KHRC Helps Leavenworth Resident Celebrate Dream of Homeownership

Leavenworth resident Robin Bates celebrates owning her first home with her 12-year-old dog Dakota.In honor of National Homeownership Month, Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) helped first-time home buyer Robin Bates celebrate her entry into the homeownership market. KHRC hosted a tree planting ceremony at Bates’ newly purchased home in Leavenworth, Kansas. Bates achieved the American Dream of homeownership, thanks in part to down payment assistance made possible from the First Time Home Buyer Program.

“If you’re thinking about buying a home and have a little savings put aside, I tell folks to go for it. There’s assistance out there,” said Bates. “Without the First Time Home Buyer Program, buying a home would have been much harder. I loved the program,” added Bates.

Helping Bates celebrate included officials from Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, the City of Leavenworth, the Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as local real estate and mortgage lending professionals. "Homeownership is the foundation to building a strong community," said Leavenworth Mayor Shay Baker. “It strengthens families, enhances self-sufficiency, and promotes personal well-being.” Baker presented Bates with a bouquet of Sunflowers, the state flower of Kansas.

Christine Reimler, KHRC’s First Time Home Buyer Program Manager, gave Bates a proclamation signed by Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson. “Owning a home is one of the most important investments a person can make,” said Reimler. “Kansas Housing and our partners around the state – builders, bankers, nonprofits and realtors – will continue working together to ensure homeownership is an option for all Kansas families,” Reimler continued.

Attending the Leavenworth tree planting, from left to right: Michelle Oliver, Bank of Kansas City; Florence Larkin, Reece and Nichols Premier Realty; Robin Bates, First Time Home Buyer; Christine Reimler, KHRC; Gary Allsup, KHRC; Mayor Shay Baker, City of Leavenworth; Tim Holverson, Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce.Bates received $10,350 from the First Time Home Buyer Program to help pay down payment and closing costs. To mark the celebration, Bates chose to plant a Spring Snow Crabapple Tree in her front yard.

In fiscal year 2008, the First Time Home Buyer Program (FTHB) provided more than $3.6 million in down payment assistance to 270 qualified Kansas buyers for the purchase of their first home. The program assists persons who have incomes at or below 80 percent of the median income for their area. The loan, awarded on a sliding scale, may be from 15 to 20 percent of the purchase price of the home, depending on the applicant’s income level. Buyers are expected to make a minimum investment of $500 or two percent of the sale price. Private lenders process the second mortgages in conjunction with the first mortgage financing. No repayment is required if the family remains in the home for 10 years.

KHRC’s mission is to enhance Kansas communities with housing opportunities using a variety of strategies and approaches, including increasing homeownership opportunities, leveraging the construction of more affordable rental housing, preserving existing housing through rehabilitation, promoting energy efficiency improvements for owner-occupied and rental housing and providing affordable housing through rent assistance to low-income families and senior citizens.