In an effort to both strengthen distressed urban communities and reward local public servants, HUD launched the Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Program (GNND). This program offers pre-kindergarten through 12th grade teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians the opportunity to purchase a single-family home at 50 percent of the list price, as long as they agree to live in the home for three consecutive years.
How it works:
The GNND program lists single-family homes that are available for purchase through the program. You can check the listings for your state at http://www.hudhomestore.com/Home/Index.aspx. Eligible participants then have five days to purchase the home at half the price. The available properties change on a weekly basis.
If more than one person wants the home, a random lottery determines who will get to purchase the property.
Eligible participants can also apply for an FHA-insured mortgage with a down payment of only $100, and may finance all closing costs, repairs, improvements, appliances, and acquisition expenses. New homeowners must live in the home for three years to take complete advantage of the grant, but after that they are able to sell the home and keep all the profit.
If the home needs updating or repairs, homeowners may use FHA’s 203(K) or the new 203(K) Streamline Mortgage program. This mortgage option allows homeowners to finance both the purchase of the home and any needed repairs or updates to the home.
Eligible teachers, firefighters, law enforcement officers, and emergency medical technicians must use a real estate agent or broker to buy a GNND home. Also, participants of the GNND program are required to sign a second, silent mortgage for the remaining 50 percent of the price, in case the homeowner doesn’t live up to their end of the bargain and moves out early. As long as owners comply with the program’s guidelines, that second, silent loan will never need to be paid.
It’s always a risk to buy in an area of revitalization. The rewards could be huge, if the area improves and prices go up. But there is always the chance that the area could worsen or remain the same.
Committing to three years in one place is difficult for some people. Who knows what the future will hold?
On the whole, this HUD program is a great opportunity for eligible participants, and a boon to both eligible homeowners and blighted communities.
For more information and frequently asked questions, visit http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/sfh/reo/goodn/gnndabot
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