Eastown Environmental Sweep Launches January 2011

The BetterBuildings for Michigan program has launched and it’s coming to Eastown! This three year, $30M American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) supported program uses a community approach to deliver energy efficiency improvements for homes and businesses by providing access to incentives and affordable loans.

>>note updated Meeting Dates and times: It’s now January 13 and 20 at 6 p.m., January 15 and 22 at 10 a.m.

The program was developed by a multi-stakeholder group including the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG)Michigan Savesthe City of Grand Rapidsthe Economic Development Corporation of the city of Detroit; and the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office. BetterBuildings for Michigan will leverage each dollar of the federal funds available within the program with a minimum of five dollars from other investments, thereby leveraging over $150M in private and public funding.

Here’s the link to the Detroit article.

The objective of the BetterBuildings for Michigan program is to create

  • a sustainable energy efficiency market by providing outreach and education to increase demand,
  • a skilled energy efficiency workforce to meet that demand, and
  • the tools for lenders to make ongoing investments in energy efficiency in residential, commercial, industrial, and public buildings.

The City of Grand Rapids, the West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) and Eastown Community Association (ECA) will be performing outreach in a portion of Eastown. Those within the outreach target area have access to $1050 in basic energy efficiency upgrades as well as a comprehensive home energy assessment. Based on the assessment, a resident may decide to upgrade to other energy efficiency measures that may be supported by attractive financing up to $12,500. More information can be obtained by contacting the West Michigan Environment Action Council at 451-3051.

Additional information on Eastown Sweep

The targeted neighborhood in Eastown is outlined between Fulton, Fuller, Lake, and Wilcox Park/Aquinas College and includes an estimated 429 homes. This neighborhood will be receiving advance notice of the program and events starting the week of January 3rd this may come in the form of a direct mailing, door2door invitation, or door hangers.

The official program kick off in Eastown starts on Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Residents will not be able to officially sign up for the program until January 12th.

Information Meetings will be held at St. Thomas Church in the basement community room.

Program sign up meetings:

January 13 and 20 at 6 p.m., January 15 and 22 at 10 a.m.

Door-2-Door Canvassing Events: WMEAC will be canvassing the neighborhood the week of January 17-22 for program information and sign up. Deadline for resident sign up is

February 12th, 2011

Also, starting on January 12th, the WMEAC office at 1007 Lake Drive SE & the ECA Office will become home bases for the neighbors to visit, get more information, and sign up during normal business hours of both offices.

The program website should be available by the official program kick-off on January 12th.

That site will be

Questions from residents about the program can be directed to WMEAC.

Ann Erhardt

Outreach Project Manager

616-451-3051 x24

Homebuyer Tax Credit Extended for Those With Accepted Offers in Place

On the evening of June 30, Congress passed an extension of the closing deadline for the Homebuyer Tax Credit. The extension applies only to transactions that have ratified contracts in place as of April 30, 2010, that have not yet closed; the new closing deadline for eligible transactions is now September 30, 2010.

Fannie Mae makes Short Sales Easier

Fannie Mae Introduces HAFA Program

On Tuesday, June 1, Fannie Mae issued Servicing Guide Announcement SVC-2010-07, introducing Fannie Mae’s Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) Program. It, like Treasury’s Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (as described in Supplemental Directive 09-09 Revised), is designed to mitigate the impact of foreclosures on borrowers who are eligible for a loan modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) but ultimately are unsuccessful in obtaining one.

Program Features
The Fannie Mae Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program, which becomes effective August 1, 2010, simplifies and streamlines the use of short or “preforeclosure” sale and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (DIL) options on HAMP-eligible loans by incorporating the following unique features:

  • Complements HAMP by providing alternatives for borrowers who are HAMP eligible (including borrowers facing imminent default);
  • Allows the borrower to receive pre-approved short sale terms prior to the property listing;
  • Prohibits the servicer from requiring, as a condition of approving the short sale, a reduction in the real estate commission agreed upon in the listing agreement;
  • Releases the successful HAFA borrower from future liability for the debt;
  • Uses standard processes, documents, and timeframes;
  • Provides financial incentives to borrowers, servicers and subordinate lienholders; and
  • Utilizes verified borrower financial and hardship information collected in conjunction with HAMP, eliminating the need for additional eligibility analysis.

For More Information
For complete program information, read the Announcement. Other related materials are available on the new HAFA page on

HUD Incentive Expires this Week!

If you’ve worked with me much over the past year, you probably know that Ive been a big proponent of HUD homes.
From now til 2/12/10, you can still put $100 down and get a HUD Home with an FHA loan. You will also receive $2500 cash back at close on any offer over $25,000. Rehab loans available.
Combined with the 10% 2010 Obama tax credit, this is the best deal Ive ever seen for a first time buyer.
Last chance: Email me if you’d like to receive a list of HUD homes in your targeted area and price range!