Tag Archives: housing

Get a HAND up from Salt Lake City

The city of Salt Lake has several programs to help residents buy or fix their homes. So long as the property is within the Salt Lake City limits, lower income residents can benefit. Run by Housing and Neighborhood Development, there are two main programs Fairpark residents can put to use.

For existing homeowners, repair options are available. Older and disabled homeowners who make less than 80% of the area median income can qualify for free, minor home repairs through the handyman program. Regardless of age or ability, so long as you make less than 80% AMI, homeowners can benefit from the Home Repair Helping-Hands Program. This is a low interest loan that may have deferred payments to help improve a property.

Prospective homeowners can make their monthly payments more affordable through the Welcome Home SLC loan program. This lending program doesn’t require a down payment or mortgage insurance which can save hundreds of dollars a month. It also has a low interest rate of only 3% allowing people with smaller incomes to still buy a home. Buyers need $1,000 of their own money for closing costs and a 620 credit score to qualify.

To get more information on these programs and to apply, visit http://www.slcgov.com/hand/housing-programs or call 801-535-7228.

Zoning Terms Primer

There is a lot of discussion about zoning, but what does it all mean?

Housing terms are often referred to in our discussions and presentations about housing:  Affordable housing, Subsidized housing and Market rate housing. Here you Zoning-Real-Estate-Termcan learn about things such as what “cost burdened” means, the percentage of Salt Lake residents who are cost burdened, how vouchers work, and what market value is.

Affordable housing: Families who pay more than 30 percent of their incomes for housing are considered cost burdened and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care. An estimated 12 million renter and homeowner households now pay more than 50 percent of their annual incomes for housing. A family with one full-time worker earning the minimum wage cannot afford local fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the US. In Salt Lake City, 50% of our renters are cost burdened and 25% of our renters are severely cost burdened (meaning they pay more than 50% of their income on rent).

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The Fairpark Community Real Estate Update

Well, you may have heard, real estate is booming, and has been for quite some time now. We have more qualified buyers than we have inventory to sell, thus the new construction boom has blossomed all over the valley. We have recovered from the worst of the recession, prices have come back up, and here’s the rub: interest rates are still at all-time lows, so with today’s rates (about 4%), at 2007 list prices, buyers can still purchase approximately 30% more home than they could 8 years ago when rates were hovering around 6%. That is a significant advantage.sold

Home owners are now out from under their mortgages with enough room to sell, and buyers have been busily picking up all the decent inventory for several years now. In our Fairpark Community boundaries, we currently have 8 active listings, 6 under contract, 41 homes have sold in the last six months with the top sales price at $269k. In fact, we’ve had 15 homes sell in the past 12 months with sales prices over $200k. Days on market for new listings are currently less than 30 days, and very often, it’s only matter of hours for many homes with multiple offers before going under contract. To say this is a hot market is an understatement.

If you find that your home is not selling, here’s the not-so-secret industry tip: it’s price or condition – and both can be remedied with a price reduction or repairs. It’s very simple. The buyers are speaking loud and clear – they are savvy to the market changes and they know the inventory. Don’t bank on the one buyer who “might” come along and pay you full price – if your home is sitting on the market and not producing an offer, meet with your Realtor and put a game plan together. There is not much worse for your home value than sitting on an over-priced listing for several months. Buyers become anxious that your home has problems and then it becomes stigmatized – everyone remembers “that” house….the one that sat listed for 3 years, etc. Don’t let that be your strategy. Be intent to sell, work with a knowledgeable Realtor, and price your home to move it. No wishful thinking or magical fairy dust will sell an overpriced listing, not even in a sizzling market.

The Fairpark Community is the place to be! We have an extraordinary quality of life, we have fantastic freeway access, and we’re close to everything. So get out and enjoy the trails, the sunshine and our beautiful city – we are so very lucky to live here!!

Brook Bernier is a Fairpark Community resident, Council Board member and is a real estate agent. Brook can be reached at brookbernier at gmail dot com.