BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Frontline workers could be eligible to buy a home at a deep discount.
If you’re a firefighter, emergency medical technician (EMT), law enforcement officer, or teacher, you could qualify for the Housing and Urban Development’s Good Neighbor Next Door program.
The goal of this program is two-fold. It aims to provide homes to frontline workers at a 50 percent discount while revitalizing communities around the country.
According to USA Today Money, eligible participants can buy homes at 50 percent off the current appraised value.
For example, if a home appraises for $300,000, the buyer will pay $150,000. The other half becomes a “silent” second mortgage that is forgiven after 36 months of living in that home.
There are specific requirements for frontline workers to qualify for this program.
- Firefighters, EMTs, and law enforcement officers must be full-time employees of a government agency. If you work for a privately-owned company, you are not eligible for this discount.
- Educators must teach Pre-k through 12th grade and be employed full-time by a state-accredited public or private school. Support staff members do not qualify.
In order to get the discount, you must buy a home in the community you work in and that house must be listed as your primary residence.
There is an annual certification process to make sure you live at that property for three years. After the 36 months are up, the “silent” second mortgage is forgiven and the homeowner can sell the home and the homeowner keeps all the proceeds.
If you’re interested in the Good Neighbor Next Door Program, you can start by searching for a home you might be interested in.
When a HUD home hits the market, it is only available to people who qualify for the Good Neighbor Next Door program and it’s only available for seven days. After the agency knows you’re interested, it will assign a real estate agent to you and you’ll go from there to get pre-qualified with a mortgage lender. Then, your name gets placed into a lottery.
According to USA TODAY, HUD insists that the odds of winning a home are high and that many homes go unclaimed in the seven-day period. Since you’re going up against a select group of buyers, officials say there are rarely many names in the drawing at the same time.
HUD states on its website that the “number of properties available is limited and the list of available properties changes weekly.”
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