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How is purchasing an affordable home different from purchasing a market-rate home?

Purchasing an affordable housing unit is a great opportunity for a very low, low or moderate income household.  Not only does an affordable buyer pay a lower purchase price for their home, an affordable homeowner also pays considerably lower real estate taxes annually than they would for a market rate unit.

However, since purchasing an affordable home is different from purchasing a market-rate home, if you are considering purchasing an affordable home, you should be aware of the following affordable housing rules including deed restrictions. Affordable homes are deed restricted. The length of the deed restriction time will depend on when the home was built and number of years in control period.  Deed restrictions for affordable homes include but are not limited to the following:

  1. The Homeowner is required to live in the home as their primary place of residence which is defined as residing in the home at least 260 days out of each calendar year. 
  2. The homeowner cannot rent their home out to anyone, not even to members of their family.  If there is a temporary need to move away, the Homeowner is required to contact CGP&H and request a “temporary waiver” of this rule. 
  3. All mortgage loans must be approved by CGP&H before signing any loan papers. The total amount of mortgage loans allowed is limited by law.
  4. The Homeowner is not allowed to make any improvements to the home unless they have been approved in writing by CGP&H.   I own an affordable home. When do I need to get an approval for improvements to my home? 
  5. The homeowner is allowed to sell the home only to a person or a family from the affordable housing waiting list and who has been certified in writing by CGP&H.  The homeowner cannot "choose" a preferred buyer who is a friend/family member or a cash buyer over another buyer who needs to get a mortgage.  The waiting list order is maintained by CGP&H.
  6. The price for which the home can be sold is limited by law, and may be much less than the sale prices of other similar or comparable homes.
  7.  Also note that even at the end of the control period listed in the deed restriction, homeowners who sell their home out of the program (if allowed) do not experience a significant financial gain because of the terms of the deed restriction require that most proceeds be returned to the municipality.
  8. By breaking any of these rules, the Homeowner will be breaking the law, and the Homeowner will be subject to penalties provided by law, including having to pay fines and possibly losing their home.