Lady fears she could lose her residence as a consequence of backlog confusion with Houston Homebuyer Help program
HOUSTON Much has been said about the problems of potential homebuyers in a market that gives preference to sellers.
Cash deals often outbid bank loans and, in some cases, for a dollar amount greater than the estimated value of the home. Some Houstonians said the housing shortage meant they had to postpone their dream.
Crystal Medina, a single mother, is slated to close her first home on July 6th. Unfortunately, this can’t happen as the money Medina is hoping to get from a city-administered program is unlikely to arrive on time.
Medina said she applied for the Harvey Homebuyer Assistance Program in the city of Houston in June.
“They promise up to $ 30.00 to cover closing costs and down payment,” Medina said.
The program, which started in late 2018, has helped 259 Houstoners with start-up capital to buy a home, according to the city.
“Our help is an interest-free, forgivable loan secured by a lien. The loan is fulfilled if the buyer lives in the apartment for five years, ”says a description of the program on the city’s website.
The program aims to get an applicant to begin completing their application and be approved for a home within eight weeks.
“However, I called four weeks after submitting my application to follow up because I had not received any information and they told me the agency was months behind in processing the applications,” said Medina.
Medina said she asked her agent Vanda Crossley for advice.
“There are too many delays,” said Crossley.
Crossley called on some of her fellow agents for advice. They suggested calling the city. Crossley agreed and contacted the city, which got in touch with her on Thursday.
The email correspondence received from KPRC 2 confirms that a representative reached out to Medina on Thursday to inform them that their application was being processed.
Medina made an offer for the home before receiving confirmation of the aid program. Both the city and Crossley advise against it, but Medina said she felt stuck.
“There are deals being made on houses … cash deals at $ 10,000 above the asking price,” Medina said.
Crossley said this has created a dilemma for many of their customers – people who have saved thousands but are left out of the market.
“When you finance, a lot of people want cash. They want cash to shut down, they don’t want to deal with funding, FHA, not even conventional means, “Crossley said.
In a statement, Jean Gould, deputy deputy director of policy and communications for the city’s housing and community development department, admitted the backlog by saying the high demand was to blame.
“We aim to get applicants through our process in less than 8 weeks – from submitting full applications to transferring funds. Throughout the process, we emphasize applicants not to sign a contract for their future apartments until they have received a conditional letter of approval from us, ”wrote Gould.
It is unclear whether Medina’s application will be approved in time for closing, which is scheduled for July 6th. Medina has asked the seller for an extension but if money speaks her request may not be heard.
She said she understood, but she just wants to provide a home for her 6 year old daughter Macey.
“She’s never had the opportunity to have her own room and it’s just me and her,” said Medina.
A GoFundMe account was set up for Medina in order to have the necessary funds on the day of graduation.
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