Unemployment: The biggest fear…
One of the biggest reasons that potential home buyers are staying on the sidelines right now is a lack of consumer confidence — I have stated it before on this site numerous times over the past year. And by far the biggest element of consumer confidence? It’s not interest rates, and it’s not home prices. It’s unemployment…and rightfully so. It’s difficult to justify taking on such a significant obligation if you’re uncertain that you’ll be able to pay for it.
Some Peace of Mind for First-Time Buyers…
The California Association of Realtors just announced that it is offering a free (yes, free) Mortgage Protection Plan for first-time buyers. First-time home buyers who lose their jobs due to layoffs may be eligible to receive up to $1,500 per month, for six months, to help make their mortgage payments. What if both of you lose your jobs? A qualified co-buyer also can participate in the program, and receive a monthly benefit of $750 per month for up to six months. Program benefits also include coverage for accidental disability and a $10,000 death benefit.
So a couple buying their first home could conceivably get up to $2,250 worth of their mortgage covered for 6 months while they hunt for a new job. This policy costs the buyer absolutely nothing, and unlike the $8,000 First Time Buyer’s Credit, there are no caps, nor restrictions on benefits based upon your income. Pretty cool…
Who is Eligible?
Eligibility and applying for the plan is pretty straightforward. To qualify for the Mortgage Protection Program, applicants must:
- Be a first-time home buyer – someone who has not owned a home in three or more years.
- Open escrow April 2, 2009, or later, and close on or before Dec. 31, 2009.
- Use a California REALTOR® in the transaction.
- Purchase the property in California.
- Be a W-2 employee (cannot be self-employed)
- To apply for the program, home buyers must request an application for the H.A.F. Mortgage Protection Program from their REALTOR®.
Note the program is available until funds are depleted, or the program is terminated.
The application form which has all of the plan details can be downloaded here:
Now let’s get shopping for a home….
“For First-Time Home Buyers” is a new category on the site that’s a resource for first-time home buyers in San Carlos, and for those who have general real estate questions.
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