Help available for South Tahoe homebuyers |

Help available for South Tahoe homebuyers

Robert Stern

Buying a house in Lake Tahoe may have gotten easier.

The city of South Lake Tahoe will receive a $500,000 grant for the first-time home buyer program.

The city’s department of Housing and Economic Development was approved for a California State grant through the department of Federal Housing and Urban development in late January, said Cathy Kope, city loan specialist.

Funds should become available within the next few months, but the program still has $200,000 left over from a 1999 grant. Kope said the $500,000 should be available before summer.

The program began in 1995 and has helped 15 families buy homes.

“That number will be growing, because we hope to offer the program on an ongoing basis,” Kope said.

Under the 1999 program, the city could loan second mortgages for up to $40,000. But under the revised program that figure has increased to $60,000.

To qualify for the program applicants can not have owned a home within the last three years and must make less than 80 percent of El Dorado County’s median income: for a single person the income limit is $29,600; a two person family is $33,850; a three person family is $38,100; and a four person family is $42,300.

These figures, however, are adjusted annually buy the federal department of Housing and Urban Development and are expected to increase within the next thirty days, Kope said.

Loans can be deferred for up to 30 years and interest rates on the loans are 3 percent. Loans need to be repaid if the property is sold, unless transferred to a buyer who qualifies for the program.

To find out how to apply call the department of Housing and Economic Development at 542-6047.

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