MFA offers lucrative funding in targeted areas

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The New Mexico Mortgage Financing Authority is best known for providing mortgage loans and down payment assistance to first-time homebuyers. However, they do much more than that. In addition to also providing tax credits and financing for the development of affordable rental housing, they also offer special financing to buyers who buy homes in economically struggling neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are officially known as targeted census tracts.

“The targeted areas are those where at least 70 percent of households earn no more than 80 percent of the median income in the region,” said Teri Baca, homeownership representative for MFA. In New Mexico, the US Census Bureau has identified 44 such areas in eleven counties. McKinley leads the field with 16.

The program is designed to entice new and repeat buyers to purchase homes in economically disadvantaged areas, which is known to increase homeownership pride and help stabilize and increase home values. These special benefits are available to buyers who use MFA’s FirstHome program.

So what sort of incentives does the MFA offer to get buyers to buy in these areas? First of all, buyers don’t have to be newbies. Current and past owners are both eligible as long as they meet basic MFA qualifications and occupy the house as their primary residence. The loan types include the conventional loan types, FHA, VA, and USDA, all of which are offered at the lowest MFA charged rate in the previous twelve months.

Borrowers using FirstHome are also eligible to receive a down payment and help with closing costs in the form of an affordable second mortgage, known as the FirstDown program. Additionally, the higher-than-normal household income limits range from $ 73,680 per year for a one- or two-person household to $ 102,200 for families of three or more, depending on the county. Homes valued at $ 381,308 and under are eligible for financing in most areas with the exception of Santa Fe County, where a purchase price of up to $ 442,981 is permitted.

The seven areas targeted for incentives in Doña Ana County include plots in Las Cruces, Anthony and Sunland Park. Targeted areas in Las Cruces are generally bounded by Mesilla Street to the west, Solano Drive to the east, N. Main Street to the north, and Idaho Avenue to the south.

This great program offers homebuyers the opportunity to purchase a home in a booming neighborhood, while using affordable fixed rate financing and down payment assistance. Sounds like a win-win to me.

For more information, visit http://www.housingnm.org/homebuyers/targeted-area-census-tracts or contact your preferred lender or real estate agent.

Meet at the fence.

Gary Sandler is a full time real estate agent and owner of Gary Sandler Inc. Realtors in Las Cruces. He loves to answer questions and can be reached at 575-642-2292 or [email protected]

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