Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County Holds Mortgage Meetings with Potential Homeowners

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Photo courtesy of Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County
The Pacheco family partnered with Habitat Archuleta on house #26 in 2018-2019.

By Lea Ballard | Archuleta County Habitat for Humanity

Throughout the summer, Habitat for Humanity Archuleta County Executive Director Lori Henricksen and Homeowner Services Coordinator Leah Ballard met with homeownership program applicants. of Habitat for 2023 to determine their financial capacity and readiness for homeownership in our community.

By the end of June, applicants had completed a mortgage application and provided all the supporting documentation required for a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rural development loan, which includes obtaining their own consumer credit report. The process for receiving a home loan through the USDA is more thorough than a conventional mortgage qualification, but offers benefits for homebuyers in rural communities.

Habitat Archuleta is one of the few rural development lending offices on Colorado’s West Slope. Over the past few years, Habitat Archuleta has set up rural development loans for applicants purchasing existing homes in La Plata, Montezuma, and Archuleta counties in addition to our annual Habitat builds.

The USDA will fund primary home purchases throughout Archuleta County and much of the Four Corners area. Because qualified applicants can obtain 100% financing without having to pay monthly mortgage insurance, the loans are similar to those offered by veterans, except that income limits apply to rural development loans.

Direct loans come with an optional repayable grant, and the 33- and 38-year terms allow for lower qualifying debt ratios than conventional loans.

The USDA Direct Loan Program aligns closely with Habitat Archuleta’s workforce homeownership goals, as the income limit is capped at 80% of the region’s median income, such as defined by the HUD. For a household of up to four in Archuleta County, that annual income cap for that year is $57,750. For households of five to eight people, the annual income limit is $86,800.

This is not an absolute income limit as various deductions apply, so don’t let this number stop you if you are interested in home ownership.

Even if you are not looking for a Habitat home in Pagosa Springs, you can still contact our office for information on obtaining a mortgage or construction loan, credit counseling, or homebuyer education. .

Our Habitat application process begins over a year in advance. This year, those not selected to own a Habitat home can still apply for a direct USDA loan for use in the conventional real estate market. Applicants receive a certificate of eligibility from the USDA for a specified maximum purchase price before going out to view the properties.

The pursuit of home ownership can be a steep learning curve for many. Our office was able to increase our capacity by using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, which our county commissioners dedicated to affordable homeownership in Archuleta County. With these funds, we have a dedicated Owner Services Coordinator to help solve the solvency mystery for the wider community.

If you have questions about home ownership or want to get involved, contact us.

From September 23, we will be on site Tuesday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to finish before the snow falls. Please call (970) 264-6960 or email [email protected] before you arrive so we can plan how many hands will be on deck.

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