Tag Archives: homeownership

Homeownership Program Eligibility Limits Updated

BISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Industrial Commission has approved new eligibility limits for programs that assist state residents, typically first-time buyers, with a home purchase. Administered by North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA), the programs provide low-cost financing, and down payment and closing cost assistance.

“North Dakota Housing Finance Agency has helped more than 45,000 households achieve homeownership,” said members of the commission in a joint statement. “The support provided has benefitted not only the individuals and families who purchased homes, but also the communities in which they established themselves.” The Industrial Commission, consisting of Gov. Doug Burgum as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees the agency.

Through NDHFA’s FirstHome™ program, low- to moderate-income buyers who have not owned a home in the last three years, can receive the purchase assistance. The agency’s HomeAccess program provides special needs households who may have previously owned a home with the same support.

The commission approved maximum income limits for the programs of $84,500 to $115,690. The acquisition cost limits were set at $283,348 to $305,330 for a single-family home and approved higher limits for existing two- to four-unit properties. The program limits vary depending on household size and the county in which a financed home is located.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Internal Revenue Service regulate the income and acquisition cost limits respectively.

“Last year was record-breaking for our homeownership division,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. “With the support of our private-sector partners, NDHFA provided 1,798 first-time homebuyers with more than $300 million in purchase assistance.”

In 2018, the average FirstHome loan purchased by NDHFA was just under $166,000, and the average borrower’s household income was $58,600.

Private-sector lenders originate the loans on NDHFA’s behalf and sell them to the agency when they are closed. Parties interested in learning more about the agency’s programs will find information online at www.ndhfa.org or by contacting a participating lender.

NDHFA is a self-supporting state agency dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans.

From the Director, January 2019

Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director

2018 was a great year for North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) and homeowners across the state. We had a record-breaking year, purchasing 1,798 loans with a total value of more than $300 million. Normally, the agency averages about 1,200 loans purchased annually.

While our Homeownership Division was handling an increased workload, our Planning and Development Division was modifying programs to support the changing needs of North Dakota communities and launching a Landlord Mitigation program to assist individuals and families who struggle to find rental housing because of poor credit, a criminal background or a past eviction. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll find more 2018 highlights in our Annual Report.

In December, Governor Burgum announced his recommendation to allocate $20 million to the North Dakota Housing Incentive Fund (HIF) from the Strategic Investment and Improvements Fund. NDHFA’s budget bill HB 1014 has been introduced and we have requested the Governor’s recommendation of $20 million for HIF be added to the bill.

Since the introduction of HB 1014, two more bills supporting HIF have been introduced in the Senate. SB 2271 would allocate $40 million from the general fund and SB 2302 creates $10 million in tax credits for HIF. Having three bills pertaining to the program is keeping the Agency and our stakeholders busy. Telling our story to legislators about the personal impact HIF makes in urban and rural communities is critical as they face tough decisions when drafting the state’s budget.

To create awareness about each community’s unique needs, our affordable housing factsheets for each district have been updated. Additionally, we highlighted the impact HIF has made across the state, to our aging population, and to individuals and families needing permanent supportive housing. I ask that you review the information and reach out to your state legislators to ask them to support the state’s only affordable housing financing tool and the flexibility it provides allowing North Dakota communities to address their unique housing needs.

In addition to HIF, there are numerous bills pertaining to the Department of Human Services and Department of Corrections that aim to provide supportive services for the state’s most vulnerable populations. If you want to learn more about this legislation and follow the state’s legislative process, you can do so by visiting the Legislative Assembly website.

We look forward to updating you on HIF legislation in our next newsletter. In the meantime, we hope you’ve saved our Statewide Housing Conference dates, May 20-21. When the event agenda is final, we’ll provide details on the speaker line up. Stay tuned!

Housing Agency a Top FHA Loan Servicer

BISMARCK, ND – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) National Servicing Center has ranked the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) as a Tier 1 Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan servicer for FY 2018.

A state agency, NDHFA provides first-time buyers with purchase assistance including loan guarantees that allow low- to moderate-income borrowers with low down payments to achieve homeownership.

“NDHFA’s homeownership programs are not only affordable, all of our loans are serviced locally so that our borrowers are able to speak to a real person if they have a question about their loan,” said Dave Flohr, the agency’s homeownership division director.

The tier ranking system measures FHA servicer compliance with guidelines and intervention requirements, loss mitigation engagement, and reporting. The intention is to protect borrowers and alert HUD to potential problems. A high work-out ratio shows a servicer’s effectiveness in working with delinquent borrowers to keep them out of foreclosure.

