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So, when it comes to all things Real Estate related, or politics related or auto racing related in Tooele County, I like to consider myself a good resource, if not an out and out authority. Yes, I'm that arrogant, just ask anyone out here!
I am asked all the time, "who will be the next President or County Commissioner"? How about "what are the dates for World SuperBike at Miller MotorSports Park?" Incidentally, it's Memorial Day weekend, get your tickets now. Or, "when will Nascar Sprint Cup race at MMP (Ummmm, never!) I get questions about how many parking spaces are required per chair at beauty salons in Tooele City. Or what I think of the new proposed ordinance requiring "smoke shops" be no closer than 1500 ft from a school. I generally have a good answer, although not on the President one...
So, imagine my surprise upon being reminded at last nights City Council meeting that the Tooele County Housing Authority has money in a Down Payment Assistance program that is going unused! The fact is, I've known about it for years, I simply forgot about it! The only reason I know it now, is that the Housing Director came before the Council asking if she could broaden the scope of the grant to include those having trouble paying their rent. She knew the grant expires in June, and didn't want to see the money go unused. I can't blame her for that.
We've used the grant before. What it is, is simply a $2000 dollar contribution toward a buyers down payment or allowable closing costs. The grant is targeted for moderate or low income buyers. It's actually more of a loan than a true grant. It is paid back at sale of the property, and appears as a "soft lien" against the property. We haven't used it much over the years, for a couple of reasons.
First of all, with the prevalence of 100% programs out here, like USDA Rural, or Utah Housing, we haven't really had down payment issues, and with the majority of buyers here negotiating closing costs with sellers, that hasn't been an issue either. Obviously, that's changed of late. The second reason is that the Housing Authority doesn't always have money available for the program. It's always been on a first come first served basis, and sometimes, they've just been out.
The City staff and Council granted most of her request to broaden the scope of the grant to benefit those in danger of eviction. However, one of the joys of living in Tooele is that the government "gets it". They truly understand that home ownership is better for the City in the long run. That's why they sponsored the grant in the first place. I agreed to "market" the program to the local Realtors again, most of them not even being aware of the program, and they agreed to give me until April to get it all spent before giving the balance over to renters in trouble.
I appreciate the City giving us the opportunity to get the word out to our buyers of this program. I also appreciate them agreeing to look into expanding the amount a bit. Yes, I agree that having buyers have more skin in the game might have kept us from some of the problems in the mortgage meltdown. However, with interest rates at historic lows, buyers that can actually afford a $600 payment every month, but might have trouble scratching up a few thousand dollars for down and closing can buy a home. This is good for them, and good for us inTooele County. But, most of all, I appreciate the Council not hammering my ego for not knowing something I didn't know!
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.