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$20 Million Initiative Offers Teachers Homeownership Opportunities - 4/17/2008

COLUMBIA – Two state agencies are partnering to offer a joint $20 million initiative that will offer low-interest home loans to South Carolina teachers – and help with their down payments, too.

The 2008 Palmetto Hero Program, an initiative of the South Carolina State Housing Authority in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Education, offers assistance to eligible teachers hoping to purchase their first homes.

The new program is available to teachers who have valid South Carolina teacher certifications, currently reside and teach in the state, or have a contract to begin teaching here within 60 days of closing on a home. 

Eligible teachers can get a 5.875 percent initial interest rate through the First Time Homebuyer Program.  In addition, teachers who qualify based on income can take advantage of one of two down payment assistance loans.

Mortgage loan terms can be up to 30 years and are available to qualified buyers through any of the Authority’s more than 200 participating lenders or brokers statewide.  Maximum income limits, based on median income per county, range from a low of $16,300 to a high of $73,800.  Maximum purchase price limits for new construction as well as existing homes range from $180,144 to $284,050, also depending on county. The current rate is subject to change due to market conditions.  These loans cannot be used for refinancing.

For more information on this limited offer, contact South Carolina State Housing at 1-800-432-5007 or (803) 896-9508, or visit the Authority’s website (www.schousing.com) for a list of participating lenders. Hearing and/or speech-impaired individuals may use the Authority’s TTY line (803) 896-8831.

The State Housing Finance and Development Authority is a self-supporting agency of state government and operates at no cost to taxpayers.