FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2009
City of Alexandria Hosts 15th Annual Homeownership Fair
City Homeownership Assistance Programs Available
With the recent declines in home prices, opportunities for first-time homebuyers have expanded dramatically. To help potential buyers understand the home buying process and to learn how to maximize their home purchase resources, the City of Alexandria is sponsoring its fifteenth annual Homeownership Fair on Saturday, April 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at George Washington Middle School, 1005 Mt. Vernon Ave. Admission is free. This location offers ample parking and easy access to both Metrorail and Metrobus services.
The City’s Homeownership Fair will feature local real estate professionals, lenders, and housing counselors who can help buyers along the path to homeownership. These representatives can assist potential buyers to find the right home, shop for an affordable mortgage loan, and identify and address possible pitfalls in the purchase process.
For people interested in purchasing a home in Alexandria, the Homeownership Fair provides an opportunity to gather comprehensive information in one location. Seminars are offered in English, Spanish and Amharic, and cover a range of topics critical to the first-time homebuyer. Last year’s fair attracted more than 400 potential homebuyers. This year’s fair will also feature a new class on avoiding foreclosure for both current and future homeowners, provided by Housing Counseling Services and Legal Services of Northern Virginia.
Renters often believe that homeownership is out of reach. However, recent participants in the City’s homeownership programs have purchased condominium units with monthly payments (including monthly condominium fees) that were significantly less than the cost of renting—in some cases, for less than $1,000 per month. The combination of lower home purchase prices and sustained low interest rates have made owning a home an affordable option for well-qualified buyers.
Perhaps the biggest benefit available to those living or working in the City of Alexandria is the City’s homeownership assistance programs. Currently, down payment and closing cost assistance of up to $50,000, depending on household income, is available through the City’s Homeownership Assistance Program and Moderate Income Homeownership Program. Eligible participants must provide a cash contribution toward the purchase of their home. In addition, the City currently has approximately $7.5 million set aside by the Virginia Housing Development Authority for reduced interest rate financing for first-time homebuyers. All City loans are subject to funding availability and are provided on a first-come, first-served basis to income-eligible applicants.
Purchasers participating in the City of Alexandria’s programs have the added benefit of free housing counseling services. The counseling program features a group training, followed by two hours of individual counseling. These counseling services are also available in Spanish. For more information on these training and financial assistance resources, call the City’s Office of Housing at 703.746.4990.