2 programs tempt home buyers with low down payments

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Realtors will tell you now is a great time to buy a house, with interest rates low and enough inventory on the market.

However, many people still feel they just don't have the money to buy.  Perhaps they can't afford the down payment or they don't think committing to 30 years of big payments is possible.

One realtor who makes it her mission to alert buyers and other realtors about two programs available to some buyers right now, says the programs make it a great time to get your feet wet.

George and Linda Miller learned that first hand.

"We were looking for homes but with down payments of $5,000, $10,000 or $12,000 we knew we couldn't come up with that kind of money," George Miller said.

Then Linda's brother told them about a program through Housing and Urban Development.  If they were willing to buy a HUD home, a foreclosed home backed by an FHA loan, they could get in for only $100 down.

Nancy Braun with Showcase Realty explained the program.

"That's the alternative to a sub-prime mortgage situation.  You used to be able to buy with not much down but that's gone away.  If you're interested in a HUD home this $100 down program is an alternative," Braun said.

She holds regular seminars to educate buyers and realtors about programs like this, or like the Good Neighbor Next Door program.  It is for teachers, firefighters, EMT's and police officers and applies to certain homes in certain neighborhoods.

"The trick is the person who buys the home has to live in it and work in the same area," Braun explained.

If they do that for three years, then 50% of the appraised value of the home will be forgiven.  Both programs are aimed at getting people into homes that might otherwise be empty.

"Homes are meant to be lived in.  If they're vacant they are subject to vandalism and other problems.  If you have a home that's lived in it will be cared for," said Braun.

For more information on the seminars she holds or to learn more about these two home buying programs, click here.

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