The Most Northeastern City in the United States.

HCV Homeownership Q&A

Caribou Municipal Building
25 High St
Caribou, Maine 04736
Lisa Plourde, Executive Director
Sue Ouellette, FSS/Homeownership
Phone: (207) 493-4234
Fax: (207) 376-0178
E-mail: housing@cariboumaine.org

 

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News & Events   

The Caribou Housing Agency has moved!  We are now located on the first floor of the Caribou Municipal Building.

Equal Housing Opportunity

Tips for preparing for homeownership:

• Attend a Homeownership seminar at the Housing Agency.

• Start a savings account.  Even saving a small amount will show a lender that you have been working toward your goal.

• Develop a budget for the whole family.

• Work to improve your credit score and pay off debts.

• Be realistic about the size and type of home that you may be able to afford.

How does the HCV Homeownership Program work?

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) includes a homeownership program. Under the new program, participants who qualify may have their monthly housing assistance payment applied to a mortgage payment rather than rent.

• You may be eligible to participate if:

• You have participated in the HCV program for at least one year

• At least one member of your family works 30 hours per week or more, and your    family earns more than the minimum allowable earned income.  (This amount changes annually.  There are some exceptions for elderly or disabled persons. Participants must have enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan)

• You are in good standing with the HCV program (no program violations or outstanding debts)

• No one in your household has owned a home for the last 3 years.

Will the Housing Agency help me find a house and get a loan?

The Housing Agency can provide counseling, education, and information, but it is your responsibility to qualify for a mortgage and find a home to buy.  Here’s how it works:

• You attend an HCV Homeownership Seminar and one-on-one counseling sessions as needed to learn about the homebuying process.

• If you meet the minimum requirements, we will provide a list of lenders that are familiar with the HCV program, and it is your responsibility to choose a lender and apply for a mortgage. You do not have to choose a lender from the list.

• You and your lender can use the Eligibility Worksheet on our website to review the basic requirements.

• We will give you some house-hunting tips, and you may select a real estate agent and begin searching for a home you can afford.

• We determine your final eligibility  after you find a home to purchase.

How much assistance will I qualify for?

The amount of assistance you would get from the HCV Homeownership Program depends on your income and your total monthly homeownership costs.  In general, the amount of assistance may be similar to what the Housing Agency pays your landlord now as rental assistance.

As part of your homeownership counseling sessions, we will help you estimate the amount of assistance you may receive.

This assistance will be sent directly to you every month.

Your assistance payments would be continually adjusted as your income and housing costs change.

In most cases, your homeownership assistance payments would end after 15 years, or sooner if your income increases so that you are able to afford your entire monthly payment.

How much will I need for a down payment?

The amount of the down payment depends on the price of the home you buy and your lender’s requirements.

You are required to make a down payment of at least 3% of the purchase price.  1% must come from your own savings, and the rest may be a gift from a friend or relative.

You will also be responsible for paying closing costs, which may cost several thousand dollars.

If you participate in the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program, you may use the funds in your escrow account for your down payment if you complete your FSS contract.

What kind of mortgage can I apply for?

If you are participating in the HCV Homeownership program, you must receive a conventional, fixed-rate mortgage from a lender we approve.  Adjustable rate mortgages, balloon payments, and seller financing are not permitted with the HCV Homeownership program.