Have you always dreamed of owning your own home, but just couldn’t make the finances work? Self-Help Homeownership may be the answer. This national program uses USDA 502 Direct Loans to assist families in constructing their own homes and communities. Mountain Housing Opportunities, Inc. (MHO) is planning to begin construction on a Self-Help Homeownership community in Swannanoa this fall.
Each family in the program works about 20 hours a week to help build the houses in the community. The family’s labor serves as “sweat equity,” and becomes the down payment on the house, meaning that families have instant equity in their home and are not required to put any money down at closing! The mortgage interest rate is no more than 3.75%, and can be as low as 1% for families that qualify for subsidies. The construction process takes about a year, and MHO works with and supports the families from start to finish ~ from recruitment, to construction, to completion.
The major eligibility requirement is income. Families need to make below 80% of the Average Median Income (AMI) for Buncombe County. For a family of 4, that means making less than $44,800 gross income annually. Besides income, MHO also looks at debt, employment history, and credit to determine applicant eligibility.
The Self-Help Homeownership community will be located off Dennis Street, just past the new Habitat for Humanity development. The first group of homeowners will begin construction in fall 2014, and a second group will begin in fall 2015. MHO is looking for qualified applicants now! If you or someone you know might be interested, please contact Emma Topor, MHO’s Self-Help Program Specialist, at 254-4030, ext.122.