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Funds to fix up an abandoned house

by Melinda
(Farmington, MO United States)

Visitor Question: We found an abandoned house that's in not too bad of shape. The former owners left quite a bit of junk. It's a really good price. I think there may be some plumbing issues. How do we get help to fix it up. This may a great opportunity to buy versus rent. With not so perfect credit this may be our chance. Thank you.
P.S I can't upload the pics. I tried.

Editors Answer: For home repair loans, your best federal government program may be the Title I program. This program essentially guarantees the loan for the bank, so that presumably banks and other lending organizations would be more willing to lend in cases of less than sterling credit. It's worth checking that out. From that website you should be able to search for lenders in your area that participate in that program.

As would be the case with any government program that works through private lenders, ask the lender for advice about whether you are better off with the government guarantee or whether some other program internal to the lender may work better for you.

Since you are concerned about your money, be sure that you have a home inspection before you finalize your purchase so that you have a good idea what kind of expenses you will incur. It's easy to get carried away with wanting a home of your own, and to underestimate the headaches as well as the money it will take to make a home livable.

The other thing to do immediately is to check with your city, if this home is inside city limits, about the Community Development Block Grant. Your city is not large enough to automatically receive funds under this federal government program that is administered locally, but they probably will know how your state is organized for awarding Community Development Block Grant funds.

Possibly your County would have some of these community development funds, which may or may not be able to be allocated for home repairs. Housing rehab is a frequent activity under the block grant, but certainly not every county, city, or state chooses to spend the grant this way.

You also could check with your state's housing finance agency.

Another possibility is that some private lenders will roll the money for necessary property repairs right into the mortgage, although this is not especially common. If a bank or credit union in your area will do this, that is often a splendid way to go.

By the way, credit unions often are more lenient about rules than traditional banks.

If you find some of the money you will need to repair this abandoned house, but not quite all of it, ask every social service agency you can think of to refer you to some other resources. There could be small sources of money, perhaps such as a community action agency. In smaller cities such as yours, often people are so relieved to see a problem property being addressed that they will figure out a way to fund you.

Or if you fall a few thousand dollars short, you could even try a crowdfunding platform such as GoFundMe.

Read our page on government housing assistance closely, follow the links, and make some phone calls. That page includes a link to a list of the state housing agencies, by the way.

Let's see if we can't make this house work for you. We are sorry you couldn't upload your photos, but we wish you the best.



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