Clackamas first time home buyer assistance loan program


The CHAP Program can lend up to $14,000 to help qualified first-time home-buyers pay for down payment and reasonable closing costs. A CHAP loan is a zero-percent interest deferred-payment loan. Following is more information about how to qualify and apply:

The Buyer must get pre-qualified for primary financing by an Oregon-licensed lender.
The Lender must contact Community Development for a current CHAP application packet.
The Buyer will shop for an eligible property and find an affordable house that is in move in ready condition.
(Use this guide to help you learn how to look for problem areas in a house)
Buyer must submit an accepted offer with required CHAP attachments
For houses built before 1978, a lead disclosure statement.
The Buyer must order and pay for whole house and pest & rot inspection.

The Lender submits a complete application packet to Clackamas County Community Development. The packet must include:
The home inspection report
The pest and dry rot report
A completed CHAP inspection form.

Your loan will take at least 30 days to close from date loan package is submitted to Clackamas County Development

Who is eligible to apply?

  •  “First-time homebuyers”. HUD defines a first-time homebuyer as someone who:
    • has not owned a home during the past 3 years, or
    • is a displaced homemaker, or
    • is a single parent.
  • Be low-income — see chart below.
  • Demonstrate a financial need for CHAP assistance.
  • Be a US citizen, non-citizen national or a qualified alien.

To be a “Qualified Borrower“, the homebuyer must:

  • Have sufficient income to qualify for and support the primary debt.
  • Be pre-qualified by a primary lender.  (Contract sales are not allowed.)
  • Have good credit.
  • Contribute a minimum of $1,000 in cash toward the purchase from the buyer’s own funds. (Does not include items that the buyer paid out-of-pocket, e.g. inspection and appraisal.) Buyers should have at least $2500 cash on hand before beginning a home search to cover earnest money deposit PLUS home inspections and appraisal).

HUD Income Limits for 2014
(Gross Annual)

Number in Household 80% of Median
1 $38,850
2 44,400
3 49,950
4 55,500
5 59,950
6 64,400
7 68,850
8 73,300

To be an “Eligible Property“, the house must:

  • Be located in Clackamas County
  • Have a purchase price at or below:
    • $228,000, and
    • the appraised value
  • Meet the definition of affordable, standard single family housing (a single unit)
  • Meet property standards and pass an inspection by the County
  • Be free of chipped or peeling paint if the house was built before 1978
  • Not be occupied by a tenant (unless the buyer is the tenant)

The CHAP program is funded by a grant from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The program is subject to funding availability. Homes purchased through the CHAP program must be the primary residence of the homebuyer. Other program requirements apply.

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Mortgage financing updates -programs you may not know about

USDA halts acceptance of new applications at least through December 1, 2014 as they ramp up procedures to better handle the workload. USDA loans are $0 down loans for properties in rural areas.

New VA loan program available

The grant is available to veterans or service members who are entitled to compensation for permanent and total service-connected disability. Veterans must be medically and financially feasible for veteran or service member to modify or purchase a home. Property can be single family home, town home, condo or co-op.

Veterans Administration (VA) provides eligible veterans and service members up to the current maximum allowable grant amount of $14,093 to purchase, build or modify an existing home anywhere in the US.

Clackamas county home buyer assistance program (CHAPS)

This is a zero-percent interest deferred-payment loan for up to $14,000 to help qualified first-time homebuyers pay for down payment and reasonable closing costs.

Eligible applicants must meet the HUD definition of a “first-time homebuyer”, meet income limits and demonstrate a financial need. A “Qualified Borrower” must have sufficient income to qualify for and support the primary debt, be pre-qualified by a primary lender (contract sales are not allowed), have good credit and able to contribute $1,000 in cash toward the purchase from their own funds. Click here for all requirements to utilize funding from this program.

HUD Median Income Limits: 80%

  • Property must be located in Clackamas County, Oregon.
  • The sales price cannot exceed $ 228,000.
  • Allowable property types: Single family housing that meets property standards and passes inspection. (Note: Fixer properties are not eligible)

For more loan programs that may meet your unique needs, please check at the Home ownership opportunities website, as programs will change frequently as funding is approved or runs out in specific areas and programs.