“HUD is very focused on timely reporting of delinquency issues with the intention of getting borrowers back on track as soon as possible,” said Flohr.

The loan servicers receive quarterly scores that were averaged to produce the final fiscal year-end score. NDHFA scored 95.77 percent for the year.

Of the 9,000 loans NDHFA currently services, approximately 45 percent are FHA guaranteed.

A self-supporting state agency, NDHFA is dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans. The Industrial Commission of North Dakota, consisting of Governor Doug Burgum as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees the agency. More information about NDHFA is available online at www.ndhfa.org.

Housing Agency Wraps Up Record-Breaking Year

BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) is wrapping up a record-breaking year. The state agency, known primarily for the affordable financing it offers through its FirstHome™ program, set a production record in 2018 by purchasing 1,798 loans with a total value of more than $300 million.

“If the increased activity is indicative of more young families, both those new to North Dakota and life-long residents, pursuing homeownership, that’s good for all of North Dakota because homeowners are typically more invested in their community than renters,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director.

NDHFA’s loan production was 134 percent higher in 2018 than the previous year. Activity peaked in May when NDHFA received 246 reservations for $41.5 million in financing. The agency’s staff attributes some of the increased demand to the interest rates it was able to offer this past year.

“A favorable market for the mortgage-revenue bonds that fund our FirstHome program allowed NDHFA to offer financing for most of the year at a rate that was lower than what was available in the conventional marketplace,” said Dave Flohr, NDHFA homeownership division director.

“The one-half of one percent or more rate difference results in significant savings on monthly payments.”This past year, two-thirds of FirstHome program users also utilized the down payment and closing cost assistance NDHFA offers. “The assistance allows first-time buyers to enter the market sooner or to retain their savings for household expenses they didn’t have as renters like purchasing a lawn mower or snow blower,” said Flohr.

The purchase price of single-family homes financed through NDHFA’s FirstHome program cannot exceed $271,164 to $303,882, depending on household size and the county in which the property is located. The average FirstHome loan purchased in 2018 was just under $166,000. The program is available to state residents earning up to $98,900 who have not owned a home in the last three years. The average FirstHome borrower’s household income in 2018 was $58,600.

In addition to the FirstHome loans NDHFA purchased, the agency’s production total for the year includes its HomeAccess loans, a program for special needs households who may have previously owned a home, and North Dakota Roots, a program that assists moderate-income buyers who may have previously owned a home and first-time buyers whose income exceeds the FirstHome program limits.

In an average year, NDHFA purchases 1,200 loans. Private-sector lenders originate loans on the agency’s behalf in communities statewide and sell them to NDHFA when the loans close. Currently, 47 financial institutions across the state are partnered with the agency to offer its financing. The greatest overall program use is in Cass and Burleigh/Morton counties.

NDHFA is a self-supporting state agency dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans. The Industrial Commission of North Dakota, consisting of Governor Doug Burgum as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees the agency. More information about NDHFA’s homeownership programs is available online at www.ndhfa.org.

Agency Reports Record Breaking Loan Production

NDHFA-LogoBISMARCK, ND – First-time buyers pushed North Dakota Housing Finance Agency’s (NDHFA) homeownership program to a record-breaking level this spring.

“NDHFA’s FirstHome™ loan reservations total in May was 185 percent higher than last year,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. The state agency’s program provides first-time home buyers with low-cost financing and, if desired, down payment and closing cost assistance.

The agency received 262 loan reservations in May for $44 million in financing, the highest non-special event month on record. During the same time period in 2017, NDHFA recorded 141 reservations. The agency’s staff attributes some of the demand to the interest rates it is currently offering.

“With conventional financing at 4.25 percent and NDHFA at 3.75 percent, the payment on a $200,000 loan is about $60 less per month,” said Dave Flohr, NDHFA homeownership division director.

The greatest uptick in program activity is in Grand Forks County, almost double last year’s. In Williams County, where a limited number of entry-level homes are reportedly available, NDHFA’s loan production is down 25 percent. The greatest overall program use, as is the norm, is in Cass and Burleigh/Morton counties.

Private-sector lenders originate loans on NDHFA’s behalf and sell them to the agency when the loans are closed. Year-to-date, the average loan purchased by the agency is just under $167,000.

The limit for single-family homes purchased is $271,164 to $303,882, depending on household size and the county in which the property is located.

NDHFA’s program is available to state residents earning up to $98,900 who have not owned a home in the last three years. In 2017, the average borrower’s household income was $56,000.
Sixty percent of NDHFA’s borrowers use the down payment and closing cost assistance offered.

