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January 1-15, 2015

You can afford a brand new home - with HOPE

By Katee McClure

So you think you can’t qualify, or afford, a new home? Think again. The HOPE program is specifically tailored for people with low and very low incomes.
The only problem that the HOPE program is having right now is that they don’t have enough people requesting their assistance for the 12 houses they will be building in 2015.
Imagine this: you get to choose your own land, house plan, flooring, kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, garage and whether you would like the outside of your new home to be stucco or siding.
Sound too good to be true? Well it’s not. In fact it’s ridiculously easy. The HOPE Housing Program is part of the ECHO program in Northern New Mexico. Many people think ECHO (Economic Council Helping Others) is just our regional food bank, but they also have a daycare center in Aztec and, of course, the HOPE program.
The staff at ECHO, and especially Tiffany Keaton, are diligently working to get at least twelve families per year into their own brand new home.
This program works with the applicant every step of the way from initial loan application to finally moving into their very own home.
HOPE is a government subsidized program for rural areas. The areas in San Juan County include: Aztec, Bloomfield, Kirtland, Flora Vista, etc. Just about every town except for Farmington.
Imagine buying your own home with NO money down and incredibly low interest. The average price of a home in the area costs approximately $180,000.00. With a conventional loan your mortgage payment would be upwards of $1,200 dollars per month. With HOPE that same loan would only cost $700 dollars per month!
Most people think they just can’t qualify for a home loan, but with HOPE chances are they might. Again, this program is catered to low income individuals.
The Construction team is there to guide you through the entire process to become a first-time home buyer. According to their website:
Some of the benefits available through ECHO's HOME Construction team are:
Financial counseling
Classes in Financial Literacy & Home Buyer Education
USDA low interest loans
A helping hand to find additional government programs to lower your mortgage
A team to see you through the building process from qualifying for a loan to selecting floor plans, construction and closing on your home.
Also in development is a Post-build Homeowner Maintenance class

The entire process from start to finish takes approximately 5-6 months. Imagine moving into the house of your dreams this summer. The sooner you start the process the better.
According to Sara Kaynor, Executive Director of ECHO, “by buying a home people can start building financial security for their family since homes are your biggest asset. Low income families are fairly mobile, but when they have their own home they build roots in their neighborhood which provides security and stability for their children. The whole program is a phenomenal opportunity.”

For more information and to get started, call Tiffany Keaton at 505-327-9508.




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