Brandyn Russell and his wife Desiree were looking to purchase their first home after returning to Tucson from Michigan. They reached out to a real estate agent about getting the home buying process started but the couple wasn’t sure how they would come up with the funds to put a down payment on a home. That was until they learned about the Pathway to Purchase (P2P) down payment assistance program administered by the City of Tucson and Pima County’s Industrial Development Authorities with funding from the Arizona Department of Housing.
“For us it was hard to be able to save up to $15,000 for a down payment and our real estate agent said the Pathway to Purchase program was a perfect opportunity and gave us more details,” said Brandyn.
The P2P program provides assistance where eligible buyers can get a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a down payment assistance second mortgage of up to 10% of the purchase price.
Once the mortgage company approved their loan, the couple began looking for a home within the zip code requirements of the program. The P2P program is an incentive for qualified buyers to purchase a primary residence in 26 targeted zip codes in 12 Arizona cities, including 8 zip codes in Tucson. The program utilizes funding made available through the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which is restricted to use in zip codes where real estate has not recovered from the effects of the recession on pace with the rest of the state.
They purchased a 2-bedroom home and closed on January 16, 2019. Their home came with new renovations in the bathroom and a large yard.
“We aren’t used to having a big yard and our dogs love it outside. This is an upgrade for us being on a nicer street in a nicer neighborhood,” said Brandyn, “My wife is into gardening and the house came with a shed which is what she brags about the most.”
Their new home is just two miles from the location they were previously renting, close to work and family.
Brandyn said the P2P process was straightforward and he recommends the program any chance he gets.
“It was flawless on our part. I’ve told quite a few people that are looking to buy a house about P2P and how it’s totally worth it to be in a program where after you stay for 5 years you have 10 percent equity in the home.”
“It’s an awesome program. We couldn’t be happier!” said Brandyn.
Homebuyers must work through an approved lender participating in the Pathway to Purchase program. The lender is the point of contact through the process working with the homebuyer to obtain a program qualifying mortgage and registration for the down payment assistance.
In the Tucson area, the Arizona Department of Housing partners through both the Pima County/City of Tucson Industrial Development Authorities and the Arizona Industrial Development Authority (AzIDA) to provide down payment assistance through the Pathway to Purchase program.
The Pima County/Tucson IDAs offer mortgages in Pima County. Mortgages offered by the IDAs are 30-year, fixed rate mortgages at going interest rates.
The AzIDA also offers mortgages statewide in any zip code, along with a smaller down payment assistance grant, through its HOME PLUS Home Loan Program.
Housing Matters | Spring 2019