Charlevoix County: help for local families to become homeowners

Northern Homes CDC has received a $120,000 HOME grant from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, MSDHA, to help three local families become home owners.


The grant is part of MSDHA’s Homebuyer Purchase Rehab, HPR, program. Jane MacKenzie, Executive Director of Northern Homes, said “With this grant we can help 3 families purchase a home with up to $10,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance and up to $20,000 in rehabilitation costs on the home they want to buy.

The home they buy must be in the city limits of Alanson, Petoskey, Boyne City, East Jordan or Charlevoix.”

In 2016 Northern Homes helped Robert Merrill buy a home in Boyne City using the HPR program.

Robert wrote the following about his experience with the program:

Being a first time home buyer I was a little apprehensive of what I could actually afford, including the upkeep, and all the bills to follow.

Talking to Gail Greenwell from Real Estate One, she suggested I talk with Northern Homes and maybe they could help me.

She explained they had a great class where I would learn important homeownership information.

Northern Homes also had a little money to assist in the down payment, along with paying for some of the major rehab expenses of this particular home I was looking at.
So I gave Jane MacKenzie of Northern Homes a call.

I was so surprised what she could offer me-almost too good to be true!

She came out and analyzed the house I was thinking of buying and gave me a list of what she thought should be done.

It was even more than what Gail and I had talked about.

She said they could replace the roof, add some insulation to the attic, install some new windows, a new furnace and water heater, and more.

I was speechless.

My concerns of buying a house went down quickly as I thought about not worrying of how I would have to save for the new furnace, or water heater or roof. How my future utility bills would now be lower than first planned. I couldn’t wait.

I signed up for their class, which opened my eyes on some things I hadn’t thought about, and proceeded to watch my new investment grow even better than planned.

The builder, Thor Contracting, did a great job in a timely fashion.

Northern Homes kept a close eye over all the renovations throughout the whole process.

Being involved in this program was the best thing that could have happened to me.
Without Northern Homes I still would have bought the house, but I would have had to pinch and save for years to accommodate the needs that were so quickly fixed.

I now own a house that’s worth more, is more energy efficient, and definitely nicer to live in.

This program not only helped me, but helped update a tired house of our great town.
A win-win for everyone-(especially me).

What a great way for a first time buyer to experience this big event.

The HPR grant was awarded by MSDHA’s Housing Initiatives Division using HUD HOME funds.

To qualify, families must earn less than 80 percent of the area median income, based on family size and be able to qualify for a mortgage.

For example, to be eligible for this program, a family of four people purchasing a home in Emmet County can have an income no greater than $50,800.

The grant funds can help a family with closing costs on the purchase of a home and up to $25,000 in rehabilitation costs on the home they purchase.

For more information about the HPR program contact Jane MacKenzie at (231) 582-6244.

To sign up for a Homebuyer Education Class contact Lindsey Miller at 582-6436.