Jeannette's 1st-time homebuyers program exceeds 120 new owners
By Kristie Linden
Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The City of Jeannette's first-time homebuyer program will see its 124th successful participant this week as council approves the application of the buyer of an Arlington Avenue home.
The program, which was established years ago, brings about 10 new homeowners to the city each year. Through state Community Development Block Grant funds, the city offers first-time homebuyers up to $3,000 to help with closing and downpayment costs on a home in Jeannette.
The funds are offered through a “matching”payment of up to half of a buyer's downpayment and closing costs. Those costs must exceed $6,000 for the applicant to receive the full benefit of the program. Buyers need to meet certain income guidelines, which change every year. This year, the maximum income for a single person is $36,500 and $52,100 for a family of four.
Residents who rent within the city need to be current on all Jeannette taxes and fees to be considered for the program.
There are no requirements for the type of home a buyer is looking to purchase, but Diana Reitz, the city's community development director, said the home must be structurally sound and livable.
“We want to make sure it's a good investment,” said Reitz. “It has to be a house you can sustain and not an unlivable shack. We do a drive-by and make sure the home is in good condition.”
The program is meant to encourage homeownership and also to encourage more owner-occupied homes within the city.
“The house needs to be owner-occupied for at least five years,” said Reitz. “We put a lien on the property for the amount the buyer receives toward their downpayment. Each year that the owner lives in the house, 20 percent of the lien is removed. If you move earlier than five years, you would need to repay the city a percentage (of the downpayment funds).”
Each year, the city receives around $30,000 from the state Department of Community and Economic Development to use toward this particular program. Those funds can benefit at least 10 new homeowners each year.
“We have slow periods during the year, but we generate more interest depending on the (housing) market,” said Reitz. “If interest rates are good, people will pick up (deals). We're starting to get interest from real estate agents again.”
Initially the program attracted mainly families, but Reitz is seeing an influx of single residents choosing to become homeowners.
“As long as they are income eligible and get the bank's agreement (on a mortgage), they can buy the home of their choosing,” said Reitz.
Any potential homebuyers, or real estate agents, interested in learning more about this program should contact the city's community development department directly at 724-527-4000, ext. 6, to receive the most up-to-date information on requirements and availability of funds.
Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-838-5154.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Enrico part of model train home tour
- Jeannette administrators’ move will save district money, bring in cash