Read NEIGHBORHOOD STABILIZATION PROGRAM OF LEE COUNTY text version

NEIGHBORHOOD STABILIZATION PROGRAM OF LEE COUNTY

REALTOR'S® BUYER-RELATED QUESTIONS

1. Why is NSP beneficial to our buyers?

Three key advantages make the NSP Program especially attractive to eligible buyers: 1) Investors are not allowed to participate so there is no investor competition. 2) All NSP homes will be fully rehabbed and in move-in quality condition. 3) Qualifying for a loan for a NSP home may be easier because Lee County is providing a second mortgage that will lower buyer mortgage payments.

2. Is this program for first time homebuyers only?

NO. However, buyers cannot currently own a home.

3. What are the income eligibility requirements? Lee County Florida Income Guideline Chart (Effective May 14, 2010) Household Size 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Maximum Annual Income $51,840 $59,160 $66,600 $73,920 $79,920 $85,800 $91,680 $97,680

4. How much money do buyers need for a down payment?

Down payment requirements are determined by the lending institute. The NSP program does require a minimum cash contribution from the buyer according to income category. Income Category Low Moderate Middle Buyer Contribution Minimum of $500 Minimum of $1,000 Minimum of $1,200

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5. How is the price of a NSP home determined? The sales price listed on the MLS and the NSP website www.nsp.leegov.com is based upon current market sales data. The final selling price will be either the home's current appraised value OR the home's acquisition cost plus rehabilitations costs, whichever is less.

6. How much financial help will buyers receive from NSP of Lee County?

The NSP of Lee County will provide subsidies in the form of a soft second mortgage plus reasonable closing costs to help pay for an NSP home. Payments are based on income category. The soft second mortgage is provided as a zero interest, forgivable loan to cover the difference in the purchase price and what the buyer otherwise could borrow. The soft second mortgage will be 100% forgivable after fifteen years of owner occupancy of the NSP home. Assistance levels are based on income categories. Income Category Low Moderate Middle Percent of Sales Price Up to 50% Up to 40% Up to 30%

7. Can a NSP buyer reserve a home before the rehabilitation work is completed? NO. NSP homes must be rehabilitated before a final price determination can be made and the house deemed safe to show to prospective buyers. Buyers must have received NSP application approvals from the housing agencies listed below before they are allowed to submit a contract offer for a NSP Home. NSP homes will be listed within the Realtor® MLS system and also on the NSP website at the point that the home is ready for purchase. 8. What agencies are overseeing the NSP application process?

The two HUD-certified housing counseling agencies selected to attract and qualify buyers are: Lee County Housing Development Corporation (LCHDC) 3677 Central Ave Fort Myers, FL 33901 www.leecountyhdc.org Phone: (239) 275-5105 Home Ownership Resource Center (HORC)

4040 Palm Beach Blvd #C Fort Myers, FL 33916

1423 SE 16th Place, Suite 205 Cape Coral, FL 33990 www.horcswfl.org Phone: (239) 673-9192

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9. Can Realtors® fill out the NSP Application for their clients? NO. Buyers need to go to one of the two approved agencies outlined above to receive assistance in filling out the NSP Application and be qualified as eligible for the NSP program.

10. Can I send a buyer to LCHDC or HORC without getting that buyer preapproved for a loan?

YES. The approved housing counseling agencies are required to verify income eligibility as part of the NSP application process and will help to link buyers to lending institutions.

11. Should we receive an inquiry from a possible buyer, can we proceed to take steps to get that client pre-approved for a loan?

YES. But the buyer must still apply for the NSP Program through one of the two agencies: LCHDC and HORC. The program will accept the following types of conventional loans: Minimum 30-year fixed rate (no balloon or adjustable rates mortgages) Conventional mortgages Veterans Administration loans Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans United Sates Department of Agricultures (USDA) loans

12. Who will determine if a buyer is approved to purchase a NSP home?

The HUD-certified housing counseling agencies, HORC and LCHDC, in consult with the Lee County Department of Human Services.

13. How long will the NSP Conditional Approval be valid?

The NSP Conditional Approval will be issued for a one year period.

14. Once we turn our buyer over to the agency for the NSP application process, can we still stay involved with the buyer?

YES. We encourage you to stay in close contact with your buyer. Realtors® will need to show available homes within the buyer's price range and be listed as the buyer's agent at closing.

