As of July 1, select home buyers in Maricopa County can take advantage of the Your Way Home AZ program. An offshoot of the HUD for Home Purchase Assistance project, the state version provides eligible buyers with up to 22% of a home’s purchase price.

The statewide program was developed to assist home buyers purchasing foreclosed homes in select areas, help rehabilitate housing developments, and stabilize neighborhoods. There are eleven community partners, each one with a slightly different program: the state of Arizona; and the cities of Avondale, Chandler, Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix, Surprise and Tucson, and as of July 1st, Maricopa and Pima County.

Maricopa County’s variety involves the acquisition and redevelopment of fifty to one hundred existing abandoned and/or foreclosed upon single-family homes. The homes will be sold to the eligible home buyers for an amount equal to or less than the cost to acquire and redevelop the property. The City of Phoenix uses a different approach. It is assisting buyers of foreclosed homes, townhouses or condominiums with $15,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance.

The assistance is in the form of a deferred second mortgage loan with zero percent interest and no monthly payments, that is forgivable if the homeowner remains in the property for the a specified period of time. The length of that time is based on the amount provided. For example: 5 years for $15,000 or less, 10 years for $15,001 – $40,000, and 15 years for amounts in excess of $40,000.

There are of course both other property and buyer qualification requirements.

Buyer eligibility is based on a variety of factors. Income cannot be greater than 120% of median (by county) and there are debt-to-income ratio requirements. A Home buyer Education Class must also be attended.

Home buyers must purchase a foreclosed one-unit detached single family home, condo or town-home which has been foreclosed or abandoned per HUD definitions. The property must also be used as a primary residence, and the purchase price must be discounted at least 5% from current appraised value.

Although the program states that the home buyer must pay at least a 3% down payment (of which at least 1% must be their own money), the actual requirements imposed by the participating lenders may require higher down payments (e.g., FHA loans with 3.5% down)

A recent news release from Michael Trailor, the Director of the Arizona Department of Housing, encourages “all Arizonans to visit www.yourwayhomeaz.com to determine if they are eligible to participate in the state’s program or one of the other nine county and community programs listed on the Web site,”

At SimplySOLD, we agree that obtaining up to 22% in what is effectively free money towards the purchase of metropolitan Phoenix and Scottsdale area real estate shouldn’t be passed up.