Affordable homes go on the market

Fifty-seven townhomes priced between $231,700 and $315,500 — about 30% below the median price for the local market — are now available for first-time home buyers.

The affordable housing development on the 300 block of West Doran Street is set to finish construction in two weeks, but 27 eligible homebuyers have already been pre-approved for loans and could snap up some of the homes, according to a report by developer Heritage Housing Partners.

“This is a rather exciting time for us,” said City Manager Scott Ochoa as he presented an update on the Doran Gardens project to the City Council Tuesday.

Mayor Frank Quintero hailed the project as not just a boon for the homebuyers, but for the neighborhood as well.

“It's upgrading not just the street, it's upgrading the entire neighborhood,” he said.

The units are available to first-time homebuyers, or to those who have not owned a home since Jan. 1, 2009.

Buyers must have moderate incomes ranging from $47,250 to $83,950, depending on household size. Homeowners will also be on the hook for $234 in monthly homeowner association fees and will need roughly $18,000 to $23,000 for the down payment and closing costs, according to Heritage's website.

There are government assistance programs available that Heritage can help buyers apply for, potentially reducing a down payment to as low as $7,000, said Tim Sales, the firm's director of sales and marketing.

The up to 1,800-square-foot homes include units with one- to four-bedrooms, with up to two-and-a-half bathrooms. A 17,000-square-foot open space that will include play and seating areas should be completed by July, city officials said.

The development will include an underground parking garage with up to two spaces per unit.

The first round of buyers may be able to move in as early as June.

In addition to the affordable units, three renovated historical homes will be sold at market rate, or $550,000 to $600,000. The historical homes come with property tax breaks, Sales said.

The city's Housing Authority and state grants covered a large portion of the $34.1-million development, but Heritage must pay back some of the money, according to a city report.

The city and state funding helps fill in the gap between the affordable price and market rate, Sales said.

Interested buyers can visit or call (626) 403-4663 Ext. 151.

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