15. How can I be certain that I am registered as the buyer's agent for a particular client?

Broker/Realtor® registration will be handled as follows: 1) Initially, the client will fill out the real estate brokerage firm/Realtor® information on the NSP application itself. 2) Finally, at the time a purchase contract is written and submitted to Lee County, the buyer will again be asked to list the brokerage firm/Realtor® that assisted them. This will be the determining factor in receiving a commission, if this differs from the application.

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Please note that all information provided on the NSP application will be logged into the system to ensure proper assignment of the real estate brokerage firm's commission. It will be the client's responsibility to provide this information.

16. How will the commission for finding a buyer for a NSP home be structured?

The commission for bringing a NSP buyer to closing was increased at the end of 2010. At the time of closing, the real estate broker will be compensated 3% of the home purchase price, or $1,500, whichever is greater. Please note that this fee only applies to real estate transactions where the Realtor® is helping a buyer to purchase a renovated NSP home, not to the foreclosed properties that Lee County initially purchases. Commissions for Lee County purchase of foreclosed property will depend upon what the specific seller has designated for commissions and will be treated accordingly.

17. At what point would a Realtor® receive a real estate commission in this process?

Like most residential real estate transactions, the broker will be compensated at the time of successful closing. How any fee split with individual agents is handled will be up to each individual real estate brokerage firm.

18. Once a buyer is approved to purchase a NSP home, how does the buyer know which NSP homes to choose from?

Just as any buyer qualifies for a certain level of loan, a NSP buyer will also qualify for a loan up to a certain specific amount. The buyer will then be allowed to select an available home that is priced within their income eligibility from within the NSP inventory.

19. What if two prospective buyers with conditional approvals identify the same NSP home as the home they wish to purchase? Who gets the first choice?

All buyers must have pre-approval from a lender and an approved NSP application before they can use a broker/agent to submit a contract offer for an NSP home. At that point, when a buyer has selected a NSP home, it will be whichever broker/agent submits the properly prepared contract offer first. Contract offers are to be sent to the County's Broker, Robert Clemens, Division of County Lands, fax number (239) 485-8391 or email [email protected] All offers will be date and time stamped per the method the contract was sent. Please advise your clients that it would be wise to have a 2nd or 3rd choice should their first selection already be taken. Those who wish to be placed second in line for a NSP home that is already under contract may lose out on other properties. Clients may have only one offer submitted at a time.

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20. Can Realtors® write the contract offers and submit them on a regular FAR/BAR contract?

YES. Offers must be submitted on a FAR/BAR As-Is Contract with a County addendum and any additional land restrictions that apply. Please note that the addendum may be modified at times, so it will be important to use the addendum attached with the MLS listing. Realtors® with addendum questions are encouraged to contact the County's Broker, Robert Clemens via email at [email protected] or by phone at (239) 533-8833. All buyers must use licensed Realtors® to submit contract offers for purchase, with the first qualified contract offer to receive first consideration.

21. What happens if a buyer chooses to sell his/her NSP home?

If buyers choose to sell, transfer ownership in any capacity, rent, or even refinance without Lee County's approval before 15 years have passed, then the buyer could be subject to repayment of the full or partial amount of the County's subsidy. The amount of repayment required is based on the number of years that the buyer lived in the home. Years in Home Within first five years Year 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11 Year 12 Year 13 Year 14 Year 15 Percent of Sales Price Repayment Required 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% Soft second mortgage is forgiven; no repayment required.

22. Will NSP buyers be required to use a licensed broker/agent to purchase a home?

YES, at such time that a contract offer is ready to be prepared and submitted, if not sooner.

23. Will Lee County be establishing a list of approved Realtors® or lenders?

NO. All Florida licensed brokers and lenders are eligible and encouraged to participate in NSP, rather than to develop a limited list. Lee County cannot recommend a specific real estate brokerage firm.

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24. Can Realtors® send NSP information to their databases?

YES, Lee County has developed marketing materials and asks that brokers/Realtors® send these documents to your prospects. Electronic copies of the brochure and poster are available on the NSP website at www.nsp.leegov.com. Please note that the NSP Brochure is also available in Spanish. If you need hard copies, please let us know.

25. How will Lee County ensure that properties are placed into the Multiple Listing System (MLS) by a properly licensed, active Realtor® - a Realtor® that belongs to one of the area's Real Estate Associations?

A staff member in the Lee County Lands' Division is an active Broker member of the Realtor® Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, Inc. As homes reach a point of readiness for sale, Lee County will use the MLS to list NSP properties.

26. Will Lee County allow Realtors® to list any of the homes acquired by the County for the NSP Program?

NO.

