In 2018, there was a demonstrated need for down payment assistance in Eagle County, with 50 loans made to county homebuyers when the average year is 20-26 loan applicants. In 2019 to date, the fund has already seen 18 home buyers applying for the assistance.
In a show of support for housing initiatives in Eagle County, the Vail Board of Realtors recently granted $30,000 to support down payment assistance programs.
The funds will be directed to the Eagle County Loan Fund, a revolving loan fund program offered by the Eagle County Housing and Development Authority and managed through The Valley Home Store. ECLF specifically helps full-time residents who make enough money to afford a mortgage, but who don’t have the cash on hand for a down payment. Applicants live and work in Eagle County, and if approved, the loan funds are used for a down payment, closing costs and any prepaid expenses associated with buying a home.
An objective of the Vail Board of Realtors is to encourage and facilitate home ownership, and the need for down payment assistance and affordable home ownership are issues the VBR wants to help tackle.
Erica Kirk, Association Executive of Vail Board of Realtors, stated that the recent U.S. Mountain Community Summit was a spur for VBR to get involved. The Summit focused on affordable housing in mountain communities.
“At the Summit, Kim Bell Williams, Eagle County housing director said that they were seeing an increase in down payment assistant applicants for 2019 and running low of funding,” says Kirk. “I took this back to our Board of Directors as an action to get involved. Having down payment assistance programs is an essential part of purchasing a home and helping those in our community achieve the American Dream of homeownership.”
The Valley Home Store guides potential home buyers through the home buying process, including offering free home buying counseling and regular Homebuyer Classes. The Homebuyer Class is a requirement for anyone seeking down payment assistance. Classes focus on pros and cons of homeownership, basics in preparing a budget, financing process, home purchase process and more.
“We are happy and excited to be able to give back to our community by providing funds to the Eagle County Loan Fund,” said Vail Board of Realtors Chair Betsy Laughlin. “As realtors we pride ourselves in being good stewards for the community and helping locals achieve homeownership. The program has helped so many who thought they would never be able to afford a home.”
“Partnering with the Vail Board of Realtors is a truly aligned marriage of interests around getting locals into homes in Eagle County. We are Realtors at The Valley Home Store who are helping small business owners, teachers, nurses and friends to grow roots and build a life in this town we all love. Thank you to the VBR for your generous donation!” says Kim Bell Williams.
To apply for down payment assistance through ECLF or to learn more, please contact The Valley Home Store at www.valleyhomestore.org or by reaching Nicholle Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (970)328-8778. For more information on the Vail Board of Realtors’ initiatives in the community, please visit www.vbr.net.