Summer is the season of house hunting, including those looking to purchase their first home. However, with ever stricter guidelines at traditional lenders, many financially secure potential homebuyers are finding themselves denied mortgages.
In response, the nonprofit Affordable Housing Resources, Inc. created and launched the Non-Qualified First Mortgage Loan this year to help those who may have higher debt ratios and lower credit scores. As with all mortgages, borrowers must demonstrate stability and the ability to repay.
For more than 25 years, Affordable Housing Resources has helped low- and moderate-income families and individuals achieve homeownership.
“Following the housing crisis, regulators and lenders understandably tightened lending requirements,” said Eddie Latimer, CEO of Affordable Housing Resources. “But the pendulum has now swung so far in that direction that it is preventing responsible people from getting a 30 year, fixed rate mortgage. They are being kept from buying their first home, an important rung in the economic ladder.”
John Wheatley of Donelson was one of the first recipients of a Non-Qualified First Mortgage Loan from Affordable Housing Resources. After months of searching for the right house, Wheatley found the right one and put in an offer. However, an underwriter rejected his loan, so he came to Affordable Housing Resources, which worked with existing documents. In just over two weeks, Wheatley was able to close on his first home.
“Affordable Housing Resources is extremely professional and they handled everything in a very timely manner,” said Wheatley. “I wouldn’t have been able to get this house if it wasn’t for them.”
Borrowers must show a two-year history of employment. Self-employed borrowers also are eligible with proven two-year work history and a year-to-date profit/loss report. As part of the program, borrowers must attend an eight-hour homebuyer education course, offered in a one-day or a two-day format. The course covers critical information and important considerations for successful homeownership. If a borrower becomes 45 days delinquent, one-on-one financial counseling is required.
“Homeownership is within reach of more people than realize it but it requires knowledge in addition to financial resources,” said Latimer. “We’ve designed the First Mortgage Loan to provide both, giving the foundation needed for the financial success that can come through owning your home.”
Loans are fixed-rate with terms up to 30 years. The property, including eligible condominiums, must be the principal residence for the owner. A minimum borrower contribution of one percent is required for the down payment and closing costs. The remaining two percent down payment may be sourced from personal gifts, grants or gifts from a qualified entity and/or employer assistance gift letter.
Potential homeowners can learn more and apply for the First Mortgage Loan through Affordable Housing Resources by calling 615-251-0025 or visiting .