Affordable Housing Drawing Leads to Happy Buyers
- Dec 15, 2011
Atlanta—Atlanta BeltLine Inc. (ABI) came up with a fair way to sell its affordable housing units among qualified buyers. ABI had its first drawing for its 28 affordable homes at the Lofts at Reynoldstown Crossing in Atlanta. All 28 units were sold in one day.
Three of the 28 affordable homes are part of a Community Land Trust (CLT), which ensures that they will remain affordable.
Interested buyers had to meet certain qualifications in order to participate in the drawing.
“All prospects were required to come to the property, view the homes, agree to all of the rules and regulations of the down payment assistance program and the drawing, get fully approved by the Bank of America team assigned to the project, provide proof of funds for the buyer’s contribution of $1,500 to be eligible for the guidelines of the two programs,” Uri Vaknin, SVP of business development at The Marketing Directors (the group that organized the drawing), tells MHN.
The CLT homes had additional qualifications.
“For the CLT homes of which there were three, buyers were required to be teachers, police officers, firemen, or first responders in Fulton County or the City of Atlanta, and the maximum amount of annual income for a family of two could not exceed $68,300, and for a family of three $78,300, based on the AMI (Average Median Income of the area), Vaknin explains. “The CLT buyers received $100,000 in down payment assistance. For the remaining 25 homes, funds were provided through the Atlanta Beltline. Buyers had the same income qualification, but there were no requirements based on type of employment. All buyers could not have liquid assets in excess of $10,000.”
Though a large response to the drawing was expected, the actual turnout was a pleasant surprise.
“We expected a robust response, but we had an extraordinary response,” Vaknin says. “Over 2,000 people registered for more information on our website in the first few days, with a total of over 2,500 web registrants. During the four-week program, we had over 650 ‘units’ of traffic come into the sales totaling over 2,000 visitors, with 131 return visitors. We had over 42 buyers get fully approved for 28 available homes. All 28 condos were sold on the day of the drawing.”
The people who bought property during the drawing will receive down payment assistance of $64,800 to help with the mortgage payments.
The Lofts at Reynoldstown Crossing include two-bedroom, two-bathroom lofts.
Interested buyers had to be making under the Atlanta-area media income of $68,000 to qualify for the property drawing. This was decided as an equitable way to give homeownership opportunities to people who might normally not be able to become homeowners.
In addition to crediting their partnership with Bank of America, which expedited the Fannie Mae approval process, for success with selling all the units, Vaknin feels the sales method also helped.
“It was the most equitable way to offer these homes with the down payment assistance to qualified buyers,” he says. “The drawing also created a sense of urgency, which ensured that we would sell all 28 condos in a single day. Due to the down payment assistance, the incredible location directly on the Atlanta Beltline, the size of these condos and the finish level and the community amenities, we knew that there would be a strong demand. As this project was to be one of the most high-profile components of ABI’s commitment to provide affordable housing along the Atlanta Beltline, we wanted to give the greatest amount of qualified buyers the opportunity to buy at the Lofts at Reynoldstown Crossing.”