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Millennial generation chooses Portland

biking in OregonBy 2012, metro Portland had 34,545 more 25-to-34 year-olds with bachelor’s degrees than it did in 2000. That’s a 37% increase as compared to other cities such as New York with only a 25% increase.

Portland is succeeding in attracting Millennials in large part because the long-term plans for this city aligns with what these young people prize today. Millennials are probably are drawn here because they covet the easy access to nature, the emphasis on communal assets such as parks, public transit, tool shares, co-op living, community gardens, ride share, zip cars, and more. A huge percentage of Generation X folks do not own cars, and really have no desire to own one. The cost of car ownership is just one factor. Perhaps equally important is the effect on the environment and the easy access to public or shared transportation.

For the most part, the Millenials are very environmentally and technology oriented. They are looking for cities that support their life styles. Portland is very happy to have so many millennials choosing this city and is going out of the way to keep them here.

Other cities in the top 5 destinations include Austin, Seattle, and the Twin Cities in Minneapolis. This is very significant because developers pay attention to this type of statistic, so these cities are likely to see the most new housing development in 2014.

It should be noted that according to CBS news  developers are ramping up plans for more single family homes than apartment, condo or town-home development in the next few years. But they are looking more at “walkable communities” than more suburban areas.

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Where have all the bargain priced homes gone?

UntitledThe above graphic clearly shows that distressed homes (both short sales and bank owned homes) have almost disappeared from the Portland metro housing market scene.

In 2011-2012, distressed homes dominated the listings and banks were selling these homes at bargain prices to unload their excessive inventories. Buyers who got into these markets have already seen their home values rise, some as much as 20%-30%, especially if they purchased fixers. As most of you know, competition for these bargains was fierce.

Fast forward to 2014 and with relatively few distressed properties to unload, banks are no longer pricing distressed properties at bargain prices. Yes, there are still a few good deals out there, but for the most part, lenders are now pricing distressed properties at very close to real market value, because they can. There are still plenty of buyers out there looking for lower priced homes, but investors and flippers need to focus on neighborhoods in the outer east or west neighborhoods, or in higher end neighborhoods where they might have to pay more for a fixer, but the return on investment can be greater as well. Those properties that are priced very low relative to area values are usually major fixers so often require either for cash or rehab financing.

The good news is that for those who are looking for a residence to live in, buying a fixer in these neighborhoods can present a great opportunity. The actual cost to renovate a home tends to be less than buying a home that an investor has purchased and fixed up. Otherwise, why would anyone get into flipping homes? And the other advantage of course, is that when you do the renovations yourself, you are upgrading the home to meet your needs and your style and building instant equity at the same time.

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Tips for sellers in a hot housing market – staging your home results in better offers

During a hot housing market, the homes that sell the most quickly are those that are priced right for the market and are move in ready. In the Portland metro area, this is as true for high end homes as those priced under $300,000. While most buyers will ultimately make changes to their homes, most people want to be able to move right in, and make those changes at their leisure. So, if your carpet needs replacing, your walls are painted wild colors, or your dishwasher doesn’t work; fix anything that obviously needs fixing before you list your house if you can.

The first step in selling your home is to let all emotional attachments to the home go. You have to start looking at your “home” as a marketable commodity. Selling your house should make you money so you can move on. So get ready to take whatever steps are necessary to make the most money you can.

Staging your house – is it really necessary?

staging brings offers

Staging your home for sale DOES matter. According to the Real Estate Staging Association, professionally listed staged properties simply look better; spend 73% less time on the market; typically sell for more money; end up on buyers’ “must see” lists; are viewed as “well-maintained;” and have fewer concessions requested of the seller.

No need to hire a professional home stager to get your home ready to sell.

Here are some no/low cost tips to preparing your house before the first buyer arrives:

1. De-clutter and de-personalize. You don’t want buyers looking at your things rather than your house. Potential buyers should be able to navigate around your house easily and freely. Too much furniture, too many photos, etc will all detract from your home. Place furniture where it will show your house off to its best advantage and make the rooms look as big as you can. Put excess furniture and decor into storage.

