It is a great time to buy a home in La Plata County, and the Regional Housing Alliance of La Plata County can be an important partner throughout the process.
Condos and homes are now affordable for many of us who thought we could never own a home. If you have ever wondered whether you could afford to buy and have one hour to spare, United Way of Southwest Colorado encourages you to visit with the amazing staff at the Regional Housing Alliance to learn how the process can work for you and your family.
United Ways mission is to positively affect the community by supporting local agencies and programs that promote education, self-reliance and healthy lifestyles. One of the many ways we work to achieve our mission is by serving on boards of directors of organizations that fall under one of these three impact areas.
One of the local organizations making a difference in self-reliance is the Regional Housing Alliance. I served on the board of the nonprofit arm of the organization for two years. Currently, United Ways Director of Community Relations Annie Satariano serves on this board.
A couple of years ago, I took a homebuyer-education class from the Regional Housing Alliance, and through it, I learned about the homebuying process from beginning to end. The class was taught by real estate agents, mortgage lenders and Regional Housing Alliance staff, and it was truly educational.
The class was filled with the hard-working women and men of the area who wanted to know whether they could afford to buy a home. The participants showed that the Regional Housing Alliance serves the backbone of our community. They help firefighters, nurses, teachers, brewers and child care workers achieve the American dream of homeownership.
When people own a home, they become more engaged in their community. They are more stable in their employment and more likely to volunteer, and homeownership helps improve property values.
In addition to the free homebuyer-education class and one-on-one counseling, Regional Housing Alliance helps local families with down-payment assistance, which is a significant barrier to homeownership for many. Their support comes in the form of a loan that is paid back at time of sale or a very low interest rate loan. Regional Housing Alliance also has knowledge of other programs to help families buy a home and will direct you to these recourses. The staff has your best interests at heart.
Another benefit of the Regional Housing Alliance is that it is here to stay. It is not beholden to federal funding. Our local governments (city of Durango, La Plata County and the towns of Ignacio and Bayfield) created the Regional Housing Alliance and are to be commended for bringing this resource to our community.
Mortgage interest rates are at a 30-year low, and there are great deals on local homes. There also are a number of beneficial tax credits available to homebuyers. Contact the Regional Housing Alliance to learn more by calling 259-1418.
If you can afford $1,000 to $1,200 a month, consider speaking with Regional Housing Alliance to see if you can turn renting into homeownership.
Tim Walsworth is president and CEO of United Way.