27. Will lockboxes be placed at NSP Homes? This makes the home readily `showable' to all licensed Realtors®.

YES. Lee County will place lockboxes on available NSP homes at such time that County staff members determine the property rehabilitation is completed to a point that showing the property is considered safe. As the `owner of record', Lee County will request that brokers or their agents contact the County prior to showing a property and please also provide feedback after the showing. While Lee County certainly invites and encourages brokers/agents to show NSP properties, this does not preclude the County from showing a home as the owner of the property.

28. Will buyers be allowed to make any special selections (i.e., carpet color) regarding rehabilitation?

NO. Lee County will determine the specific rehabilitation needed and make all selections relative to bringing a home up to `move-in' condition.

29. Can a Realtor® help a buyer find a home to purchase through the NSP Program that is not within the existing inventory?

YES. Lee County would consider purchasing such a property in the same manner it considers other possible NSP properties. Among the key criteria that would have to be met: o o o Home must be located within NSP target area Home must be foreclosed and vacant for at least 90 days Home must be able to be purchased by Lee County at least 1% below appraised value

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o

Home must be inspected and evaluated by Lee County personnel to determine if it is a home that would make for quality inventory should the sale, for any reason, fall through.

While a buyer can recommend a home for Lee County to consider for purchase as part of the NSP Program, this does not guarantee that the home will be sold to that buyer. All buyers are required to complete the NSP Application process before looking for an NSP home. When a home becomes available for purchase, the County will post the information on the Realtor® MLS system and on the www.nsp.leegov.com website. All buyers must use licensed Realtors® to submit contract offers for purchase, with the first qualified contract offer to receive first consideration. If a buyer is interested in a particular home, we encourage the buyer and their Realtor® to check the NSP website frequently for updates.

30. Where can I receive the most comprehensive information about the NSP program?

The Lee County NSP website at www.nsp.leegov.com is frequently updated to include the most recent information, and homes available for purchase. The website provides reader-friendly information for buyers, lenders, brokers/agents and contractors seeking to learn more about the NSP Program. On the NSP website, you can also sign-up for the monthly NSP eNewsletter. In addition, Lee County encourages you to view NSP application process information from either of the two housing agencies administering the program. Their websites are: Lee County Housing Development Corporation: www.leecountyhdc.org Home Ownership Resource Center: www.horcswfl.org

31. What are the steps for buyers in the NSP process? What is the message to buyers?

1. Contact either of the HUD-certified housing counseling agencies, HORC and LCHDC, to obtain a NSP application and register for the required 8-hour Home Buyer Education Class. The NSP application can be downloaded from either website. 2. Fill out the NSP Application and provide the completed application to the housing agency. The agency will contact you for an appointment and then issue a conditional approval letter. They will also provide any budget or credit counseling needed to help you to obtain lender approval. 3. Contact a lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage. 4. Provide the lender's pre-approval letter to the housing agency to review the terms of the loan and issue a final NSP approval letter. This letter will clearly explain the NSP home purchase price you are qualified for and the amount of financial assistance you may receive from Lee County. 5. After receiving a final NSP approval letter from the housing agency, you need to contact a Realtor® to notify you of new NSP listings on the MLS. You are also welcome to review

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available properties on the Lee County NSP website at www nsp.leegov.com. Contact a Realtor® or county staff member to visit the NSP homes that fit within your budget. 6. Take the NSP final approval letter to your licensed Realtor® to prepare and submit a purchase contract to Lee County. Purchase offers must be faxed to: (239) 485-8391; Attn. Robert Clemens, Broker, Division of County Lands or emailed to [email protected] 7. Work with the housing agency, bank, and Realtor® to ensure that contract contingencies are met and that you've completed the required Home Buyer Education Class in order to close on the home.

32. Can Realtors® submit contract offers for a NSP home at below or above the price listed on the NSP website?

NO. All offers must be full price offers per the price listed on the NSP website at www nsp.leegov.com . NSP homes will not be a part of any price competition between prospective buyers. Rather, the price of each home is based upon the initial price paid by Lee County, plus rehabilitation-related costs. All contract offers must be full price offers with the understanding that the price may only be revised downward if the home is later appraised for a lower value.

33. Who can I contact with questions about the NSP program?

We encourage you to also read the FAQs for Buyers. Please feel welcome to contact our NSP Marketing Coordinator, MerriBeth Farnham, at 464-3345 or email her at [email protected] Note: The NSP Program is a unique program based upon use of federal stimulus funds. As Lee County moves forward, it may be necessary to occasionally make adjustments to improve program efficiencies. If and when that happens, the modifications will be posted to the www nsp.leegov.com website.

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