As a way of saying thank you to professionals who serve our communities, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has created the Good Neighbor Next Door program, which offers affordable housing at 50% off the listed price.
This program, which is available to firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, and kindergarten through grade-12 teachers, is an important part of revitalizing and improving communities.
At San Diego Purchase Loans, we are proud to participate in this valuable program. Good Neighbors are an important part of the community, and we are proud to help them move next door!
If you serve the community in an eligible profession, you should learn more about the benefits, details, and qualifications for the Good Neighbor Next Door program.
Improving Communities Through The Good Neighbor Next Door Program
How the Program Works
When certain eligible single-family homes in a “revitalization area” (more on these areas below), come available for purchase, they are listed exclusively through the Good Neighbor Next Door program. This allows eligible professionals to have first access to these properties, increasing the chances that a teacher or medical responder will move into these neighborhoods.
But the program doesn’t just increase access to Good Neighbors. To further increase the chances of purchase by a community-enhancing professional, the houses are actually listed at 50% off the list price of the home. That’s right, if you are a firefighter, police officer, teacher, or medical professional, you could buy a home for half the listed price!
If a week passes and the home does not have a buyer, then the property comes available to the open market.
However, there are still a few requirements. Beyond the career requirements, you must also stay in the home for at least 36 months, and it must be your sole residence.
Are You Eligible?
Let’s take a closer look at the different professions that are available for the Good Neighbor Next Door program.
Police Officers and Law Enforcement
If you are employed full-time as a law-enforcement officer by local, state, or federal government, you should qualify for the program, but the program is generally restricted to homes in the area you serve. For example, if you are a county deputy in Smith County, the house you purchase will need to be in Smith County. If you serve in Springfield, you must serve in Springfield. It is generally available only to people who are sworn officers, so support staff, dispatchers, and other personnel may not be eligible.
In order to use the Good Neighbor Next Door program, firefighters have to be employed by the public fire department serving the area where the home is located. For example, if a fire broke out in the home, it must be your fire department that would respond.
Emergency Medical Technicians
Emergency medical technicians, or EMTs, are treated essentially the same as firefighters. You must work for a public facility, and the home in question must be served by your employing organization.
To take advantage of the program, you have to be employed full-time by a state-accredited public school or a private school that provides direct services to K-12 students. The school where you work must also serve students in the area where the home is located. Once again, supportive staff, administrators, and teacher’s aides are generally not eligible for the program.
What are “Revitalization Areas”
As we mentioned earlier, the program is not available in every city or region. It’s only available in locations called “revitalization areas” by HUD. These are areas that have been authorized by Congress to promote improvements through homeownership, which is seen as an important part of community development.
To designate an area, three specific factors are considered. The first is household income, second is the rate of homeownership, and the third factor is foreclosure activity on FHA-insured homes. Areas that have low income, low homeownership, and high rates of foreclosures will be revitalization areas, and certain homes will meet the criteria for multiple programs, including sale through the Asset Control Area program, as well as the Good Neighbor Next Door program.
How You Can Participate
Think you would like to purchase a home through the Good Neighbor Next Door program? Then make sure you follow these specific steps and you could be purchasing a home at half the listed price…
Step 1: Check the Listings in Your Area
Using the HUD Home Store website, you can click on the specific state where you wish to purchase a home. Because the homes are only listed for a week, their selection may seem limited. However, if you visit the site often, you will eventually see a home that fits your specific needs.
Step 2: Submit Your Interest in a Certain Home
After following the instructions on the site, you’ll be able to submit your interest to specific homes. If multiple buyers submit interest, availability is chosen by random lottery.
Step 3: Sign Second Mortgage and Note
If you have selected a home that works for you, the next step is to sign a second mortgage and note in order to receive the discounted amount. You will essentially have to sign documents that state your intention to live in the home for the three-year period.
Step 4: Move into Your New Home
Now you can finally move into your new home! To re-certify your residency, the proper documents will be sent to you, usually around the anniversary of your purchase. Throughout the first three years, you will have to re-certify annually.
Step 5: Continue Serving Your Community!
By participating in the Good Neighbor Next Door program, you can continue to serve your community, maintaining your dedication to the area and its people. You’ll have an affordable home in an area that needs owner-occupied housing, helping to create a better community, one Good Neighbor at a time!
Placing Good Neighbors in Good Neighborhoods
If you are interested in the Good Neighbor Next Door program, the team at San Diego Purchase Loans is ready to help. We’ll show you the details of this important program so you can find affordable housing while continuing to serve your community.
We would be proud to help you participate in this important program, so work with our experienced team today!