I wanted to give you specifics on the new Pathway to Purchase (P2P) down payment assistance program. The program will stimulate our city economically, but more specifically provide a home weatherization program for middle income home owners. This is an excellent means to help push the COT CCC goal of climate change mitigation.
I have attached details of the program which starts July 5th, 2016 (date subject to change) in the City of Tucson and City of South Tucson defined areas only.
I feel that my industry, real estate, and the general public may overlook critical usage of this program so I thought I might give some ideas for you to share with the community, your friends, family, and neighbors.
The Pathway to Purchase program is funded by TARP-Troubled Asset Relief Funds. The Tucson Urban League has also received TARP funds for their weatherization program and is currently funded to assist low income and elderly home owners ONLY. As I have expressed to the City of Tucson Climate Change Committee (COT CCC) meetings in the past, I feel weatherization programs should be expanded to middle income home owners as a way to work towards climate change mitigation.
The new P2P program will now be able to help a broader swath of low to middle income home owners potentially weatherize their new homes. Allowable buyer income is up to $92,984 and home purchase price as high as $371,936.
This is great news!
An excellent way to take advantage of the P2P program would be to use the program funds (up to $20,000 or 10% of the purchase price) for your required 5% down payment and additional closing costs. Then you would keep in pocket the cash reserves traditionally needed for purchase and closing costs and instead use your savings to retrofit your new home.
Typically if you wanted to borrow fix up funds by rolling them into your new home loan you would have to use a more complicated FHA 203K type loan (for example). This type of loan has a number of restrictions for the buyer. It requires a lengthier underwriting process and the buyer must submit multiple work bids by licensed contractors only. The loan does not allow for DIY or unlicensed handyman work. An escrow holdback is required, and sometimes a 2nd appraisal or inspection will be a required additional buyer expense. Finally, a typical FHA fix up loan is rarely used, or even well understood, and in a seller's market such as ours currently, not as competitive.
The new P2P program allows the home owner to use their own cash savings after closing to complete any type of retrofitting themselves (DIY) and they can use any service person of their choice. This is a win win for the community!
Another way to use the new P2P program is to help current homeowners who have little or no equity but want to "move up" or purchase a more efficient home. These home owners find themselves stuck by not being able to make needed repairs to sell, along with real estate agent fees, moving costs, and necessary down payment funds for a new home. With the P2P program a home owner does not need to be a "new home owner" as required by other down payment assistance programs, however they cannot own ANY other properties. Therefore, the home owner can use a "simultaneous close" to use the program. A simultaneous close, for example, allows you to close the sale of your current home, and with little or no equity, next day use P2P funding to move into your new home. So Cool!
The P2P program will be an excellent tool to expand weatherization for more homes in our community which contributes to the goals of the COT CCC. Home owners must hurry though as state funds are limited to $48 million and they are first come first served. Tucson and South Tucson are virtually last in line to sign up for these much needed funds, but better late than never. Hopefully this will be a recurring program as extra fees that a home owner pays will be used towards keeping the program alive. For right now though get ready in July to take advantage of the P2P program.
Kris Basel, Realtor
ABR, CIPS, GREEN