Following the University of Colorado’s announcement in February that it would do more to help its faculty and staff who can’t afford the cost of Boulder and surrounding areas, an informational session Monday heard from concerned employees who say the cost of homeownership near the university is “astronomical.”
“I don’t know many people that actually can afford to own (a home) in Boulder that work here,” said Brittany Anderson, a program coordinator in CU Boulder’s Student Academic Success Center. “I think owning a home in the Boulder-Denver area is kind of out of reach to most of my colleagues and myself.”
CU has proposed a partnership with third-party vendor Landed to better support its employees as they look to buy in Boulder and neighboring areas. Paula Davis, a Landed representative, said Monday the cost of housing has skyrocketed in growing cities like Boulder and Denver.
The program will offer housing assistance to qualifying CU employees who work 20 or more hours a week and who have worked for two or more years in public education. The program offers housing in the greater Boulder and Denver metro areas including Arapahoe, Jefferson, Adams, Douglas, Boulder, Broomfield, Elbert, Park, Clear Creek and Gilpin County.
Landed aims to help individuals reach that all-important 20% down payment necessary for lowering interest rates. A 20% down payment also prevents the need for the purchase of mortgage insurance, costly insurance lenders demand when they consider a loan to be of risk.
The individual must contribute a minimum of 5% of the down payment and Landed works with them to pay the rest. Come time to sell, Landed shares in the appreciation of the home: for every 1% of the down payment Landed puts in, it gets 2.5% of the appreciation value or in the loss if the home depreciates. Davis called the program a shared investment rather than a loan.
If an individual’s house costs $500,000 and they can afford a 10% down payment of $50,000, Landed would match that 10%, bringing the total down payment to $100,000. If in 10 years they want to sell, and the house also increases in value, such as to $600,000, the program would share in the gain earning $25,000 plus the original price of their down payment ($50,000).
The individual would earn their share of the gain as well as have their down payment and mortgage already paid, totaling around $210,000 assuming a normal interest rate and mortgage applies. If the house decreases in value the program would still share in 25% of the loss, earning back only its original $50,000 down payment.
“Our partnership with Landed will also help improve staff recruitment and retention by helping them make homeownership more accessible,” said CU system President Mark Kennedy in a statement.
Several employees Monday said the program is much needed.
“I live in Arvada … in a friend’s basement, I just pay like a third of their mortgage cause that’s pretty much all I can do,” said Sam Wright, a climbing gym and rental center coordinator who despite working full time for the university cannot afford a home in Boulder.
Davis said with Landed’s help, employees will finally be able to live where they work.
“The folks who get pushed out first are those who work in education, non-profits … and those are the people we feel are the most important to keep in our communities,” he said. Individuals can also check out sites like Lowcountry Real Estate for other available housing. And if you are looking for an affordable real estate property for sale, you might want to learn about new homes in Bluffton here. It is recommended to get pre-approved for home loans before you start looking at homes for sale. On the other hand, home sellers who prefer cash offers may get in touch with companies like House Buyers of America, learn this here now.
Applications are now opened to university employees who believe they may qualify for the program. Future informational sessions are set to take place this week and next at CU’s Denver campus. More information can be found here.