I was talking with a new client yesterday. He is a 1st time home buyer, so I was explaining all the benefits that are available to low to moderate income level 1st time home buyers. When I left this appointment I thought back, (way back) to when my husband I had bought our 1st home.
We bought a VA REO (real estate owned) for about $26,000. It was in very bad shape. The realtor who had it listed had forgotten about it, and the previous owners had stripped just about everything out of the home. However we were young, energetic, willing and able.
I was pregnant with our daughter at the time. We could not afford to live somewhere else while fixing up the home. My husband was too proud to stay with family. So we lived in the home while renovating. We started with the bathroom, it was partly gutted and we took it the rest of the way. I got to know the people at the corner fast food restaurant very well. As they were open 24 hours (thank God), and you know how many times a pregnant woman has to visit the bathroom.
Next was the kitchen, we gutted that room as well too! While this was happening his father decided to come visit and wanted to stay with us! I had no kitchen but he wanted home cooked meals. So I learned to cook meals in an electric skillet on top of an ironing board! Hamburger helper was wonderful, as it could be prepared in one pan.
There were no programs back then for the 1st time home buyer to help renovate, help with down payments or closing cost or pre-paid's. I think our interest rate on our home was somewhere around 8 or 9 percent.
We sold the home 18 months later for about 55,000. It was a good investment and we were well on our way!
Today, buyers have so much available to them right at their finger tips:
- Inventory of homes is grand
- Prices of home are very affordable
- Closing cost and pre-paid's can be paid by seller, or there are loan programs to assist with this cost.
- Interest rates are very low
The POWER the buyer has in today's market is huge! They also have the power to turn our economy around. As homes sales has a great effect on our economy.
Below are links to affordable housing and 1st time home buyers programs for Grand Rapids, Michigan.
- Garfield Development Corporation......homes already rehabbed and the purchase and rehab program
- Down Payment assistance programs:
- Online application for a MSHDA loan- CHECK OUT TODAYS RATES!
Most of these programs are geared to the 1st time home buyer and have income levels and/or target area's where you can buy a home. However they are worth your time to check them out. You will be a 1st time home buyer only once, so take advantage of these programs while you can.
Let me know if you have any questions or if I can help!