Many of us want to take part in that great American dream of home ownership, but we never take the first step toward purchasing a home. Maybe we are afraid our credit isn’t good enough, or perhaps the thought of coming up with a sizable down payment stops us in our tracks.
If this sounds like you, don’t give up hope! There is an organization called Down Payment Resource that wants to help you with your dream of owning a home. RewardExpert recently had the pleasure of speaking with Tracey Shell, Vice President, Director of Marketing Communications for Down Payment Resource.
Connecting the Dots
Down Payment Resource was founded in 2008 by CEO Rob Chrane. Shell explains that he created the organization, “to solve a long-standing problem in the real estate and mortgage lending industry–how to more easily and efficiently connect eligible for-sale properties and buyers to hard-to-find resources including down payment programs, grants, tax credits and other assistance.”
In essence, they act as the middle-man, helping potential buyers find the resources and help they need to take the final steps toward home ownership. They also assist realtors by finding qualified buyers, and lenders get matched up with people looking to buy.
“The company tracks approximately 2,500 homeownership programs through its housing finance agency partners,” said Shell. “DPR is the nation’s only database of homeownership programs and software that automates the process of matching eligible buyers and properties to available programs.”
Helping People With What Matters
According to Shell, homebuyers who use DPR find, on average, eight sources of down payment assistance, and the most commonly found benefit amount is $10,000. So, why don’t more people buy homes these days?
Shell explains that, “a report out from Urban Institute found that only 23% of consumers are familiar with low down payment programs, 40% say they do not know how much of a down payment lenders expect and another 30% erroneously believe that lenders expect 20% or more.”
The programs that DPR connects people to are located across the U.S. “Unfortunately, more new buyers–those who don’t have equity from a prior sale to fund their down payment–are leaving money on the table because they don’t know about the homeownership programs available in every community.”
How much money? Like most things in real estate, it’s all about location. “In New York City, for example, the report found that, on average, homebuyers were eligible for eight homeownership programs with an average assistance of $13,484,” explained Shell.
She went on to say that, “while homes today are still affordable, rising interest rates and home prices are preventing many buyers from saving for their down payment and getting into a home. Plus, ignorance about down payment options has kept renters from buying homes, especially where smaller down payments make buying a home cheaper than renting. Urban’s report concluded that the industry needs to increase these programs’ visibility and ensure borrowers in mortgage transaction know about assistance they could be getting.”
The Future of the Market
Shell goes on to explain how “first-time homebuyers are the future of the market, but they’ve been sidelined for years. We know they want to buy–the aspirational goal is still intact. They simply need to see a path forward.”
“Down Payment Resource offers tools that help agents and lenders find a way to efficiently match buyers to available down payment help that may help them buy a home sooner than they would otherwise. DPR’s tools provide agents and lenders with up-to-date, accurate information about these valuable programs so they can start more homebuyer conversations.”
To learn more about how Down Payment Resource can help you, visit www.downpaymentresource.com.