1. Complete our application and submit all required documents to determine if you meet the basic criteria of the homeownership program.
  2. Keep an eye on our listings and your emails to see homes you may like as they become available.  You must also qualify to purchase a home based on your income and other subsidy requirements.
  3. Complete all three education requirements: Program Orientation, Financial Counseling, and Homebuyer Education classes.
  4. Visit an approved lender to get pre-qualified for a mortgage.
  5. Sign an offer-to-purchase contract.

The Community Home Trust Sales Department has licensed real estate agents who represent Community Home Trust but will provide professional assistance throughout the home buying process. Buyers may have their own representation, but the cost of the commission is the sole responsibility of the buyer. As with the buyer, the Community Home Trust Sales Team will assist the seller, but represents the interests of Community Home Trust. Sellers may have their own representation, but the process and guidelines for reselling a Community Home Trust home remain the same. If you are working with a realtor when you apply, Community Home Trust will pay a $500 referral fee.

We require a buyer’s total housing costs to be no more than 30% of their gross monthly income but target 28%, when possible.  Housing costs include principal, interest, taxes, insurance, HOA dues, and ground lease fees.

You pay two monthly fees to Community Home Trust for the entire time you own your home.  The first is a ground lease, or use fee, which is a small monthly charge that is payable to Community Home Trust.  The second is the Stewardship Fee, explained below. You might see these two charges combined into one deduction from your bank account on an automatic draft.

The Stewardship Fee is dedicated to replacing specific capital systems (or major components of those systems) such as the roof, siding, air conditioning/heating system (HVAC), hot water heater, and flooring. For our single family homes, the fee also covers an annual termite inspection and warranty. These funds stay with the property and are only used to cover the replacement of those “big ticket” items listed above.  The fee varies for different homes, so please ask our Sales Team about the fee on the home that interests you.

Community Home Trust will provide assistance based on need as determined by a thorough review of income and employment documentation. There may be additional criteria, steps, and documentation required depending on the source of funds. Our goal is to ensure that buyers are not over-extending themselves.  We will apply subsidy to reduce a buyer’s first mortgage amount such that the monthly costs are approximately 28% of the household’s monthly gross income. We will not allow a buyer to purchase a home if the total monthly housing expenses exceed 30%.

Often, down payment assistance is available to our buyers in the form of a no-interest, no-payment loan.  This means that typically a Community Home Trust buyer is not required to have a down payment to purchase one of our homes.  Of course, you may choose to have a larger down payment if you wish. If your monthly housing costs exceed 30% of your gross monthly income after all subsidy has been applied, you may be required to add a down payment in order to qualify to purchase that home.

Closing costs typically range from $4,500-6,000. $1,000 is due in the form of earnest money when you sign your contract, and the remaining amount is due at the time of closing.

Gifts are allowed up to $10,000.  Exceptions to this policy may be requested under very limited circumstances.  We do not allow for co-signers. All gifts are also subject to lender requirements.

Once you are certain you qualify for our program, you locate a home you wish to purchase.  You then must qualify to purchase that home.  Once you qualify, you can reserve the property for up to 7 days while you attempt to get your pre-qualification letter.   Due to the complexity of our land trust model, you must visit one of our approved lenders. We will provide a list of lenders after you go under reservation on a home.

Many of our financial institutions require a minimum credit score of 640.   There is one credit union that may allow a lower score, depending on your individual circumstances.

If you are thinking about buying a home, we recommend getting your application in as soon as possible so you can begin receiving updates on available properties for sale.

We offer free financial counseling services to help you put together a long-term plan to increase your credit score or save money for closing costs.  Please contact our office to set up an appointment. Email Sales Manager Amy Slaughter at aslaughter@communityhometrust.org or call 919.967.1545.

Orientation: a detailed overview of the homeownership program touching on some highlights of the process of buying, owning, and selling a Community Home Trust property.

Financial Counseling: one-on-one counseling session with a certified financial counselor to help you establish, review, or revise your budget as well as acquire, review, and repair your credit report.

Homebuyer Education: an extensive 8-hour class that instructs first-time homebuyers in the process of buying and owning a home. This class is taught by a certified housing counselor, and you must attend at least 7 of the 8 hours to obtain your certificate, which is good for 12 months.

Home Maintenance: a 3-hour class taught by our Property Manager about the basics of maintaining your home. Simple and inexpensive preventative maintenance can save you money in the future.

You can learn more about these courses and register online.

A resale packet can be provided to you by the Sales Team or you can download the documents. It is important to remember that the process will take more time than selling a private market home. Although most homes sell within 90 days, you should allow up to 6 months to sell your home. Since you are responsible for maintaining all costs associated with the home until it sells, we strongly advise not purchasing another home or signing a new lease until your home closes. This will prevent you from having to financially maintain two properties.