Home owning dreams become reality

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 11, 2002

The dream of home ownership took a giant step closer to becoming a reality for 50 Selma families today thanks to an innovative new mortgage program designed to convert public housing rental units into private homes.

The project is the result of a $2 million initiative involving the Alabama Housing Finance Authority, The Peoples Bank and Trust, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Fannie Mae, the nation’s largest source of financing for home mortgages.

The project makes 50 existing rental units in the Wilkinson Homes Subdivision available for purchase with special financing.

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Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. was equally enthusiastic about the program.

A special $2 million underwriting venture from Fannie Mae requires prospective homeowners to contribute only 1 percent of the purchase price toward the down payment and closing costs. Down payment assistance is available through the AHFA.

Fannie Mae, in turn, has committed to purchase eligible mortgage loans originated by Peoples Bank and Trust. Mortgage rates are currently just over 6 percent for a traditional 30-year loan.

Located off Rangedale Road, Wilkinson Homes subdivision consists of 50 one-story brick homes, including two-, three- and four-bedroom units with base sales price ranging from $30,000 to $43,000. Amenities include washer and dryer connections, kitchen appliances, and a community center and park.

To be eligible, borrowers’ income cannot exceed 115 percent of the area median of $38,410.

The Selma Housing Authority is making the homes available at 20 percent below their appraised value. That, coupled with the down payment assistance, is intended to keep the payments affordable and make it easier to qualify.