This H.E.L.P. program might be helpful to some buyers...
One comment I hear regularly from agents is that they have clients who are able to buy a home but are afraid to do it. The agents remind their clients that this is a great time to buy-that rates and home prices are both low, there are tax benefits or even that tax credits are available (here in California at least). But these buyers are securely perched "on the fence" and don't appear to be budging any time soon.
Most of us are feeling the pinch of the current economy ourselves so we can certainly understand buyers' fears. My guess is that many of them are concerned about the security of their jobs, particularly in areas where unemployment is high.
This week I learned about a tool that might give those folks on the fence a little nudge.
The Homeowner Education and Loan Protection (HELP) Program is offered through the Rainy Day Foundation, a 501(c)3. The HELP Program offers counseling and education to new homeowners that encourages an on time relationship with their lender and a successful long-term home ownership experience.
The HELP Program also includes a Job Loss Protection benefit which protects homeowners if they experience an involuntary loss of employment and qualify for state unemployment benefits. The Program provides up to six months mortgage payments, principal and interest to a maximum of $2,000 per month, during the first 24 months of the loan. The program is underwritten by an insurance company. There is a one time fee of $500 paid at close of escrow. The fee can be paid by anyone EXCEPT the buyer (e. g. seller, agent, family member).
Borrowers who are employed full-time, between the ages of 18 and 66 and U S residents are eligible. Those who are self-employed, aware of a pending layoff, independent contractors or active military are not eligible.
For more information about this program and its benefits to home sellers and buyers, visit http://www.myhelp-connection.com/certification.asp.