Rehabbed homes back on the market

COSTA MESA — Two foreclosed homes are on the market for first-time homebuyers through a public-private partnership between the city and a national nonprofit organization, Mercy Housing.

The two homes, in north Costa Mesa at 3004 Harding Way and at 975 Paularino Ave., were purchased for $1.4 million with funding from the federal Housing and Economic Recovery Act, according to a city press release.

The homes were both foreclosed and vacant by February last year, said Ben Phillips, Southern California regional director for Mercy Housing.

The organization took ownership of the home on Harding Way in June and the home on Paularino Avenue in October, he added.

Although both homes had to undergo serious interior and exterior rehabilitation to make them marketable, unlike other homes on the market, buyers can feel assured that the homes will remain livable through a 40-year mortgage, Phillips said.

That fact may be the most attractive selling point for many buyers.

"When people qualify for a mortgage, sometimes they have to stretch to afford it," Phillips said. "Then years later, they can be hit with repair costs, which down the road can make it difficult to stay in the home."

The five-bedroom home on Harding Way was described as "in pretty bad shape" before work crews brought in new carpet, paint, lighting and landscaping, said Muriel Ullman, city neighborhood improvement manager.

The home, which may have had people living in an illegally converted garage, has also been brought into compliance with city codes. The asking price is $505,000.

The home on Paularino, a four-bedroom in a quiet neighborhood near Paularino Elementary School, received a new roof, landscaping, fresh paint, carpet, a bathroom remodel, remediation of water damage and appliance replacements, according to the city.

Dangerous and illegal wiring was also replaced and an old, rotting wooden gazebo structure in the home's backyard was fixed, Ullman said.

The home is listed at $540,000.

There have been no offers for either home as of Thursday, Phillips said.

Homebuyers must meet income and affordability criteria and have a 5% down payment. A "silent second" down payment assistance is offered though the Costa Mesa Redevelopment Agency to eligible first-time homebuyers.

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