Number of new mortgages in Detroit increased significantly in 2016

January 26th, 2017
Ashley Johnson (left) bought her home in northwest Detroit in 2016 using HomeLIFT funds; Marcie Kansou (right) purchased her home in Rosedale Park in 2016 by taking advantage of the Detroit Home Mortgage program.

The number of homes in Detroit purchased with a mortgage in 2016 increased by more than 25% over the previous year, and Southwest Solutions’ homeownership programs contributed in important ways to this increase.

According to data from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), there were 703 homes in Detroit purchased with mortgages in 2016, compared to 557 in 2015. Of these 703 mortgage closings, Southwest Solutions aided in 70 of them, or 10%, through our homebuyer education workshops, our Detroit HomeLIFT program, or our partnership with Detroit Home Mortgage (DHM). There were 21 DHM closings in total in the city in 2016. One-third (7) of those worked with Southwest Solutions.

“We are extremely proud of our instrumental role in helping to increase the number of new mortgages in the city last year through our homeownership programs and partnerships,” said Hector Hernandez, executive director of Southwest Economic Solutions. “Rebuilding homeownership is essential in stabilizing and revitalizing Detroit neighborhoods, and we hope this upward trend continues and accelerates.”

Southwest Solutions offers a monthly homebuyer education class as well as an online homebuyer education class. Participants who complete the class receive a certificate that is required to qualify for special incentive programs.

One of those incentive programs is HomeLIFT, which provides $15,000 in down payment assistance to eligible homebuyers. HomeLIFT is a partnership with NeighborWorks America, Wells Fargo and local banks. Southwest Lending Solutions is involved in processing all HomeLIFT applications. Of the 70 Detroit mortgage closings that Southwest Solutions assisted with in 2016, 55 received HomeLIFT funds.

“HomeLIFT has had a real impact in enhancing the homebuying market in Detroit neighborhoods,” said Libby Palackdharry, who oversees the homeownership programs at Southwest Solutions.

Detroit Home Mortgage started in late February 2016 and is designed to address the “appraisal gap” in the city. DHM enables a homebuyer to secure a mortgage from a participating bank for the full amount to buy and fix up a home, even when the appraised value falls short.

Marcie Kansou was the first person to purchase a home through DHM. To qualify for DHM, Marcie completed both a homebuyer education workshop and a high combined loan-to-value (CLTV) training at Southwest Solutions. Marcie worked with Huntington Bank, one of the DHM partner banks, to acquire her mortgage for her home in Rosedale Park.

“Without a doubt, if not for Detroit Home Mortgage, Marcie would not have been able to get the financing for this home,” said Scott Gutschow, the Huntington loan officer who helped Marcie.

To learn more about the various homeownership programs at Southwest Solutions, call 313-841-9641.

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