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    I would like to buy a home. Where should I begin?
    A good way to prepare for homeownership is to receive pre-purchase education or counseling. The following organizations are members of the Michigan Homeownership Counseling Network and/or are HUD or MSHDA approved counseling agencies.  Please contact them to enroll or for further information.
    * Please note that eligibility requirements and income guidelines vary by program. Call the listed contacts for information regarding specific program requirements.

    Inner City Christian Federation
    Housing Opportunity Center

    920 Cherry Street SE
    Grand Rapids MI 49506
    (616) 336-9333

    New Development Corporation 
    205 Carrier Street NE
    Grand Rapids MI 49505
    (616) 361-7500

    Michigan State University Extension
    Financial Homeownership Education Program

    775 Ball Avenue NE
    Grand Rapids, MI 49503
    (616) 632-7874

    Greenpath Financial Wellness
    3501 Lake Eastbrook Blvd. SE
    Suite 222
    Grand Rapids, MI 49546
    (616) 632-7874
     
    How do I locate a home?
     
    Grand Rapids Association of Realtors
    The Grand Rapids Association of Realtors web site can be used by homebuyers to locate a realtor. A list of properties for sale is also available and homebuyers can list specific criteria, such as location and price range, to assist in their search.

    Inner City Christian Federation
    Housing Opportunity Center
    920 Cherry Street SE
    Grand Rapids MI 49506
    (616) 336-9333  

    ICCF develops homes for occupancy by low- and moderate-income homebuyers.

    LINC Community Revitalization, Inc.
    1167 Madison Avenue SE
    Grand Rapids, MI 49507
    (616) 451-9140
    www.LINCup.org 

    LINC works synergistically with local grass roots community development organizations in managing rental property and developing homes for first time homebuyers.

    Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, Inc.
    425 Pleasant Street SW
    Grand Rapids MI 49503
    (616) 774-2431

    Habitat for Humanity constructs new homes in neighborhoods throughout Kent County. Homes sell for approximately $95,000, depending on house size and location. An earnest payment of $1,000 is required at the time construction is complete. Monthly payments (including taxes and insurance) are set with a 0% interest mortgage and payments are typically around $550, varying based on affordability and sales price.
    Habitat homebuyers must complete 275-500 "sweat equity" hours. Hours are earned through participation in homebuyer education workshops and by working on the construction of their home and others.

    New Development Corporation 
    205 Carrier Street NE
    Grand Rapids MI 49505
    (616) 361-7500

    New Development Corporation acquires and rehabilitates homes for sale to income eligible (at or below 80% of the Area Median Income) first-time homebuyers. Before being sold, the homes are completely renovated with improvements including, but not limited to, new electrical, plumbing, mechanical, roofing, insulation, flooring, windows, and siding.  Lead-based paint and asbestos hazards are also abated. 

    Westown Jubilee Housing, Inc.
    724 West Fulton Street
    Grand Rapids, MI 49504
    (616) 458-4841  

    Westown Jubilee Housing builds and rehabilitates homes on the West Side of Grand Rapids for sale to low income families. Homeownership education is provided. Call for more details about how to qualify for their program.

     
     I've selected a home. How am I going to pay for it?

    Banks and Mortgage Companies
    Banks and mortgage companies can help you sort through the many loan options. See the Yellow Pages for a listing.

    City of Grand Rapids Community Development Department
    Homebuyer Assistance Fund    (En Español)
    The Homebuyer Assistance Fund (HAF) offers up to $5,000 in downpayment and closing cost assistance for first-time homebuyers. Funds are available to purchase homes that are located within the Community Development General Target Area. The Target Area Street Directory can be used to identify the location of specific addresses relative to the GTA. Click above for additional information, a map of the eligible areas, a list of lenders participating in the program, and homebuyer counseling opportunities. Contact a participating lender to apply for assistance from the Homebuyer Assistance Fund.

    Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA)
    (517) 373-6840 
    www.michigan.gov/MSHDA
    MSHDA offers a number of programs that provide financial assistance for the purchase of a home. Programs offered include downpayment assistance, low-interest mortgage loans and financing for the purchase of homes that require repair.  Click here for more information from MSHDA's website.
    Down Payment Assistance Program
    Eligible individuals may receive a loan of up to $7,500 for down payment assistance on MSHDA loans.

    HUD offers various programs that provide assistance to homebuyers and renters. Information is readily available on HUD's website for a variety of housing opportunities and programs, including the HUD Homes for Sale program. 

    Veterans Administration
    The Veterans Administration (VA) offers financing to veterans through lower-interest loans, often with no down payment. The loans may be used to buy or build a home or for energy-related improvements to an existing home.  Click here to determine if you are eligible for a VA loan.

    I've signed my mortgage. What do I need to prepare for move-in?
    Moving into a new home can be a lot of work. Following are a few things to consider as you prepare to move-in.

    Obtain Homeowners Insurance
    While your lender is probably requiring that you have mortgage insurance, which protects them from losses that result if you default on your home mortgage, you should also consider acquiring homeowners insurance. There are a variety of types of coverage that homeowners insurance policies can include, so it is necessary for you to contact an insurance agent for detailed information. Most basic policies provide some coverage for the following:
    • the house (protection from fire, etc.),
    • contents of the house (furniture, clothing, etc.), and
    • accidents that occur on the property.
    Change Your Address with the United States Postal Service
    To assure uninterrupted mail service you need to submit a Change of Address Order to the U. S. Postal Service. This form may be obtained at your local post office or by clicking the above link to the agency's web site.

    Have Utilities Connected
    When you move into your home in the City of Grand Rapids, you must put the utilities in your name right away. Make sure you are prepared for this by paying off any outstanding utilities in advance.
    Gas Service
    DTE Energy
    1-800-477-4747
    Electric Service
    Consumers Energy
    1-800-477-5050
    Water Service
    Grand Rapids City Hall
    300 Monroe NW - Monroe Lobby
    Grand Rapids MI 49503
    (616) 456-3200

    Refuse and Recycling
    City of Grand Rapids
    Public Services Department
    Recycling and Waste Services Division
    201 Market Street SW
    (616) 456-3232 
    311  Call Center Service

    Contact Your Neighborhood Association
    A great way to meet your new neighbors and become involved in your community is by contacting your neighborhood association. The Community Research Institute at Grand Valley State University maintains a list and map of Neighborhood Associations throughout the City of Grand Rapids.