Doing what you can to help other Ann Arbor residents gain a foothold on the home ownership ladder doesn’t just help them–you’ll reap benefits for both your community and your own wallet. Individuals who move from renting to owning a home, are more likely to vote, get involved in community groups, and invest in their own home’s appearance. A 2001 Harvard University study showed that children of homeowners do 23% better in school. A steady flow of first-time home buyers makes it easier to sell your own starter home, when you’re ready to move up.
Affordability of housing is one of the best ways to make more people homeowners. Government-backed mortgage insurance can help to lower loan costs, and a variety of public and private programs offer low-cost loans and down payment assistance. You can help prospective homeowners save down payment funds by donating to sites like EARN, a non-profit company that uses donations to match funds saved by low-wage earners.
Especially in the current housing market, foreclosure hurts all homeowners. Each foreclosure within 1/8th of a mile of your home lowers your property value about 0.744 percent, according to estimates by the Center for Responsible Lending. Every home owner whose neighbor loses their home to foreclosure is affected; if your next door neighbor loses their home, your home’s value decreases. Individuals who go through pre-purchase and post-purchase counseling are less likely to face foreclosure. You can help, by encouraging potential home owners to seek such counseling; they’ll learn about mortgages, budgeting, and home maintenance.
Another way to do your part to help other home owners is by donating your time or money to some of the many non-profits that promote responsible home ownership. Habitat for Humanity partners with new home owners to build affordable housing. Habitat homes aren’t free; home owners work hundreds of hours, receive home ownership counseling, and make regular mortgage payments. The United Way supports many local programs that build affordable housing, help families build financial assets, and teach financial management skills. If you donate to The United Way, you can direct your contribution to those causes.
Enjoy the benefits of home ownership in Ann Arbor, and help others reap the same benefits. Let Martin Bouma – your Ann Arbor expert – help you find the perfect piece of Ann Arbor real estate. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, the Bouma Group can answer any questions you have about real estate in Ann Arbor. Thinking of settling down in Washtenaw County, Saline, or a specific Ann Arbor neighborhood? Call the Bouma Group today. And don’t forget to check out our Condo Hotline – we know the Ann Arbor condominium market better than anyone!