County Kicks In To Make 64 Town Houses Affordable

November 05, 1990|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,Staff writer

Sixty-four new town houses in Severn will be the first built under a new program in which the county buys down the purchase price of homes.

Town houses in Jacobs Meadow, on 7 acres on Jacobs Road, will be sold for $87,500 in a county where the typical new town house runs upward of $130,000.

Jacobs Meadow Limited Partnership is taking buyers' applications and plans to complete the first of its three-bedroom, 2 -bath modular homes by spring.

The state Community Development Administration is providing $5.4 million in mortgage financing, or its limit of $85,000 per unit, through the Maryland Mortgage Purchasing Program.

In order to keep the project cost-effective for the developer and get the homebuyer's CDA financing with interest rates of either 7 percent or 8.875 percent, the county will kick in loans of $2,500 per unit from its newly created Housing Trust Fund.

To the homebuyer, that means monthly principal and interest payments of either $566 or $677, depending on the buyer's income.

From the time it bought the property in April 1989, the Annapolis partnership wanted to build affordable homes and began working with county community development officials to do so.

"We felt that the market was there," said Maurice Haff, limited partner with Jacobs Meadow. "That's what people needed and wanted. The way the property was priced and zoned, we thought it was feasible to do that."

The loan program falls under the $500,000 Housing Trust Fund, which County Executive O. James Lighthizer created in April as four separate affordable housing initiatives, according to Kathleen Koch, community development administrator.

Of the $500,000, $160,000 has been set aside for the Jacobs Meadow project this year, under the purchase-price reduction program.

To qualify for state financing to buy one of the town houses, a couple must have an annual income of $37,500 or less, while a single person must have an annual income of $30,000 or less.

Buyers must come up with the closing costs or 5 percent of the purchase price, whichever is less, Koch said.

The developer plans to break ground before the end of the year, Haff said.

The partnership has hired Ryland Building Systems as a subcontractor to build factory-made modular homes, transport them to the site and lift them on to prepared foundations.

That will save time and money, allowing the developer to complete the homes faster than would be possible on-site.

While Ryland constructs each home in four modules, the developer will be building foundations. Once a home has been set on its foundation, the builder can finish it in just a few weeks.

Each 1,100-square-foot home will have a full, unfinished basement, all appliances and landscaping.

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