Saturday, February 14, 2009

Details On The "Jordan Advantage" Homebuyer Incentive, Other Housing Progress

The Jordan Neighborhood's new board got right down to business in its first "normal" meeting for a few months, with no power struggles, no ejections of disruptive individuals, no fist fights, etc. It wasn't a very exciting meeting, and I said so during public comment. A member of the board replied something like...

...they were glad to have disappointed me.

So here are the details on that homebuyer incentive program. First of all, it should be noted this program has been in the works for a while. Chair Kip Browne said something to the effect he'd advocated for a program like this, previously, but the program could never get approval from the previous executive board. Under the new board--with all members of the "Old Majority" absent in an apparent de facto boycott of the meeting--the "Jordan Advantage" program sailed through on a unanimous vote. It was a watershed moment in the history of Jordan.

So here's what's in the program: It will provide FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS in down payment, entry and closing costs for individuals who purchase vacant, boarded or foreclosed properties in the Jordan neighborhood FOR USE AS A HOME. Fifty thousand dollars has been set aside for this purpose. The program will be administered through Neighborhood Housing Services of Minneapolis. The program will follow the same guidelines as the Minneapolis Advantage Program, except for the income guidelines. There will be no restriction on income to access these funds. The funds can be used with or without accessing the Minneapolis Advantage Program.

In other motions, the "exterior improvements program" was expanded to include all three of Jordan's redevelopment "cluster projects," that being Cottage Park, (right near the JACC office) the 27th and Penn cluster and the James and 25th cluster. Again, this will be administered through NHS.

Also, the Housing Committee has now been renamed. It will now be the "Housing and Development Committee" to be more reflective of the work this committee is doing and will continue to do.

The committee also approved a letter of support for business owner Daryl Weivoda, who is trying to get a variance or other waiver of Sewer Access Charges.

In a minor, tangential note, this business owner's name is pronounced like Why-voe-dah. Back in the late 1980s, when I went to college in Moorhead, Minnesota, there were constant television and radio commercials featuring the "Weivoda Carpet Girl" with a distinctive, high-pitched, energetic voice. My roommate, A.J. Anderson The Third, was romantically obsessed with the "Weivoda Carpet Girl" and received a lot of razzing from me and my other roommate, Norm.

How can you forget a name like that? And whatever happened to the "Weivoda Carpet Girl?" Anyway...

The Jordan Neighborhood is moving ahead, and the new "Jordan Advantage" program is big news. It may take a few weeks or months for the program to be up and running, based on what I've observed with "Hawthorne Advantage," but this step represents major progress by the "New Majority."


Anonymous said...

actually it sailed thru on a Unanimous vote - but my comment will be anonymous

Anonymous said...

Can you clarify:
What is considered an "entry" cost? I don't think I have ever heard that term associated with buying a house.
A "foreclosure?"
Does that cover a house regardless of whether a bank owns it or if it is bank owned but, in redemption status? Would the assistance apply if the house is still owned by an individual but, legal proceedings to foreclose have begun?

Johnny Northside said...

To the first poster: Yes, of course, I meant to write "unanimous" not "anonymous," so I have gone into the text and corrected accordingly.

To the second poster. I don't know what "entry" cost means, either. As for the second part of your question...I think if the house is in redemption status and a buyer gets it on a "short sale," that still counts for purposes of that buyer being eligible for the program, but you should check this with the folks administering the program. If you find out something definitive, it would be great if you could come back and write a comment to inform us.

Jeff Skrenes said...

Mortgage geek to the rescue!

"Entry Cost" is not, to my knowledge, a mortgage term that means the same thing to every institution, but it's generally a self-explanatory term for the various costs needed to be paid in order to purchase a home. Here's a basic rundown of some of those costs:

Downpayment: The difference between your loan amount and the purchase price. If the house sells for $50,000 and your loan is $45,000, your downpayment is $5,000. Simple enough.

Closing costs: Costs charged by your lender to review your application and close on your loan. Typically these include lender, appraiser, inspection, and title fees.

Pre-paids: Money needed to start paying taxes and insurance. When you include taxes and insurance in part of your monthly payment (I recommend this) you need to pay 12-15 months of insurance up front and 3-9 months of taxes up front.

These are what would most commonly be defined as "Entry Costs." In today's market, however, many homes might need repairs in order to be brought up to code or up to a standard where a bank will lend money with the house as collateral. Whenever receiving entry cost assistance, check to see if the assistance can be used to address repairs that need to be done prior to the closing on the loan.