• Higher qualifying home price.
Program participants can qualify for a Dream loan on houses contracted up to $271,050. Shockley said that figure accommodates buyers in the higher-priced Tulsa and Oklahoma City markets; the average price statewide of a house in the program is closer to $95,000.
• No geographical “target” areas.
Unlike loans restricted to certain development zones, the OHFA Dream program can be applied to any house, anywhere.
• No first-time buyer requirement.
Under the new program, families trading up from a starter house get the same incentives as those buying a first house.
In just such a case, Valerie and Mitch Trammell, of Stillwater, learned that OHFA Dream could provide a down payment toward what she called their “forever home.”
The Trammells, who have a 2-year-old daughter and careers in Oklahoma City, are planning to use the OHFA Dream program to upgrade from the Stillwater house they bought as newlyweds and resettle in Edmond.
“Down-payment assistance would help us reach our goals of building a home to fit our growing family while staying fiscally responsible,” Valerie Trammell said.
Also to qualify for OHFA Dream, buyers must show a credit rating of 640 or higher, a sign that underwriting standards remain more strict than before the tightening that began in 2008.
Ganesan’s house, built in 1920, is a renovated three-bedroom, two-bathroom bungalow with an updated kitchen. Its 1,800-square-foot plan feels spacious and inviting, with massive living space between a formal living room and den/family room, with a separate dining nook off the kitchen.
A front porch and rear deck complete the house, opening it up to neighbors and passersby in the famously walkable Paseo neighborhood.
“This is a dream that I’ve had for a long time,” Ganesan said on her front porch swing. “A lot of girls, I think, think about, ‘Oh, I can’t wait to get married.’ I always thought about buying a home.”
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