's website here.

Tags: Gael Kelleher, Cape Community Real Estate, workforce housing, Nonprofit Real Estate, affordable housing, homeownership, Betsie Rumbaugh, real estate listings, affordable homeownership, first-time homebuyer

HAC's Down Payment Program Helps Working Family

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, Dec 27, 2017 @ 04:06 PM
Lashaunda Shepherd-1.jpgThanks to HAC's support, Lashaunda Shepherd was able to spend the holidays with her husband and their two children in a new home.

The Down Payment and Closing Cost Program that HAC administers for Barnstable County is one of the region’s best kept secrets—but it shouldn’t be!

The program uses federal funds to help income-eligible residents become first-time homeowners.

This year, seven HAC clients have been helped through the program, including Lashaunda and Martin Shepherd, a married couple who between them are working four jobs in order to make a living on Cape Cod.

Lashaunda is a rural postal carrier and a certified nursing assistant for two health care agencies and Martin is employed as a floor technician at a local nursing home.

In October, HAC was able to help the couple, who have two children, land the home of their dreams in Hyannis thanks to $5,000 they received from the agency’s Down Payment and Closing Cost Program.

The Shepherds worked closely with HAC Housing Counselor Karin Bar who helps manage the federally-funded program, which provides financial support to income-eligible residents looking to become first-time homeowners, on behalf of Barnstable County.

Without that financial assistance, Lashaunda said. “I don’t think we would have purchased a home… That was a pretty big lifesaver for us.”

The program gives leverage to those like the Shepherds, who had been renting a home in Brewster for the past four years, so they can become homeowners. That is something which has become increasingly difficult in today’s strong housing market. “It is really tough for first-time homebuyers right now,” said Bar.

Still, HAC has been able to assist seven clients this year who have been able to make their dreams of homeownership become a reality. Bar is working with another two currently.

Bar was pleased to see that the Shepherds, who both took HAC’s first-time homebuyer class earlier this year, were among those to benefit from the program.

Now the Shepherds have a home of their own which, “means a lot. It means happiness. It means in the years to come my family can come visit,” said Lashaunda, who is from South Carolina and whose husband is from Jamaica.

Though not originally from here, the Shepherds are proud to call Cape Cod their home “Since I moved here I feel like I’ve been on the right path,” Lashaunda said. “I feel like this would be a perfect place to raise a family. The schools are great. The jobs are great. We are very comfortable here… We love it here on the Cape.”

To learn more about HAC’s Down Payment and Closing Cost Program, click this link.

 

Tags: HCEC, homeowner, homeownership, Karin Bar, Barnstable County HOME Program, First-Time Homebuyer workshop, Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program, affordable homeownership, Hyannis

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

Charming Affordable Chatham Home For Sale

Posted by HAC Staff on Wed, Sep 27, 2017 @ 03:12 PM

Chatham Property Photo-1.jpg

This 3-bedroom, 1-bath Cape-style home at 4 Konuhasset Way in Chatham is currently on the market for $214,500. The purchase of the home comes with an affordable resale restriction. 

Close to local shops and restaurants, this two-foor home is available for first-time homebuyers. Applicants must earn a household income that is at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for Barnstable County with household assets of no more than $75,000. 

Eligible AMI is $47,600 for a one-person household; $54,400 for a two-person household; $61,200 for a three-person household; and $68,000 for a four-person household. 

Click here for a lottery application. If you have any questions on this home, contact HAC Real Estate Assistant Betsie Rumbaugh at 508-771-5400, ext. 285 or brumbaugh@haconcapecod.org

HAC also has several affordable homes for sale throughout Cape Cod. Click this link to view a listing of those properties. 

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Cape Community Real Estate, homeownership, real estate listings, Chatham, homes for sale

FSS Graduation Result of Hard Work

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Tue, Sep 26, 2017 @ 03:19 PM
Stacey Whittemore FSS Photo-1.jpgHAC FSS Coordinator Jan Nelson (left) with Stacey Whittemore, who recently graduated from the program and became a homeowner on Cape Cod. 

When some clients graduate from the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program, it can be a large celebration with a number of HAC staff in attendance. Others, like Cotuit’s Stacey Whittemore, opt for something more low key.

That did not make the moment any less meaningful when Whittemore and her son Connor received a $9,061.84 check at the end of July from Jan Nelson, who manages the FSS program for HAC.

With tears in her eyes, an emotional Whittemore spoke about the impact that FSS has had on her since she first entered it a little more than a year and a half ago. “You helped me out tremendously,” Whittemore told Nelson.

With the support of Nelson, FSS clients find ways to increase their income so they can move off of public assistance. As one’s income increases, their rent increases. The difference between the new monthly rent and the old rent is placed into an escrow savings account that clients can access, and use as they deem fit, upon completion of FSS.

Whittemore was able to accumulate more than $4,000; she received another $5,000 in federal funds because she was giving up her Section 8 voucher and becoming a homeowner, moving from her Mashpee home into what she called, “my forever home” in Cotuit.

Nelson called Whittemore, who has two jobs, including a full-time one as an overnight dispatcher for a towing company, “a hard worker” something that was witnessed when she boosted her credit score from roughly 500 to over 700 during her time in the FSS program.

While she was looking forward to decorating her new home for Halloween and Christmas, Whittemore said, the most important aspect is, “just giving him [my son] the security. It’s something I never had as a child.”

To have that kind of security on Cape Cod is the icing on the cake. “It is so beautiful here,” Whittemore said. “I’m pretty content to call this place my home.”

Give Hope to a HAC Client

Tags: Jan Nelson, Family Self Sufficiency, FSS, homeownership, Stacey Whittemore

FSS Program Helps Family Find Perfect Home

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Aug 25, 2017 @ 05:30 PM
Amy Gregoire-Edited2.jpgAmy Gregoire with two of her children, Josie (left) and Susie, at her FSS graduation. Amy and her husband recently moved into a new Habitat for Humanity home in West Yarmouth. 

When Amy Gregoire first met HAC’s Jan Nelson in 2013, the thought of her ever becoming self-sufficient, let alone a homeowner was far-fetched. “I had a subsidized apartment and felt I was so in over my head, I didn’t think I’d ever have the money to move out of there,” Gregoire said. “Jan calmly said, ‘You can do it. If other people can do it, you can do it.’... I know I wouldn’t be sitting here with three jobs and a new house if it wasn’t for [Jan].”

With two of her three children by her side, Gregoire made the statement at HAC’s offices when the agency recently celebrated her graduation from the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. Managed by Nelson, the program provides a road map for those like Gregoire, who have a Section 8 voucher, to increase their income so they can move off of public assistance.

Over the past five years, Gregoire was able to do just that, working three part-time jobs and enrolling at Bristol Community College where she’s studying to be an occupational therapy assistant.

Her busy schedule got even busier this past year when she and her husband Torey spent their weekends helping to build the Habitat for Humanity home they moved into in May. The Gregoires, which include their three daughters Lucie, Josie and Susie, were one of six families selected for newly built Habitat homes on Virginia Street in West Yarmouth.

As part of the FSS program, Gregoire was able to accumulate almost $3,000 in escrow savings and another $5,000 she received for giving up her Section 8 voucher and becoming a homeowner. A portion of that money went towards closing costs as well as some furniture for their new home.

As she described that new home to HAC staff, there was a sense of joy in her voice. “It is less than a mile from the ocean,” Gregoire said. “It is in a nice little neighborhood… It’s on a quiet cul-de-sac. It couldn’t be more perfect.”

Help Families Like This

Tags: Jan Nelson, Family Self Sufficiency, FSS, homeownership, Amy Gregoire