NeighborWorks, when Neighbors Work

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About 3 years ago  I was able to spend a week attending a NeighborWorks community development/stabilization conference and classes.  A few weeks prior, I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd child. I KNEW it would not be easy to attend as all of my pregnancies have been “high risk”, however  “not easy “  was an understatement.  In between violently vomiting (all day “morning sickness”), sharp muscle spasms in my back,  and having a condition which produced excessive  saliva, I was able to network with others dedicated to community development and rebuilding blighted urban areas.  It was one of the most draining and yet- exciting times in my life, especially being that it was held in New Orleans….a city not fully recovered from the Katrina devastation. 

I can not believe that was nearly 3 years ago. Ironically,  like in childbirth the pains and hardship one endures in that time (before and during labor) become a memory, once that which you anticipate has arrived.  Now, it’s just the growing pains.

We have  hundreds of  Non-Profits in the West End of Atlanta and many new businesses come to our NPU seeking support with this status and mission to help rebuild. Most claim to do  community development, or provide homebuyer resources.  Honestly, I have seen very little impact from any agency within my neighborhoods.  Yes, we do have UCDC (University Community Development Corporation) who have successfully participated in the NSP program-  rehabed and resold homes to a few owner occupants. However, the success ratio of these non-profits make it very difficult for me to support them.

 Why are those who have made it their business to redevelop communities limited in their accomplishments? Some will say they are lacking financial resources (grants are limited) and others may be lacking support.  I personally believe the “business” of  community development can not be a 9-5 Mon- Friday business alone.   There were many things I learned during the week in New Orleans,  one thing that resonates throughout my community is that a stabilized safe  neighborhood can not be built without resident involvement.  In our communities, what I do see are  neighbors with no affiliation to anything, nor  “C3’s”   bringing in new residents, orchestrating clean ups, and public safety meetings.

 In that spirit, this January 2013, Area West Realty will  join with  “Committed To Communities” in their event sponsored by The Beltline Team, Invest Atlanta and Wells Fargo Neighborhood Lift on a mission to support our neighbors with their efforts of community development.   During this time, we will showcase available homes,  affordability programs and some of the best features in our communities.  We are making available, the City of Atlanta, bank reps and * RRC for one on one (no-strings-attached) conversations.  We only need YOU

Mark your calendar January 12th for this event. We appreciate our neighbors and will have special “Thank You’s” for YOUR community development efforts.  ( more information to come).

Side Note:

Reynoldstown Revitalization Corporation, or RRC has successfully helped many potential home owners work on their credit, understand the home buying and ownership process.

I  also encourage those in the business, and neighbors NOT in the business,  to invest in additional training at NeighborWorks America.  The information received is priceless, the connections made will change lives.

For information on past Committed to Communities events.

Promoting homeownership through an innovative program

As communities across America work to recover from the housing crisis, Wells Fargo announced the NeighborhoodLIFTSM and CityLIFTSM programs. The Wells Fargo LIFT programs are designed to provide down payment assistance, homebuyer education and homebuyer support in the cities most deeply affected by the crisis. So far the program has been implemented in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Houston, Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Upcoming cities for the program include Memphis, Chicago, Sacramento and Oakland.

The Wells Fargo LIFT programs invest in the future by supporting sustainable homeownership and neighborhood stability. A collaborative effort sponsored by Wells Fargo and local nonprofit organizations, the programs provide:

Down payment assistance for qualified buyers

Financial education to help buyers prepare for homeownership

Events to showcase area homes for sale

A video about the NeighborhoodLIFT program is posted at www.youtube.com/wellsfargo.

Down payment program decoded

Down Payment programs in Atlanta

In Atlanta, Invest Atlanta leads the pack in down payment assistance, in fact other than Georgia Dream, there is no other source for down payment assistance in Atlanta (I excluded NSP funds because you have to buy a NSP house to get those funds).

I have been getting a lot of questions on down payment assistance programs, so here are some of the answers:

Neighborhood Lift:

1) What is it?

This down payment program is funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and NeighborWorks America, and is available through Invest Atlanta. Contrary to popular thinking, the lender does not have to be Wells Fargo. The program will be available for two years, however, it is a first come, first service program.  If the funds run out before the two years are up….I can only say SORRY.

2) How much money can a buyer receive?

Qualified homebuyers can receive up to $15,000.00 to purchase a home.

3) Can the Neighborhood lift program be combined with other down payment assistance programs?

The Neighborhood lift program can be layered with other down payment assistance programs but not with Georgia Dream.

4) Does the money have to be paid back?

As long as the buyer stays in the home for five years, no money has to be paid back.  However, if the buyer moves out of the home before five years a portion of the money must be paid back.  This amount will be based on the amount of time the buyer has lived in the home.

5) Can the home be refinanced to get a lower rate before the five years are up?

The Neighborhood Lift program is the only program Invest Atlanta maintains, that allows refinancing.  Yes, the buyer can refinance to get a lower rate. No cash out refinancing is allowed.

6) Can the Neighborhood Lift program be used with a 203k loan?

Yes, it can but only if you are not layering it with another Invest Atlanta program.

7) Can the homebuyer certificate received for the other Invest Atlanta programs apply towards the Neighborhood lift program?

No, the buyer must take a class specific to the Neighborhood Lift program. You can go to Invest Atlanta website or call me for the list of classes.

I hope I was able to answer your questions on the Neighborhood lift program, if you have more questions about down payment assistance go ahead and call me. if I dont know the answer, I will know where to get the answer.

Vonda Henry., Loan Originatior.

Voice 404.374.3557  Fax 404.806.0073

Equity Loans, LLC  NMLS 170855 G A25313

1150 Hammond Drive Blg. E Ste 650  Atlanta, GA 30328

Attend a new and innovative homebuyer event!!

You may get the help you need to make home ownership a real possibility!!

Find information and support at every turn:
• Get help with your down payment — Apply for down payment assistance grants from local nonprofit organizations, available for a limited time to qualified homebuyers who purchase a home in selected neighborhoods
• Find out if you’re ready to buy a home — Meet one-on-one with professionals to understand the home financing options that may be available
• Prepare for sustainable homeownership —Learn more about finding and financing a home and managing the financial responsibilities of homeownership at Wells Fargo’s video homebuyer education center
• Picture yourself at home — Stop by Wells Fargo’s Affordable Home Tour(SM) viewing center to preview the features and prices of area homes for sale
• See for yourself — Board a neighborhood home tour bus for a free ride to and from homes you’d like to see first-hand

If you have a goal to become a homeowner, you won’t want to miss the Neighborhood LIFT(SM) event, sponsored by Wells Fargo in
collaboration with local non-profit organizations.

Date: February 10-11, 2012
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Location: Georgia World Congress Center, Exhibit Hall B1
285 Andrew Young International Blvd. NW
Atlanta, GA 30313
Free parking in designated lots, see web site for details.
Admission is free!

Plan to spend some worthwhile time discovering the possibilities of homeownership in Atlanta – and find out if it’s right for you.

Register today:
http://www.neighborhoodlift.com
or call 866-858-2151

Kelvin Goodwin

Home Mortgage Consultant, Phone: (404) 257-7988,Cell: (404) 454-7805 kelvin.goodwin@wellsfargo.com-NMLSR ID: 516216

1. The Neighborhood LIFT program is a collaborative program of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Wells Fargo Foundation, and NeighborWorks America,an independent nonprofit organization.
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. © 2011 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. NMLSR ID 399801.