Following are the steps required to qualify an applicant for the City’s Homeownership Assistance Program. Although staff will process requests as quickly as possible, applicants should allow thirty (30) days for review and processing from the time a COMPLETED application is received in the Community Development Department. Please note that HOA funds are only to be used for down payment and closing costs. Prepaid items, such as taxes and insurance, cannot be used in calculating the amount of HOA assistance an applicant is eligible to receive. Homebuyers must provide a minimum of $500 toward the purchase.
How to Apply
E-mail (Gary.Anspach@como.gov) or hand deliver the following information or documents to the Community Development Department. Documents must be legible.
- City’s signed application form and data sheet which includes the proposed closing date.
- Loan estimate.
- Income verifications which include, but are not limited to:
- Last 2 months of pay stubs for salary/wages
- Self-employment income
- Social Security
- Underwriter’s worksheet and summary sheet.
- Applicant(s)’ credit report(s).
- Commitment for title insurance with exceptions reviewed.
- The last two months checking and savings account statements.
- The last twelve (12) months of statements for all income-producing assets (monthly or quarterly statements), including money market accounts, CDs, mutual funds, stocks and bonds. Statements provided for questions 8 and 9 must indicate the balance/value for the date the application is signed.
- Documentation of first-time homebuyer status may be verified by providing (1) copy of signed lease(s), Verification of Rent (VOR), or notarized letter(s) from landlord(s), verifying rental history for the past three years (up to and including the date of the City assistance application), or (2) the last three years’ Federal tax returns, verifying applicant did not take mortgage interest credit. If tax returns are used, you must provide:
- An IRS transcript for each tax return or have a third party preparer mail a copy of their return(s) directly to Community Development, PO Box 6015, Columbia, MO 65205. Individuals may obtain transcripts immediately from the IRS website at www.irs.gov.
- Written verification for the current calendar year in some form (copy of signed lease, Verification of Rent (VOR), etc.) Note: if the applicant has resided in a parent’s home during any part of the previous three years, a signed, notarized letter from their parent(s) will serve as documentation for that time period.
- Lender loan application, including information on front end and back ratios (maximum ratios allowed by the City for the HOA program are 35/45 respectively).
- Certified third party property inspection (not required if property was constructed within the last three years).
- Sales contract.
- Copy of signed lead notification statement indicating that lead hazard information has been provided to the buyer (for houses built prior to January 1, 1978).
- Copy of signed Uniform Relocation Act Compliance Notification.
- Copy of certificate from homebuyers education class. Buyers are required to attend an approved homebuyers class and funds cannot be released until proof of attendance has been provided. An online course or take home materials are not allowed (see flyer for the Homebuyers Pre-Purchase Seminar which is offered locally).
After City staff determine the applicant meets program requirements, a City inspector will schedule an inspection of the property. HOA funds will not be approved until the property passes inspection. There are two purposes for this inspection:
- Compliance with property maintenance code. The inspector will issue a correction notice if the property does not meet property maintenance requirements, and any deficiencies must be corrected prior to HOA funds being approved. Seller and/or buyer are responsible for cost of repairs.
- To determine if lead paint hazard exists (only for homes built prior to January 1, 1978). The inspector will determine if deteriorated paint exists, and any deteriorated areas, interior or exterior, will be tested by a licensed risk assessor. If areas test positive for lead, paint stabilization is required by a contractor trained in lead safe work practices (contact the City for a list of approved contractors). The City has a $500 grant to help offset the cost of paint stabilization, but buyer and/or seller are responsible for all costs exceeding that amount. Once stabilization is complete, a clearance of the property by the licensed risk assessor is required, and this cost will be covered by the City. HOA funds will not be approved until this clearance is achieved. Please note that in these situations a buyer cannot occupy the home until clearance is achieved.
HOA Funds Request
Once the applicant and property have been determined to meet program requirements, City staff will request the check for the HOA assistance and prepare the Borrowers Agreement, Promissory Note, and Deed of Trust. The Borrowers Agreement, Promissory Note, and Deed of Trust will be signed by the buyer(s) in the Community Development Department prior to release of funds.
The lender or closing company will provide copies of the signed warranty deed and Closing Disclosure to the Community Development Department within three days of closing.
Please call us at 573.874.7288 should you have questions or need additional information.