The Cleveland Restoration Society Heritage Home Program is offering new 1.4% fixed rate home improvement loans. Besides partnering with Key Bank, they have added First Federal of Lakewood and are offering loans up to10 years to owners of owner-occupied residences. They will also offer a 2% fixed rate on loans up to 20 years.
There are 213 houses in Woodmere that are more than 50 years old. The cost to Woodmere homeowners participating in the Program in 2013 is a relatively modest $100.00 per year – just 47¢ per house.
A study by CSU found that homeowners who participated in the Program had a disproportional increase in value. Also, CSU found that homeowners of houses that participated in the Program stayed in their houses disproportionally longer than other homeowners. The Program increases housing values and increases neighborhood stability.
Thomas A. Jorgensen of the Heritage Home Program is willing to make a presentation to the Woodmere Council. Here are the fine points of the Program:
- Interest rates has been lowered to 1.4% per year for owner-occupied residents, and 2.0% for non-owner-occupied residencies. These are fixed rates for loans up to 10 years.
- Fees to homeowners are zero for loans under $10,000.00 and 1% for loans from $10,000.00 to $25,000.00.
- Escrow fees are $200.00.
- The Program is open to all houses which are 50 years old or older.
- Restrictions have been loosened on homes that have previously had inappropriate changes made.
- Marketing efforts have been increased to include a direct mailing to every owner of a house which is 50 years old or older, and inserting graphic promotional pieces in newsletters, magazines, and newspapers.
- A separate Heritage Home Program™ website has been set up and can be branded by each city. The Program here would be known as the Woodmere Heritage Home Program™ – www.heritagehomeprogram.org.
Features of the Program
- The homeowner receives free technical assistance with any maintenance, repair or rehab questions.
- The structure must be zoned residential, and not involve more than 3 residential units.
- The project must either maintain or improve the property consistent with its architecture and design – a “do no harm” philosophy.
- The owner of the home need not reside in it, but the best possible interest rate would be 2%.
- There is no income limit for the homeowner.
- The homeowner will have to meet Key Bank or FFL’s credit requirements, and after the project is done, there will need to be adequate equity in the home to be good security for the loan.
- Key Bank and FFL will lend up to at least 90% of the after-rehab appraised value of the property (minus any existing mortgage loans).
- The Program cannot fund loans on properties with a value over $750,000.00
- The Program cannot fund luxury items such as hot tubs or swimming pools.