Application Process for Potential Homeownership:
Following are the basic steps toward becoming a SCH homeowner (eligibility will ultimately be determined by the SCH staff):
- Attend a Saratoga Community Housing “Homeownership Orientation”. We’ll review the Community Land Trust model, eligibility requirements, ground lease and resale formula.
- Meet with SCH Staff and submit homeownership application.After attending a SCH Homeownership Orientation, you will meet with a SCH staff person to submit your completed application along with applicable fees (SCH membership,credit report and application.)
- Attend Home-buyer Education Class: Homebuyer education is mandatory and will give you the basic tools you need to move through the home buying process with knowledge and comfort.
- Determine your willingness to commit to the home buying process. This includes the sweat equity component and saving towards your down payment and closing costs.
Saratoga Community Housing – Homeowner Eligibility Guidelines
1. Minimum residency: The applicants must currently live in and have lived in Island County Washington for at least one year.
2. Income: Applicants must have enough income to pay the monthly mortgage, taxes, and insurance. However your household income may not exceed 80% of the median income for Island County for your household size. In 2010 the maximum gross income by family size is shown in the table below. These figures are gross annual income, before taxes are withheld. Proof of income is required as part of the application to SCH.
Household Size & Annual Gross Income
1- person $38,600 2-person $44,100 3-person $49,600 4-person $55,100
3. Credit Rating: Applicants must have a good credit rating showing no significant delinquencies in the past year and no bankruptcy in the past three years.
4. Debt: At the time of the mortgage application, the Applicant’s total Debt (including the costs of the house) should not exceed 40% of their income.
5. Employment or other income: Applicants must provide proof of steady employment or income for at least one year. Self-employed individuals must demonstrate proof of earnings with tax returns for the past two years.
6. Assets: If the applicants have total assets valued at more than $7,500 ($10,000 for seniors age 65 or older), they may be required to use them towards purchasing the home.
7. Closing Costs: Applicants must have access to sufficient funds to cover their closing costs of buying the home.
8. Membership: Applicants must be members of SCH
9. Education: Heads of Households must complete a Homebuyer Class approved by SCH.
10. Background Check: All applicants must give authorization for a complete background review including a criminal background check.
Note: Even if you do not think you qualify, you should talk to a SCH staff person to determine if you may be eligible now or in the future. Keep in mind, the road to any type of home ownership is challenging. However, under the CLT homeownership model you have a partner in this process and we are here to help you become a successful homeowner. We understand that every applicant is different and will move through the process at their own pace. Some homebuyers come to us ready to buy then it’s a very short process. Others may need more preparation to get ready for homeownership and it could take them a year, or two, or more to get ready. You just have to get started and realize that the work you are doing now will pay off in the long run.
These guidelines are subject to change and may be updated from time to time to keep in compliance with the SCH homeownership program.