First-Time Home Buyer Program Reaches More Than $3 Million in Assistance
Having a home to call your own is a big part of the American Dream; but, the first steps of securing a down payment and finding a lender is a hurdle that many families can’t overcome.
Since 1996, Centre County’s First Time Home Buyer Program has helped 370 home buyers get into their homes with $3 million in assistance for down payments and closing costs.
The numbers were presented by program director Linda Marshall at a recent meeting of the Centre County commissioners. The down payment and closing cost assistance to first time home buyers is in the form of a zero percent deferred loan. The amount of assistance is $10,000, or 10 percent of the purchase price, whichever is less.
Of the 370 mortgages that have been supported by the program, 144 have been in the Nittany Valley region of the county, according to Marshall, which includes Bellefonte, Spring Township and Pleasant Gap.
“You can see a trend in the Bellefonte area because of the level of affordability,” said Marshall. The Centre Region comes in second with 110 houses, followed by Penns Valley (45), Lower Bald Eagle Valley (44), Moshannon Valley (21), Mountain Top (18) and Upper Bald Eagle Valley (18).
“I think that it is neat to see that this doesn’t just serve a specific area of the county, that the assistance is provided throughout the county and helps first time home buyers get into their homes,” said Marshall.
Spring Township and Patton Township are the municipalities with the most assistance provided.
“So if you look at Spring Township, the majority of those are in Pleasant Gap, and in Patton Township, the majority of those are the town homes, which is housing that is more affordable in the Centre Region,” said Marshall.
Marshall said she was appreciative of the many banks and financial institutions that work with the program.
“These folks are just awesome in my books. They are so professional. They work so hard. They are so timely in meeting the needs of first time home buyers. They have to work extra hard because they are filling out our paperwork,” she said.
“It is great when everybody works as a team and we have been able to help 370 families and in 33 of the 35 municipalities in the county,” said commissioner Mark Higgins.
Information about the program is available at www.centrecountypa.gov.