By Sandy Barnes
Berthoud residents with income 80 percent or below the area median may be eligible for a low interest loan to help buy a home.
The Larimer Home Ownership Program has received $738,000 from the Colorado Division of Housing to assist people with down payments and closing costs. For example, a family of four whose total annual income is $60,000 or less may borrow up to $10,000 at a two percent interest rate for 10 years through the program administered by the Housing Authority of the City of Loveland.
According to the housing authority schedule, income limits range from $42,000 for a one-person household to $79,200 for a family of eight people.
“This is our biggest grant for the program,” said Amy Irwin of the housing authority. “It certainly is helpful to people who are not able to put away money for down payments,” she added. The program is funding primarily with federal money directed to state and county agencies.
While there is general concern about the ability of people to get loans to purchase homes in this economy, Irwin said that FHA loans are possible to secure for people with acceptable credit ratings and stable employment. With an average of 3.5 percent required for an FHA loan, the funds provided through the housing authority will usually cover the down payment and closing costs, she said.
According to information on the housing authority Web site, funds will not be reserved for applicants until they have a home under contract and the mortgage loan approval.
To apply for a loan through the program, people can download an application from the Web site at www.lovelandhsg.org, or call (970) 635-5931 to have one sent to them. Along with the application, proof of income, family size and loan qualification information need to be given to the housing authority. A $60 application fee also is required. The address of the Larimer Home Ownership Program is 375 W. 37th St., Loveland, CO 90538.
In most cases, applicants will know in less than a week if they qualify for a loan.
Successful applicants are required to attend a first buyer training class provided by Neighbor to Neighbor before the closing.
The down payment assistance program is available to residents purchasing homes in Larimer County. In addition to Berthoud, those living in Wellington, LaPorte, Estes Park and unincorporated areas of Loveland and Fort Collins also can apply for loans.
The housing authority also offers information about first-time buyer tax credits and foreclosure prevention options for homeowners having difficulty meeting their mortgage payments.