CEDAR CITY — The CBC Mortgage Agency recently hit its five-year anniversary of offering a down payment assistance program that provides families the opportunity to buy a home despite any inability to save up for a down payment.
The agency is one of nine businesses owned by the Cedar Band of Paiutes through its federally chartered holding company, Cedar Band Corporation. The agency was founded in 2013 by the Cedar Band of Paiutes and closed its first transaction in 2014. Since then, CBCMA has provided down payment assistance to approximately 20,000 homeowners across the United States.
CBCMA President Richard Ferguson told Cedar City News down payment assistance is particularly helpful for potential homebuyers whose obstacle is a down payment.
“The down payment happens to be one of the most limiting factors for people to be able to own a home, they qualify in every other way, they just don’t have cash saved up,” he said. “They may come from lower-income socioeconomic classes where mom and dad can’t provide them the down payment, they may have a lot of student debt that they’re paying off which is preventing them from being able to save up for a down payment, they may even have good income and good jobs but if they’re renting, rent keeps going up year after year because of the lack of affordable housing, which has made it difficult for them to save.”
The agency offers down payment assistance through two avenues once the home loan is sold to CBCMA by the loan officer. Homeowners can choose a lower interest rate on their mortgage, provided they commit to paying back the down payment assistance over a 10-year period, or CBCMA will forgive the down payment if the homeowner is consistent with mortgage payments for at least three years.
Ferguson said by helping families become homeowners, the agency is able to help create wealth and bridge gaps in the economics disparities commonly found in minority groups.
“You could really boil it down to economic disparity,” he said. “Really the way that you need to help the minorities is help them become owners, or help them become stakeholders in building equity in society.”
Ferguson added that the average net worth of a minority is less than zero, and the average renter’s net worth is $5,400, but homeowners typically have $200,000 or more in equity. He said the outcomes of children raised in a home that is owned by parents are also typically better than outcomes of children in rented homes.
“If you really make an impact on society, you’ve got to make people owners in society,” he said. “Not just owners of homes, but owners in their communities. When you’re a homeowner, you have a greater sense of community, you have a desire to make sure your home looks nicer, you want to help your neighbor.”
Ferguson said on average, CBCMA has helped homeowners gain $25,000 in equity and estimates the agency has helped create $500 million worth of equity for homeowners across the nation. He added that the agency has helped create economic development opportunities for the Cedar Band of Paiutes as well, including the travel plaza the Band plans to construct on the west side of Interstate 15 at Exit 51.
Cedar Band Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Terry said the corporation is looking forward to another year of growth.
“It’s been a tremendous blessing and benefit to the Band. We are excited to be a part of the Cedar Band of Paiutes as their economic arm and their business development arm,” Terry said. “We’re looking forward to 2020 … and to have continued growth in CBC Mortgage Agency and helping individuals, couples and families to purchase homes.”
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