Neighborhood Lift FAQ's

Program Overview

NeighborhoodLIFT funds are provided as a three-year forgivable loan program for owner-occupied properties. As long as the borrower resides in the home, the loan will be forgiven at a prorated amount each year on the anniversary date of settlement. If the house is no longer a principal residence or the property is transferred, repayment of the balance of funds will be immediately due.
Yes. Income limits are set for each market for NeighborhoodLIFT funds. The income limits are calculated based on borrower(s)'s income in connection with household size. To view income limits, CLICK HERE.

You may be required to make an additional down payment contribution from your own funds if your 'remaining liquid assets' at the time of your eligibility determination session will exceed $20,000.

'Remaining liquid assets' are defined as your available funds in bank accounts such as checking, savings or money market accounts that are readily accessible without withdrawal restrictions or penalties after you have met any out-of-pocket settlement requirements from your own funds. Liquid assets do not include Retirement Accounts (such as 401(k), IRA or pension accounts), Investment Accounts (such as stock, bond or mutual funds), Certificates of Deposit (CDs), Business Checking or Savings Accounts. Liquid asset determinations and contribution requirement estimates are made at the time of your Eligibility Determination Session. Liquid asset funds that are subsequently transferred to restricted accounts after your Eligibility Determination Session will not be excluded from contribution calculation requirements.

Birmingham NeighborhoodLIFT® Program Approved Lenders
  • Wells Fargo
  • Bancorp South
  • BB&T
  • Regions
  • Renasant Bank
  • Synovus Mortgage
Homebuyer education is an eight-hour class that teaches about the home buying process.Create an account or sign in to sign up for homebuyer education.
No. Only homebuyer education certificates from HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agencies that have adopted the National Industry Standards are eligible for NeighborhoodLIFT funds.Create an account or sign in to sign up for homebuyer education.
Yes, if you currently own a home but will be selling it prior to closing on the NeighborhoodLIFT property, you can still be eligible for the program. At the time of closing you may not own any additional properties including investment properties

Short sale properties are eligible for the program. The purchase agreement for the short sale property must be signed by the buyer and the seller to apply for NeighborhoodLIFT funds. The lender (lien holder of short sale property) must ratify the agreement prior to closing.

NeighborhoodLIFT funds can be used in connection with the financing of a Wells Fargo short sale but only if Wells Fargo is not the new first mortgage lender on the short sale purchase. Another lender must originate the new first mortgage loan.
NeighborhoodLIFT down payment assistance funds may be used for any eligible purpose including closing cost assistance, down payment assistance, or borrower minimum out-of-pocket investment if allowed by the first mortgage loan program. NeighborhoodLIFT funds may cover the closing costs or out-of-pocket requirements of a FHA first mortgage or other type of first mortgage loan, however for a FHA mortgage the borrower must still provide their own 3.5% down payment. You should consult directly with your first mortgage lender and NHS of Birmingham to determine how NeighborhoodLIFT program funds may be used in connection with your home purchase.
Yes. There may be several programs eligible for layering incentives together with NeighborhoodLIFT funding. Programs sponsored by local municipalities or the state of Alabama could potentially be included. Contact NeighborWorks Columbus to learn more.
Eligibility for each program is determined by the program administrators. Contact them directly to participate in their programs.
Yes. Wells Fargo REO (real estate owned) properties are not eligible for NeighborhoodLIFT funds. To learn if a property is a Wells Fargo REO click here. In addition, properties outside of the defined geographic area are not eligible. Click here for a map.

Get Ready for the NeighborhoodLIFT Event

First, schedule an appointment to attend the April 28-29 event. You can register here.
Second, participate in a homebuyer education class . Third, meet with a participating lender (Coming Soon) and obtain a pre-approval for a mortgage. Fourth, select a realtor and find a home located in Jefferson County. Note: Any of these steps can be completed prior to the NeighborhoodLIFT event.
A list of required documents to determine NeighborhoodLIFT eligibility is available(Coming Soon). Additionally, you will either need your pre-approval letter from your participating lender (Coming Soon), pre-approval letter from a non-participating lender or the documents required by Wells Fargo for pre-approval. A list of documents required by Wells Fargo is available hereNOTE: The documents required for determining NeighborhoodLIFT eligibility and for qualifying for a Wells Fargo pre-approval are NOT the same. Please be sure to review both lists.
Maybe. If not all of the NeighborhoodLIFT funds are allocated at the April 28-29 event, eligible homebuyers will have the opportunity to claim the remaining funds on our website beginning the week after the event. If all funds are allocated at the April 28-29 event, then those holding NeighborhoodLIFT reservations will have 60 days to sign a contract on an eligible property. These reservations will expire on June 29, 2017. Please check our website beginning May 1 to see if funds from expired NeighborhoodLIFT reservations have become available. In either case, to claim funds after the event, homebuyers will need a signed purchase and sales agreement for a property in Jefferson County and a pre-approval from a participating NeighborhoodLIFT lender. Funds will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis; no waiting list will be maintained.
No. Other lenders will need to provide a pre-approval letter to their clients prior to the event. Wells Fargo will be the only lender present at the event.List of participating first mortgage lenders click here!

What happens after the NeighborhoodLIFT Event?

Following the NeighborhoodLIFT event, clients who receive an allocation of funds will have 60 days to obtain a contract on a home, and submit the required documents to NHS of Birmingham. Clients who do not complete all of these steps will lose their NeighborhoodLIFT allocation. Clients are encouraged to submit the documents following the NeighborhoodLIFT event as soon as they are available. Please note successful completion of the eight-hour HBE course is required prior to closing.
Once a buyer has an executed contract, they should request an Eligibility Determination Session with NHS of Birmingham. Borrowers should complete their Eligibility Determination Session no less than 30 days prior to the closing date listed on their purchase and sales agreement. Even if a borrower has a purchase and sales agreement, no closings may take place before June 13, 2017. Once a borrower is determined to be eligible, a commitment letter will be issued with a copy sent to the first mortgage lender. The first mortgage lender will then prepare documents for closing and provide copies of the required documents to NHS of Birmingham at least 13 business days prior to closing. NHS of Birmingham will then have all documents prepared for the closing.
No. Extensions are only available for clients who have met the program requirements and are preparing for settlement.
It depends on which step the client is in the process. If this happens the client should follow up with NHS of Birmingham directly.
Clients who are not able to qualify for a loan will be offered financial fitness classes and counseling following the event. The classes and counseling are designed to help prepare clients to get approved for a first mortgage. Contact NHS of Birmingham to find out if there is a fee for these classes. Financial fitness classes provide information on how to manage income and create a budget based on that income, how to save, how to obtain a credit report, as well as how to apply for and use credit.

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