HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - It’s no secret the Rocket City is on track to become the largest city in Alabama.
Of course this means with a booming population, houses are getting harder to find, especially more affordable ones.
We’re on your side to tell you about a program helping first time home buyers in Huntsville get over one hurdle.
The city of Huntsville has been offering the down payment assistance program for around 15 years.
The dollars come from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
But not everyone knows about it.
Here’s how it works: For an existing home, if the first time home buyer makes $48.000 a year or less, and the home sells for $170,000 or less, they can qualify for a loan of $7,500.
The cap for new construction is $229,000, with up to $10,000 for the down payment.
If they stay in the home for at least five years, they don’t have to pay it back.
“Whenever you have the resources to support the mortgage, but your barrier may be the down payment that is required, then we can provide you with that assistance to achieve that home ownership,” Scott Erwin said.
Scott Erwin is the Director of Community Development for the city of Huntsville. He says it’s a great way for first time home buyers to get started.
“We have helped literally hundreds over the years,” he added.
The help is there, but what about the homes?
According to the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors, currently only 12 homes in Huntsville city limits would qualify.
“I think that number will increase. In spring normally, traditionally we see that more homes come on the market in spring. Kids maybe, moving whatever to keep from uprooting them during the school year,” HAAR president Zelda Friedman said.
“Don’t give up. If you’re looking for a home, it may seem challenging and it’s overwhelming because you’ve never done this before. And there’s a lot of moving parts to buying a home and that’s why you need a realtor to help you with those,” she said.
Another thing, the homes have to be up to all safety codes to be eligible.