OGDEN, Utah (ABC4) – Even though the housing market is starting to stabilize in Utah, many potential buyers are still out of luck. However, a program in Ogden can help change that luck for those looking to settle in the city. Own in Ogden is a down payment loan program that offers up to $20,000 in assistance.
Homes are a rare commodity these days and for almost two years they have been selling within a week of being put on the market. However, things are starting to slow down in northern Utah.
“Homes are sitting on the market a little longer, but they’re being bought,” Melissa Hernandez told ABC4. Hernandez was born in Mexico, grew up in Davis County, moved to Ogden as a teenager, married an Ogden man, and is now a realtor in the area with Ridgeline Realty. She told ABC4 she loves Ogden and is thrilled to see Own in Ogden helping first-time buyers get into a home and make the town their home.
“We’re seeing prices come down, which is really good for buyers, and buyers can really negotiate whatever they want in a home right now,” Hernandez said.
Even though homes stay on the market a bit longer than they have in the past two years and prices begin to stabilize, many cannot afford the down payment needed to purchase. . Hernandez explained that many hopeful buyers spend more on rent than they would on a mortgage, which often means it takes years of saving to have enough money for a down payment.
“We use federal funds to help people get into homes,” Jeremy Smith said. Smith is the Assistant Director of Ogden City’s Community Development Division. The federal funds he mentioned are the funds that make Own in Ogden possible. This is a loan program with a down payment.
“To encourage homeowner occupancy in the city, we’ve increased the amount to encourage them to come and stay,” Smith explained. The program is not new. However, Smith told ABC4 that the amount available to people through the program is now significantly higher than it has been in the past. Previously, he said, people could expect to be entitled to around $2,000 to $3,000. Now, in some cases, this amount has been multiplied by 10.
Ogden City police and firefighters are eligible for assistance of up to $20,000. Certified teachers, school administrators and Ogden City employees may be eligible for up to $15,000. Anyone who buys their primary residence within the city limits of Ogden can receive up to $10,000. Assistance is income-tested and can only be applied to the purchase of a home for $385,000 or less. More information on who is eligible can be found here.
“We want to keep our employees here, so we try to be creative; find ways to entice them to stay,” Smith told ABC4. He explained that the city will allocate the funds through the Own in Ogden program until exhausted. However, the program will continue to operate in the future and funds will be renewed (through federal programs) and on an annual basis.
“I think Ogden is such a cool place,” Hernandez said. “There are always things happening in the community, and it’s just that you want to be a part of it.”