AHFA Thresholds Newsletter: May 2018
AHFA Board of Directors to Meet in June
The AHFA Board of Directors will meet Tuesday June 12, at 11 a.m. in the AFHA offices.
2018 “Your Home. Your Story.” Selfie Contest Underway Now
AHFA launched the “Your Home. Your Story.” Selfie Contest on June 1 to celebrate National Homeownership Month! The contest is open to anyone who has used an AHFA program to buy their home (or who closes on a home in June using an AHFA program).
Snap a selfie and share something about your homebuying story for a chance to win a $500, $250, or $100 Visa gift card. For full contest details and rules, click here. Entries will be accepted until June 30. Good luck!
AAHA Annual Conference: Manager of the Year & Scholarship Recipients Announced
Barbara Butts of Gateway Management, manager of Shellbrooke Pointe Apartments in Fairhope, was announced as AHFA’s 2018 Manager of the Year during the 2018 annual conference of the Alabama Affordable Housing Association (AAHA).
The Manager of the Year award recognizes outstanding management staff at AHFA-funded multifamily housing developments. Nominees are evaluated on tenant relations, experience and education, the complex’s curb appeal, and AHFA program compliance.
Other nominees were:
- T’Arra Brown of Gateway Management, The Park at Rocky Ridge
- Timothy Smith of Olympia Management, Miranda Villas I & II
- Katrina Heard of Arlington Properties, Southampton Villas
- Eddie Williams of Olympia Management, Magnolia Gardens I & II
- Tony Petersen of Olympia Management, Annie Lee Gardens and Lakeview Estates
- Sarah Willis of Gateway Management, Alexander Village, Creekview Village and Applegate
- Linda Bonsall of Sun Belt Management Company, Beaver Cove
- Pamela Hicks of Olympia Management, Cottonwood Estates
Watch for more information on Butts in an upcoming Success Story.
Also at the conference, AAHA announced this year’s scholarship recipients. Seventy academic scholarships were awarded for 2018; 44 were renewals to past scholarship recipients and 26 went to new applicants.
The scholarship program is open to qualified tenants and resident family members living at an AAHA-member apartment complex and to property/divisional management staff of AAHA-member companies and their children. Applicants must be accepted or enrolled in an accredited vocational or technical school, college or university; have at least a “B” average or 3.0 GPA; and meet all other application criteria.
Realtor Spotlight: Amy LaCount, Bone Realty, Gasden
Amy LaCount has a long history of educating her clients about AHFA programs. She began her career in real estate more than 12 years ago and has been with Bone Realty in their Gadsden office since 2012. LaCount is regularly recognized for surpassing sale goals for the area.
Q: How did you hear about AHFA programs?
A: Erika Westcott with First Federal is a trusted lender who I love working with. She told me about the programs, and we have worked together to make many, many homeowner’s dreams happen due in large part to the Step Up Program.
Q: What do you think is the greatest benefit of Step Up?
A: I think the greatest benefit is the fact that people who have good credit and good job history can own a home for less than they’re paying in rent, without having much of a down payment. Having the ability to just essentially include their down payment into their mortgage only increases their payment a few dollars per month, and that is so much easier than trying to save thousands of dollars to pay down at one time. In most cases, even with the down payment added back in, the buyer is still paying less than they would pay in rent for a comparable property. I think AHFA programs are invaluable to so many people and an excellent way to get people into a home and start owning instead of renting!
Q: What do you like most about the Step Up program?
A: The thing I like most is that, obviously, it helps people who don’t have a large down payment, gift of down payment funds, or co-borrower, etc., to be able to purchase a home. I also like the training that goes along with the program that helps buyers understand the process and what they are promising the lender in terms of repayment, etc.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about your job?
A: I absolutely love helping people who never thought they could buy, but who have a steady work history and make a decent living, who just haven’t had the opportunity to really save a good bit of money. It is even more gratifying when they are the first people in their family to own their own home. I also find it rewarding to help people who don’t have a clue when they first call me. They just know they want to buy a house. I like putting the puzzle pieces together for them on what they need to qualify, lenders they need to speak to, how the prequalification process works, and walking them through the process of buying.
Changes to Homeownership Financing Options Effective in May
AHFA has revised the sales price limits for borrowers using a Mortgage Credit Certificate. The maximum home purchase price for a loan with a MCC is $271,165 (borrowers in a target area can buy a home costing as much as $331,423). The revised limits are effective for all MCCs originated on or after May 1.
AHFA updated the interest rate available for Step Up loans reserved on or after May 15.
The rate for FHA loans has increased to 5.00% from 4.50%. The rate for conventional loans has risen to 5.25% from 4.75%.
Birmingham’s Highland Manor Re-Dedicated on May 3
A re-dedication ceremony was held May 3 for Highland Manor, a high-rise apartment complex for senior citizens in Birmingham’s Southside. The 16-story development underwent its first major renovation in more than 30 years.
The property received a new roof, windows, exterior paint, and HVAC and plumbing systems. Each apartment was equipped with new kitchen appliances and bathroom fixtures, and new flooring was installed in common areas. The renovation was funded in part by more than $950,000 in Housing Credits from AHFA.
Outreach & Education
AHFA will be hosting or speaking at the follow events in June:
- June 5 & 6: Mortgage Bankers Association of Alabama Spring Convention 2018
- June 20: Step Up Product Training, offered via WebEx by AHFA
- June 21: Lender Portal Training, offered via WebEx by AHFA
Hurricane Preparedness & Insurance Claim Reminders
As we approach the upcoming 2018 Hurricane Season, ServiSolutions would like to remind you of critical actions you should take if you experience any damage to your home from hurricanes or any other natural disaster.
- Always have easy access to your Insurance Agent’s and/or Insurance Claims contact number
- Call immediately to report any damage that has occurred
- Take immediate measures to protect the property from further damages
- Examples include boarding up blown out windows or tarping damaged roofs
Once your claim is being processed, all checks issued from the insurance company will have ServiSolutions listed as the loss payee, as well as you and possibly your contractor.
In order for ServiSolutions to process these checks, we will collect certain information from you, and we can then provide specific instructions on how the claim will be handled. You can email email@example.com and report the following criteria to help speed up this process:
- Loan #
- Property Address
- Type of Loss (Fire, Wind, Hail, Water, Other)
- Date of Loss
- Amount of Check
- Daytime Contact Number
- Email Address
For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php.
If you would like more information about ServiSolutions’ role in homeowner’s insurance claims, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
AHFA Offices to Close for July Holiday
The AHFA, ServiSolutions, and Hardest Hit Alabama offices will be closed Wednesday, July 4 in observance of the Independence Day holiday.
We will reopen at 8 a.m. on Thursday, July 5.