Housing Help

Gimme Shelter

Housing–what a nightmare. That is, at least if you’re on the outside looking in. If you bought into this region before the boom times hit–in which 30 percent annual increases in the cost of a new home are common–then you’re racking up the equity. Yup, housing costs are going faster than a dry shake roof after being targeted by a bottle rocket on the Fourth of July. But don’t despair entirely. There’s always an overpriced chicken coop out there somewhere for you and the kids. Or maybe a condo. And there is help–however slim. Now don’t you regret spending all that cash on the high life back in the ’80s?

California Department of Real Estate This licensing agency handles complaints about real estate brokers, sales agents, and mortgage brokers. 415/904-5925.

Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) The agency provides information about residential mortgages. affordable housing, and local lenders. www.homepath.com

California Finance Housing Agency Loans The CHFA administers several loan programs designed to assist low-income individuals, including the CHFA resale program, sponsored by the state of California and funded through bonds sold by the CHFA. Loans at rates typically a point or so below market rates are available to first-time home buyers. CHFA, 1121 L. St., Seventh Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814. 916/322-3991.

Cal-Vet Loans For first-time buyers, these loans are generally offered at lower-than-average interest rates to veterans. 800/952-5626.

FHA Loans FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration and permit qualified buyers (with impeccable credit) to purchase a home with as little as 5 percent down. 415/556-5900.

Burbank Housing Development Corp. This nonprofit agency runs numerous programs, including a number of sweat-equity projects that allow first-time home buyers a chance to work off part of their down payment. 3432 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa; 526-9782. For loan counseling, call 526-5528.

From the July 20-26, 2000 issue of the Sonoma County Independent.

© Metro Publishing Inc.

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