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GLENDALE : Sales of Subsidized Townhouses Slow

A new townhouse complex built under a Glendale program for moderate-income, first-time home buyers is selling more slowly than expected, and city officials say they will reopen the application process in hopes of wooing interested purchasers.

City officials hailed the Doran Villas project, at 423 W. Doran St., as an innovative public-private partnership when they approved the development two years ago. But so far, only one family has entered escrow on one of the 14 townhouses in the complex since applications opened in June.

Families who meet the program’s income requirements can receive a $35,000 city subsidy in the form of a “silent second trust deed” and below-market mortgage rates, but officials say the stagnant economy is discouraging many potential buyers.

“We were hoping for a greater response, but in this market it’s probably not abnormal. People are more hesitant about purchasing,” said Beth Stochl, supervisor of the program with the city’s community development and housing department.

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A family of four can have an annual total income of no more than $60,500 to qualify for the city’s first-time buyer’s assistance program, Stochl said. They must also be able to make a down payment of about 7% and pay the closing costs, which amounts to about $10,000 to $15,000 in upfront costs, she said.

Some applicants to the program have been turned away because of poor credit or because they could not afford the monthly payments. Even with city subsidies, first-time buyers can expect to pay about $1,145 per month for one of the Doran Villas townhouses, officials said.

A model unit is open for buyers to inspect, and the developer plans to hold several seminars for interested families.

Information on Doran Villas and the city’s first-time buyer’s program can be obtained by calling (818) 548-3936.

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