Few taking advantage of DeSoto grant program - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Few taking advantage of DeSoto grant program

By Chip Washington - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

HERNANDO, MS (WMC-TV) - A federal housing grant program geared towards first-time home buyers is off to a slow start in DeSoto County.

Last March, the county was awarded a $250,000 grant under the Home Grant Program, which offers low-income families up to $28,750 dollars to make a first time purchase.

To do that, potential homeowners must follow certain qualification guidelines.

"They have to have never owned a home," said DeSoto County Coordinator Joyce Herring. "They have to have a minimum wage requirement based on income."

The minimum income is $32,400 for a single person, up to $46,250 dollars for a family of four. If you qualify, the money you receive will cover your closing costs and down payment.

It seems like a wonderful opportunity for sixteen potential home buyers, but Herring says there aren't many people taking advantage of it.  

"We've had six applicants so far that are being processed through the mortgage company and MDA, and we've had one applicant that qualified," she said.

Brian Couch, a realtor associate for Bob Leigh and Associates, says while this is niche program, the market has loosened, and for those looking now is a good time.

"I think if people are looking to buy a house and they're not buying right now, that a year from now they may be kicking themselves when they look at where the market was and didn't buy when they had the opportunity," Couch said.

Other grant qualifications include living in the home for at least 10 years, and not renting out the property. Potential applicants can buy homes anywhere in DeSoto County. The program expires in March of 2010.

For more information, call 662.429.1460.

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