2. Paint your front door to accentuate the entry.

3. Have your carpet cleaned if it does not need replacing.

4. Clean your house thoroughly and have a neighbor visit to make sure there are no lingering odors (such as pet odors, cooking odors, etc.) This is a major turn off for potential buyers.

5. Before a showing, put some vanilla in a shallow dish in the oven to make your house smell like cookies are baking.

6. Replace or remove old or dated window coverings. Clean the windows and open all the shades and blinds to allow as much light into the home as possible.

7. Polish furniture – if your furniture looks shabby, some buyers might wonder if you are careless about maintaining your home.

8. Clear out your closets. Show off your storage space. Yes, buyers do open closet doors all over the house.

9. Update lighting fixtures – and turn on the lights, especially on dark winter days.

Houses that sit on the market for prolonged periods of time will usually receive low-ball offers, if any offers at all. Most people tend to wonder why a house is not selling and usually believe there is something really wrong, or that the house is very over-priced.

Some sellers will offer “carpet allowance” or other types of upgrade allowances but it is important to remember that many buyers want to move in immediately, and/or will tend to over-estimate the cost of repairs needed. Better to replace that worn carpet than to offer an allowance. Many carpet businesses will be willing to wait for their money until your transaction closes and be paid directly out of the sales proceeds.

Even better yet is to replace worn carpet with high end laminate floors, bamboo or hardwoods. It seems the majority of buyers out there prefer hardwood floors to carpet, and this will increase the home value more than new carpeting in any event.

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Sellers market returns as buyers look to cash in on low rates

real estate sold sign for newsletterIn the last newsletter, we discussed the upcoming home buyer surge that the MBA (Mortgage Bankers Association) forecast for late this year and into early 2015. Unfortunately, this surge is already upon us here in the Portland metro area. It actually began in late October. In fact, many realtors® are reporting receiving multiple offers on the same day that properties go live or post price reductions on MLS.

For you as buyers, we’ve seen this before. Lots of frustration if you are unable to go view a property that really has your interest the day you learn it is listed. And, if you are lucky enough to see the property, those competing offers often drive the price higher than the initial asking price. The ramifications of this type of “buyer frenzy” WILL definitely drive home values up, at least for the short term, and will again price many buyers out of the market they were looking to buy in.

My best advice for handling this huge increase in buyers and resulting home sales is to try to get out to see a property the day it is listed, if at all possible. Even when multiple offers are submitted, this will insure that your offer is one of those considered. Once offers are presented to a seller, the seller is obligated to respond, usually within 24 hours, so you could lose the opportunity to even view the property, never-mind make an offer if you wait.

Many of you have asked if you can go see a house that went pending before you had a chance to view it, just in case the deal falls through. The answer is “sorry, but no.” I can actually lose my license or be heavily fined for showing you a home that is already pending, so your frustration as buyers is shared by all realtors who have to work doubly hard just to make sure that we check on any property you want to view to make sure there are no offers already on the table.

It’s crazy out there, but the good news is that new homes are being listed everyday. So keep an eye on your email as new listings are sent out (if you are set up on RMLS with me) as often as 6 times a day! You will be among the first to know when new listings hit the market which will give you the best chance to be among the first to view the home.


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Mortgage Bankers Association Predicts a new surge in home buying

Portland metro homeAfter a slowdown in home buying for the last couple months, those still looking to purchase a home should brace themselves for increased competition in the housing market. With mortgage rates hovering around the 4% mark for most loan programs, and unemployment rates on the decline, the Mortgage Bankers Association has recently predicted that 2015 will see a 15% increase in new mortgages in 2015, most of those in the form of new home loans as opposed to refinances.As mentioned in my last newsletter, mortgage rates are tied to the 10 year treasury bond yield, currently at 2.3191%. As long as that yield remains below 3%, which is predicted for the rest of 2014 and early 2015, mortgage rates will remain very attractive to most buyers.“The unemployment rate is anticipated to fall to 5.4% by the end of 2015 and down to 5.2% by 2016. More people holding jobs translates into more home buyers.”
More of this story can be found at Market Watch


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