During the past five years, the REALTOR® Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, Inc. has focused our Attainable/Affordable Housing Work Group efforts on a) establishing a non-profit 501(C) 3 Housing Foundation to provide gap assistance to essential workers in our community; b) providing required Homebuyer Education to the public; c) helping distressed homeowners to understand the options to foreclosure; d) supporting the efforts of Habitat for Humanity; e) working with the Lee County School Board to pilot Financial Literacy in senior high curriculum.
The Association’s Housing Foundation, approved by the IRS as a 501(C) 3 non-profit organization, provides gap assistance to essential workers in our community who qualify for subsidies but need further financial assistance in order to purchase a home. We provide up to 6,000 per transaction for workers who earn up to 120% of the area’s median income. Our non-profit partner, LCHDC, reviews the applications and makes recommendations to the Housing Foundation’s Board of Directors for approval. Monies are distributed as a loan with a 10-year second or third mortgage placed on the property. The mortgage is self-amortizing and reduces at a rate of 10% per year. As long as the property is occupied as a primary residence and homesteaded for the ten-year term, a satisfaction of the mortgage is given and the loan will not have to be repaid.
Affordable Housing Financing Resources
The Accredited Attainable Housing Representative (AAHR) is capable of representing attainable/affordable buyers with information, resources and guidance throughout the home buying process. This designation recognizes REALTORS® who have committed their time to obtain the education and experience in working with the attainable housing market.
Four criteria to complete the designation:
1. Attend three AAHR Classes
Affordable Housing Solutions
Find the Money – Lunch & Learn
At Home with Diversity
2. Complete four (4) attainable housing transactions
3. Ten (10) hours of community service
4. Attend a Lee County Affordable Housing Committee meeting, Board of County Commissioners meeting or municipality commission meeting
We are working with the Lee County Housing Development Corporation (LCHDC) in providing the 8-hour Homebuyer Education Class at our Education Center once a month, taught by our accredited volunteer instructors. The costs for this program are covered by local sponsors enabling us to provide workbooks, lunch and a full-day class at no cost to the participants. As participants learn how to be credit worthy, obtain financing, set priorities for home selection and importantly, learn how to maintain and keep their home after purchase they feel empowered from the knowledge they’ve obtained to be better buyers and ultimately, better homeowners. To date we have educated over 350 potential homeowners.
Homebuyer Education Dates and Location
3rd Saturday each month from 8:15AM-4:45PM
January 18 July 19
February 15 August 16
March 15 September 20
April 12 October 18
May 17 November 15
The Homebuyer Center
Preparation, patience and perseverance – the three P’s of real estate. These qualities are needed in abundance when someone goes through the complex process of buying or selling a home.
Realtors® in Florida know that keeping homebuyers and sellers informed and involved is key to a smooth, successful relationship. That’s where the Homebuyer Center can help. Bookmark this page to find tips, tools and valuable resources to share with buyers and sellers.