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Mortgage Assistance for Hopeful Homeowners

Joy Wicks and her husband aren’t strangers to owning a home. After losing money on their previous homes, she says they’re excited to learn about a new program that will help them get back into one they can afford: “It’s just a struggle to come up with the down payment. Not so much to make the monthly mortgage payments but just having that savings or that money from the homes that we may have lost money on.”

Utahns who find themselves in Wicks’ shoes, along with those hoping to own a home for the first time, may also soon be able to find relief thanks to two new programs developed by the Utah Housing Coalition. President Grant Whitaker explains how it works:

An example would be a current owner who wants to move up but doesn’t have the equity or a previous home owner who sold their home but doesn’t have required savings. This program will have a 320,000 maximum purchase price and will offer second mortgages up to six percent of the first mortgage amount.

The second program is called SCORE. It will offer assistance to buyers with credit scores as low as 620, even if they also have owned a home before. Whitaker says this is 40 points lower than the precedent set over the years.

Here’s an example of who could qualify for that: It could be a young couple seeking to purchase their first home but they haven’t yet built up their credit. Or, a previous home owner - maybe they went through a short sale a few years ago, their back on their feet, they have good employment but, their credit is not quite where it needs to be.

Salt Lake Chamber Chief Economist, Natalie Gochnour, addressed the benefit the programs will bring to the state’s overall economy: “In a state where unemployment was as high was 108,000, we’re down to 76,000. We’re on our way to complete recovery. The final link is for housing to come along and to get construction workers back on the job sites and to make it so there is income and quality of life for all Utahns.”

The Utah Housing Corporation is an independent public corporation that doesn’t use tax dollars. The HomeAgain and Score loan programs begin next week. More information is at the Utah Housing Corporation's website.