If you are buying a home around Eglin Air Force Base or Hurlburt Field, you may want to know about HAP properties. HAP stands for Homeowner Assistance Program, and it is designed to help military service members sell homes with upside-down mortgages.
For example, if you are looking at a Crestview Florida home where the military seller owes $250,000 on the mortgage, and the home is only worth $150,000 (very common), this might be a scenario where HAP could help. If the seller qualifies, HAP will cover his mortgage loss at time of sale, and allow you to buy it without waiting for a “short sale”.
HAP, run by the Army Corps of Engineers, assists airmen who are PCSing (permanent change of station) with orders to a new base more than 50 miles away. To qualify for the HAP program, the service members must generally meet these criteria:
1. They entered into a contract to purchase their current home before July 2006.
2. It was their primary residence when they got orders to move
3. Their orders were between February 1 2006 through September 30, 2012.
4. The property must have declined at least 10% in value. (That should not be in problem in the Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field market).
If you find a property in Crestview, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville or Navarre Florida that is specified as “HAP”, what does this mean to you?
1. Your real estate contract should have language stating it is “contingent on HAP approval”.
2. You should allow up to 90 days for approval. The HAP processing time was about six months at the beginning of the year, but it is speeding up. You may be approved quicker.
3. HAP generally will pay competitive closing costs, perhaps 3% of the purchase price. Be prepared that they may not agree with what you are asking.
4. HAP wants fair market value for the property. Do not expect to pay much less. HAP will request the listing agent provide comparable sales data, and they will do an independent analysis, as well.
5. Realize the Eglin AFB or Hurlburt Field service member will do the initial negotiations with you, and may not accept or may counter offer your proposal.
When it is time to close, HAP will do what is called an “Augmented sale” or “Government Acquisition”. They will actually buy the property from the service member, then sell it directly to you.
As you begin your home search in Crestview, Navarre, Niceville and Fort Walton Beach Florida, remember to check out HAP homes. You may be HAPpy you did!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-ITS-WNDY (1-877-487-9639) or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: [email protected]
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Wendy is a short sale and pre-foreclosure specialist and has been featured in “Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine” and “Florida Realtor Magazine”. Call Wendy Rulnick, Broker/Owner,to list and sell your home or condo on the Emerald Coast of Florida in Walton, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa County- Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Crestview, Rosemary Beach, Mary Esther, Shalimar, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field.