The future of charitable down payment assistance programs has faced several challenges over the last months, but thanks to recent legislation adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives in September 2007, such programs are still here and still helping first-time, repeat, and low-income home buyers finance the home of their dreams. Several of those programs have been offered by AmeriDream, Inc. since 1999.
AmeriDream, Inc. is a non-profit charitable organization, recognized as tax-exempt, that provides down payment assistance in the form of gift funds to homebuyers. The organization founded itself “on the basic premise that real estate represents the foundation for building strong communities and individual prosperity in this country.” Since founding, AmeriDream, Inc. has helped over 350,000 buyers and sellers purchase and sell homes, many for the first time. Because of those transactions, AmeriDream has given more than $400 million in down payment gifts to homebuyers nationwide, which has translated into more than $14 billion in home sales. Different than all other downpayment gift program providers, AmeriDream is the only organization that provides down payment gifts as well as a 5-year mortgage payment protection program. Because AmeriDream recognizes that years 2-5 of home ownership are the most perilous for homeowners to default, AmeriDream’s 5-year program provides up to nine total months of protection in case of involuntary unemployment or disability.
The way it works. Buyers do not have to be first-time homebuyers, and can purchase new or resale homes, as long as they occupy the home upon close of escrow. Borrowers who qualify for a loan that allows gift funds, and who purchase a home enrolled in the AmeriDream program, may receive up to 10% of the contract sales price (although typical gifts range between 3% and 6%) from the seller payable towards their down payment or closing costs. Once it is given, there is no lien, silent second, or second mortgage placed on the property to repay the gift. It is truly a gift! Sellers of homes priced up to approximately $262,000 in the Maricopa and Pinal Counties of Arizona only pay the agreed upon gift amount plus a $375 processing fee.
For more information about the AmeriDream Down Payment Assistance Program, visit www.AmeriDream.org, or contact The Hill Group.
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