Homeownership FAQs

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Answers to many of the most-asked questions regarding the Homeownership Program

  • Homeownership

    • Are there any other grants I can get for my home purchase?

      You should ask the Homeownership Counseling Agency that you are working with about other grants that may available; sometimes the agency or the lender have grant funds.  It is always good to ask.
    • Which Section 32 application should I complete?

      If you rent from the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee, you should complete the Section 32 Application for Residents.  Everyone else should complete the Section 32 Application for Non-HACM Residents.
    • Why should I buy a HACM house?

      Our homes are completely rehabbed and are in move-in condition.  The objective of the Homeownership Program is to help people acquire homes and stay in them as long as they would like to.  We try to make sure the new homebuyer will not need to have any major repairs for a long time.

      Also, there are no property taxes paid on the house for the year in which you buy it.

    • Can I offer less than the asking price on a HACM home?

      HACM does not set the prices for the houses we sell. The prices are established by an independent, third party appraiser.  This is done to be fair to the other homeowners in the area, as their home values are dependent on what other homes sell for.  So, no, we cannot accept less than the sale price.
    • Where are your houses for sale?

      They are all in the City of Milwaukee.  Our list of available houses changes all the time, so we recommend checking our website for updates. View our Homes for Sale inventory.
    • How does the $25,000 forgivable 2nd morgage subsidy work? Do I have to pay it back?

      No, you are not borrowing the amount of the subsidy. 

      In example #1 above, you are paying $75,000 for a $100,000 house.  If you turned around and sold the house to someone else for $100,000, then HACM would get $25,000 from the sale proceeds.

      The subsidy is forgivable in that the longer you keep the house, the less would be paid to HACM when you sold it. 

      In the above example, if you waited 5 years to sell the house, HACM would receive $20,000 from the proceeds, and you would get to keep the other $5,000.  That is because, there is no forgiveness in the first 5 years, but after that the first $5,000 of the subsidy is “forgiven”.

      Another 4% is forgiven every year after that, so the longer you keep the house, the less is paid to HACM from the proceeds if/when you decide to sell the house.

    • Why is the subsidy "up to $25,000"?

      The subsidy is designed to help you purchase a house you would not otherwise be able to afford.  Once we know what your pre-approval amount is, we can add up to $25,000 to help you purchase a HACM home. 

      Example #1:
      Pre-approval amount is $75,000
      Price of HACM home is $100,000
      Subsidy amount is $25,000*
      *The subsidy only applies to a HACM home for sale

      Example #2:
      Pre-approval amount is $75,000.
      Price of HACM home is $87,000.
      Subsidy amount is $12,000*
      *The subsidy only applies to a HACM home for sale.

    • What is a pre-approval?

      The “pre-approval” is the amount a lender is willing to lend you based on your income, debt, expenses, etc.  It is a calculation the bank makes, and it indicates how much of a house you can afford.

    • How long does the program take?

      That depends on how much credit repair you may need.  Most of the program participants have some credit repair work to do, so lower credit scores are not uncommon.  The more credit repair needed, the longer it may take.  However, this should not deter you from your dream of homeownership; whether it takes two months or two years, that time will go by whether or not you are working toward your goal.

      Even if you have no credit repair to do, and already have a pre-approval, the home buying process can still take a couple of months from start to finish.

    • Do I need good credit?

      Yes and no.  Eventually, you will need a credit score high enough for a lender to give you a loan, but you do NOT need a good credit score to enroll in the program.

      The Homeownership Counseling Agency will work with you to make any necessary credit repair.  When you are ready, they can also help you find a lender.