Incentives sweeten deal for prospective homebuyers |

Incentives sweeten deal for prospective homebuyers

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer

After years of being priced out of the market, prospective home buyers with little or no money for a down payment are finding lucrative incentives in Carson City’s slowing market.

One seller is offering to cover the $10,000 down payment on his Carson City home.

It has paid to wait out Carson City’s housing boom, which hit a high in 2005 when the median price of a single-family home jumped 34 percent over a year to $348,500. Families are seeing homes for sale with reduced prices. The median price for a Carson City home in the third quarter was $314,700, according to a report released Monday by the Multiple Listing Service, which tracks Realtor sales. That’s down about 4 percent from the previous quarter.

Some sellers are paying for the closing costs, which typically run 3 percent of the home’s value. They’re also paying a portion of the interest, so the buyer has a lower payment for the first few years.

Dave Schoeppler, broker and owner of Star Realty, has two homes on the market where the seller is willing to cover the $10,000 down payments.

The homes, 2520 Woodcrest Lane and 2924 Gillis Way, have been on the market for more than 60 days and have been reduced to $309,000 and $329,000.

“This is a way to get a buyer into the home,” Schoeppler said Monday. “Someone who has a good job and can qualify for an FHA loan, they can buy one of these homes.”

The seller may be able to take it as a tax write-off, said Sherri Negrete, mortgage broker with Sierra Coast Mortgage. The seller gives the down payment to a nonprofit company, in this case Housing Action Resource Trust program, which is approved by the Federal Housing Administration. The nonprofit company then gifts it to the buyer.

“The seller is giving up some of his profit to help you buy a house,” Negrete said. “It’s not coming from the federal government.”

She said this incentive can be more attractive to buyers than a $10,000 price reduction.

“One of major obstacles is, No. 1 qualifying for the mortgage and No. 2 having the down payment and closing costs,” Negrete said. “This way the seller is selling for $15,000 less, but the buyer is reaping the benefits.”

She cautions there is one downfall of the program: you cannot sell for more than the appraised value. For example, if the owner sells at $250,000 it must be appraised at that price.

“The program may not work for all transactions, but it can facilitate some buyers and sellers in negotiating,” Negrete said.

Last summer, Daniel Yslava used this method to sell his home in Mound House.

“I decided to use it because the couple seemed eager to get the home and that was the only way they could qualify,” he said. “And I needed to sell the home.”

It took 30 days to sell.

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.