October 2021
AHFA Board of Directors to Hold December Meeting
The AHFA Board of Directors will meet in public session in the AHFA offices on Thursday, December 2 at 11 a.m.
In Memoriam
On October 12, Patsy House, a payment processor in the investor accounting department of ServiSolutions, passed away after an extended hospital stay.

The Board and staff of AHFA extend sincere sympathies to her family.

For 16 years, Pat was a beloved and valued employee of AHFA. Her sweet spirit, kind nature, and gracious smile were constant no matter the circumstance or challenge.

Pat was dedicated to her job and loved supporting and encouraging her fellow employees. She was a ray of sunshine for those privileged to work alongside her.

Needless to say, we will all miss her more than words can express. 
FY21, 4th Quarter Leading Lenders
Each quarter, AHFA recognizes the top loan officers who are closing the most deals using AHFA homeownership programs: Step Up, Affordable Income Subsidy Grant, and Mortgage Credit Certificates.

The top three Leading Lenders for Fiscal Year 2021, 4th Quarter are, in alphabetical order:

Congratulations to these lenders! We appreciate them utilizing our programs to make buying a home more affordable for Alabamians.
FY21, 4th Quarter Top Participating Lending Company Announced
FirstBank Mortgage is our Top Participating Lending Company for the 4th quarter of FY21! FirstBank is the participating lending institution that closed the most home loans this quarter using our homeownership financing options.
To recognize the lenders at FirstBank who closed loans using our mortgage programs during this time period, we asked them about budgeting for buying a home and some of the unexpected expenses that potential homebuyers might not think about. Here is what some of them shared:
“I would say a refrigerator! This is something people often think stays with the home, and that’s not always the case. If it doesn’t stay and this isn’t budgeted for, it can be a large surprise. Depending on the refrigerator homebuyers pick out, it can be equivalent to 1-2 mortgage payments!” 

Budgeting for new homeowners is one of their greatest worries! Home inspections, wood infestation reports, and normal home maintenance are a few of examples I try to counsel my clients to think about when buying a new home. Our team is determined to set the homeowner up for success! AHFA’s programs are a fantastic way for some of those first-time homebuyers to obtain homeownership and “Help them get to a Better Place”! 

Becoming a homeowner is a dream come true for most people. The Step Up program through the Alabama Finance Authority is a way to open up the path to home ownership for a lot of people who never thought they could afford a home. There are costs associated with buying a home that a buyer may not expect. The closing costs are fees that are associated with completing the tasks to underwrite a mortgage. With Step Up, included in the closing costs is a commitment fee when we go to lock in the interest rate. It is usually .5% of the loan amount on the first mortgage. Your monthly payments will include principal and interest, hazard insurance, property taxes and mortgage insurance. Another expense in Alabama is the home inspection to discover any defects of the property. It is not required that a buyer have a home inspection done, but it is the wise, prudent thing to do because in Alabama, sellers are not required to tell a prospective buyer what is wrong with the house unless it is a health issue, such the age and therefore lead based paint may have been used, known radon gas issues or perhaps well water on the property that is contaminated and has not been mitigated. Once you are a home owner, you will have the responsibility of maintenance along with your monthly payment. Keep this in mind when planning your budget. You want to try to save money every month so that you can take care of issues that may come up.” 

“Homebuyers should be sure to think about increases in property taxes and possibly homeowner’s insurance, and also budget for decorating and furnishing your new home, lawn maintenance, and the costs for your different utility deposits.” 

The biggest surprise I hear from buyers, especially first-time buyers, is all of the deposits. They assume that the deposits they made for utilities at their rentals will just roll over to their new home, and that isn’t always the case. They could easily spend the first month’s payment, if not more, just getting all of the different utilities and services turned on in their own name.” 

Lender Spotlight: Renee Green-Jones, ServisFirst Bank, Birmingham
Renee Green-Jones is the Vice President of Mortgage Lending with ServisFirst Bank in Birmingham. She has been in the mortgage business for more than 15 years and has utilized AHFA programs nearly all of that time. After moving to ServisFirst nine years ago, she brought with her the knowledge of AHFA programs and how they can help make homeownership more affordable for Alabamians.

Q: What are some of the biggest changes you have seen in the mortgage business during your career? 
A: The biggest changes I have seen in the mortgage business are the loan products and more restrictive guidelines.

Q: What do you think is the greatest benefit of Step Up for homebuyers? 
A: I close about 30 percent of my business using an AHFA program. The great benefit of the Step Up program for homebuyers is that it allows them to purchase a home with no money down. The program allows homebuyers an opportunity to save the money for extra moving expenses and put money back for unknown expenses.

Q: What makes you recommend the Step Up program to your customers? 
A: I have had many customers that were able to qualify credit wise but did not have the 3% or 3.5% down payment. The Step Up program assisted many of my first-time homebuyers who needed the down payment to ensure they did not exhaust all their funds to purchase a house. The assistance is such a tremendous blessing.

Q: What do you like most about working with our programs? 
A: The process is very simple. You can get an approval in less than three days if your loan officer completes the required tasks in a timely manner. Plus, the people are awesome and really care about the homebuyers. I can really tell that AHFA is serious about serving the community and making a major life changing difference for homebuyers.

Q: What do you think makes you a great lender? 
A: I love serving people and helping them become homeowners. Being a homeowner is an amazing reward. I am so thankful for the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life. It makes my heart smile to the see the homeowners at the closing table. It is such a blessing!
FY21 Single-Family Division Lending Awards Coming Soon
AHFA will announce the FY21 single-family lending award winners in November.

Who will be this year's Top Participating Lending Company, Leading Lender of the Year, and Processor of the Year??

You'll have to wait to see!
AHFA Offices to Close for November Holidays
AHFA and ServiSolutions will be closed Thursday, November 11 in observance of the Veterans Day holiday, and Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26 for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Alabama Housing Finance Authority | Montgomery, Alabama | 334.244.9200 | Email | Website