¡Mi Casa Avon! deed restriction program off to a fast start
With one deed restriction on the books and four more set to close soon, the ¡Mi Casa Avon! local home buyer program is already going strong in its first few months.
The program, which is designed to put home ownership within reach of more Avon residents, offers buyers up to $75,000 in funds from Avon’s community housing program to assist with the purchase of a residence. In exchange for the funds, the town places a deed restriction on the property, limiting the use of the residence to a primary residence for the buyer during the first three years and then to employees in Eagle County after the first three years.
After listing the adoption of a successful deed restriction purchase program as a priority in the Town of Avon 2020 Strategic Plan, ¡Mi Casa Avon! was approved by the Avon Town Council this spring and launched in June.
“Putting home ownership within reach of more Avon residents has been a priority for the Avon Town Council, so we couldn’t be more excited about our first ¡Mi Casa Avon! closing,” said Mayor Sarah Smith-Hymes. “This deed-restriction program is just two months old and more sales are already in the works. Funds are still available, so we encourage anyone who wants to call Avon home to apply.”
Several opportunities remain
The initial appropriation from the Avon community housing fund approved by council is $650,000. Thus far, funds approved or pending total $307,440, leaving the remaining fund balance at $342,560.
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“That program clearly is hitting a home run for the people who are able to use it,” said councilmember Amy Phillips.
While the program was modeled after Vail’s deed restriction purchasing program “InDEEd,” Phillips said ¡Mi Casa Avon! has a few notable differences.
“Ours is different because it is only available when you’re buying a home,” Phillips said.
Also, “There is not an appreciation cap,” Phillips added, drawing a distinction between deed restrictions which limit sales prices on homes.
Transfer tax tinkering
Phillips said while the community housing fund, which pays for ¡Mi Casa Avon!, receives money from Avon’s real estate transfer tax assessments, buyers who use the deed restriction program will also be exempt from Avon’s 2% real estate transfer tax upon selling the home.
“The caveat is you have to sell it to a primary residence for an Eagle County worker,” Phillips said. “If you’re a day trader moving here from New York City and you’re going to live in your house, and you’re going to make your money here but you’re still going to be a day trader, you wouldn’t qualify,” Phillips said. “But if you’re getting transferred here to be the general manager of the Hyatt Beaver Creek, you could certainly qualify.”
The first home buyer to use the new program in Avon, Ryan Gross is employed by the Eagle County School District and has lived and worked in Eagle County for almost ten years.
“I have been looking for a place to buy in Eagle County since 2017. I really appreciated that the process allowed me to apply for the program as I purchasing a property,” Gross said. “The application and information available online is straightforward.”