The Neighborhood Stabilization Program is no longer involved in the “$1 home” that was the subject of some confusion at Monday's Board of Commissioner meeting but is getting ready to present about 10 properties for approval by the BOC, according to NSP administrator Alice Cintron.
Housing and Urban Development authorities had notified Cintron about the house it owned at 1577 Sugar Plum, which was a foreclosed property listed at $1 because it had sat on the market beyond a certain period of time. However, because of HUD rules, the Conyers Housing Authority was the only local agency able to buy the property, said Cintron. Initially there were plans to collaborate by CHA purchasing the property and NSP renovating and selling the property as part of the NSP program.
Then, “the Conyers Housing Authority told us they had sufficient funds to renovate it themselves,” said Cintron, and that NSP could use the funds towards renovating another property.
The $2.7 million NSP program, approved in March, is part of a national stimulus-grant funded program and purchases foreclosed homes, renovates them and sells them at below market values to screened middle and some lower income homeowners. Four asset management companies were approved by the BOC in June to purchase the homes for the NSP program — ANDP, Jewel of the South, Affordable Housing and APD Solutions.
Cintron said the NSP program is preparing to present about 10 properties for approval to the BOC in the coming weeks. The NSP program in Rockdale aims to purchase, renovate and sell about 20 homes in all.
Some of the asset managers are finding the market for foreclosed homes a little more competitive than it was even a few months ago, according to Cintron.
“The deals are still there,” said Valisa Shannon, CEO of Jewel of the South, one of the four asset management firms contracted to find homes in Rockdale. “The challenge is getting it under contract.” She said she finds her firm competing with other investors and first-time homebuyers sparked by the $8,000 federal tax credit, which expires on Dec. 1. Shannon said lately she loses the majority of the bids she puts in for properties to other buyers.
Frank Culbreath of Affordable Housing said he finds available foreclosed homes are not as clustered as they used to be and that prices are going up a bit.
“You have to look for it and find something that can apply to the homebuyer. We have to make sure the homebuyers really appreciate what the stimulus money is doing for them,” said Culbreath.
Remax realtor Denise Stanley, who is unaffiliated with the NSP program, said there were still plenty of foreclosed homes out there – at least 130 in Rockdale County that she could show her customers. She said she doubted the market was going to change much in the near future but that the foreclosed homes were at least beginning to move. “What happens is you do have some buyers that get frustrated, because they put some offers in there may be multiple offers on some houses. There’s certainly plenty of houses out there,” she said.
The NSP program is currently accepting applications from eligible homebuyers. According to the county Web site, “Eligible applicants, who select a NSP home, submit earnest money and an executed contract as well as complete the home counseling and NSP certification process, will receive a down payment assistance commitment up to $14,500 from NSP.”
Applicants interested in purchasing an NSP home can go to www.rockdalecounty.org or call (770) 278-7551. Applications can be found at the information desk at the Rockdale County Administration and Services Building, 958 Milstead Avenue Conyers, Georgia 30012.