“The purchase assistance allows these buyers to enter the market sooner and to keep their funds for household expenses like a lawnmower, furniture and paint for their new house,” said Flohr.

“Homeownership rates in North Dakota declined during the energy boom with many incoming households choosing to rent,” said Kline. “If our purchase activity is indicative of more households becoming homeowners, that is a good thing for North Dakota because homeowners are more invested in their community.” In 2010, the U.S. Department of Census reported that 65.4 percent of North Dakotans owned a home. It is now estimated at 63.5 percent.

A 1997 federal disaster declaration allowed NDHFA to provide purchase assistance to households impacted by flooding including those who had previously owned a home and those whose income exceeded normal program limits. That special event resulted in 280 loans in March 1998 and 268 in Sept. 1997.

NDHFA is a self-supporting state agency dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans. The Industrial Commission of North Dakota, consisting of Governor Doug Burgum as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees the agency. More information about NDHFA’s homeownership programs is available online at www.ndhfa.org.

Agency Receives Tier 1 Ranking

North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) received a Tier 1 ranking for the FY 2018 Q1 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) National Servicing Center for servicing Federal Housing Administration (FHA) guaranteed single-family loans.

“NDHFA scored 97.18 percent ranking the agency in the top 17 percent of all FHA servicers nationwide,” said Dave Flohr, the agency’s homeownership division director. That quarter, 971 FHA servicers were scored.

The tier ranking system measures a mortgagee’s compliance with delinquent servicing guidelines and requirements in the areas of early delinquency intervention, loss mitigation engagement quantity and quality, and reporting.

HUD established the tier ranking system to protect FHA borrowers from servicer non-compliance and to monitor potential servicer-specific or industry-wide delinquent servicing issues. A higher work-out ratio shows a servicer’s effectiveness in working with delinquent borrowers to keep them out of foreclosure.

“The ratios used for the calculations can be unpredictable and a score can be impacted by one loan’s performance,” said Flohr. “For that reason, our score doesn’t matter as much to HUD as consistent compliance with policy and regulations.”

Of the 8,200 loans NDHFA currently services, 3,900 are FHA guaranteed. The last time the agency was ranked Tier 1 was for FY 2017 Q1.

NDHFA is a self-supporting state agency dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans. More information on the agency and the affordable housing programs it administers is available online at www.ndhfa.org.

Homeownership Program Eligibility Limits Increased

NDHFA-LogoBISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Industrial Commission has approved an increase in the eligibility limits for state programs that assist with home purchases. Administered by North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA), the programs help North Dakotans, typically first-time buyers, buy a home by providing low-cost financing, and down payment and closing cost assistance.

“With these increases we hope that more North Dakotans will be able to purchase a home,” said commission members in a joint statement. “The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency has already helped 42,000 individuals and families become homeowners by providing more than $3 billion in financing since 1982.” The Industrial Commission, consisting of Gov. Doug Burgum as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees NDHFA.

The maximum income limits for NDHFA’s FirstHome™ and HomeAccess programs were set at $83,900 to $98,900, and North Dakota Roots was set at $117,460 to $138,460. The limits vary depending on household size and the county in which a financed home is located.

The FirstHome and HomeAccess acquisition cost limits were set at $271,164 to $303,882 for a single-family home. Higher limits were approved for existing two- to four-unit properties. These limits also vary based on the county in which a property is located. North Dakota Roots program users must comply with limits set by their loan insurer or guarantor.

“During the first quarter of 2018 North Dakota Housing Finance Agency’s FirstHome program saw a 47 percent increase in program activity over the same period in 2017,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. “If the trend continues, 2018 will be busy for our Homeownership Division.”

In 2017, NDHFA assisted 1,076 first-time homebuyers through its FirstHome program. The average borrower’s household income was $57,573 and the average loan amount was $162,643.

The income and acquisition cost limits for NDHFA’s programs are regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Internal Revenue Service respectively. The updated limits are effective for loan reservations dated on or after May 1, 2018.

Through HomeAccess, special needs households who may have previously owned a home may receive the same purchase assistance as first-time buyers. NDHFA’s North Dakota Roots program provides purchase assistance to moderate-income buyers who may have previously owned a home and first-time buyers whose income exceeds the FirstHome program limits.

Private-sector lenders originate the mortgage loans on NDHFA’s behalf and sell them to the agency when the loans are closed. Parties interested in learning more about the programs will find information online at http://www.ndhfa.org.

NDHFA is a self-supporting state agency dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans.