WADSWORTH: Looking for a house?
The city wants you to consider a foreclosed or vacant property and is opening its checkbook to make it more enticing.
The city has federal money available through its Neighborhood Stabilization Program that will pay qualified applicants up to $8,000 in down-payment assistance and up to $35,000 in additional money for rehabilitation costs.
Wadsworth might be the first community in the state to offer such down-payment assistance, city officials said.
The program is geared to help home buyers who qualify for private-lender financing but who don't have enough money for the down payment and repair costs.
The city of Wadsworth was
allocated $240,000 from a total of $2.8 million that also went to Medina, Wooster and Brunswick for housing in Medina and Wayne counties.
The other cities favored a more traditional approach: using the money to purchase, restore and resell foreclosed properties.
Either way, all applicants have to qualify for a home loan through a private lender.
The city's Neighborhood Stabilization Program was started to help bring foreclosed homes back to the market and eliminate abandoned properties. Officials estimate there are about 300 foreclosed or vacant homes in Wadsworth.
''It's on a first-come, first-serve basis,'' city Planning Director Jeff Kaiser said of the funding program. ''And you have to live in the home. It isn't for people trying to renovate the properties to rent them out.''
Applicants don't have to be current residents of the city to qualify, but there are some requirements:
• The house must be located in the city's target area.
• The house must be a foreclosed property or vacant more than 90 days.
• Buyers must attend home-buyer counseling, paid for by NSP funds.
The buyer's family income cannot exceed $54,450 for a family of one and no more than $102,650 for a family size of eight.
The median home cost in Wadsworth is $145,500. Home values have fallen about 8 percent in the past year.
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program is an offshoot of the 2008 Housing and Economic Recovery Act, which provided stimulus dollars. The federal government gave HUD money to help communities deal with the rising number of foreclosedand vacant properties.
HUD, in turn, gave the money to the state's Department of Development, which then passed the money onto the counties.
Leftover funds can be transferred within the region.
Kaiser said Wadsworth has applied for any spillover money that other cities don't spend.
Specific guidelines, a map of the designated areas to buy and applications are available on the city's Web site, http://www.wadsworthcity.com.
Direct additional questions to George Zokle, NSP program administrator, at 330-746-1200.
Marilyn Miller can be reached at 330-996-3098 or email@example.com.