I would like your perspective on how places like Acorn will manage during these times? I have 2 friends who just when this thing started to blow open had submitted there application to Sawmill Land trust, who then submitted it to Wells Fargo and then to underwriters. They were accepted by Sawmill, Wells Fargo , thought it looked good..............underwriters said no. Wells Fargo, (they have a special person for Sawmill applicants within the bank) said thats nuts and sent it back and resubmitted it to underwriters, and again rejected.
If these people met the criteria for Sawmill. In other words not too small an income, but also not too much, and they got turned down. What will Sawmill do with existing houses that were close to being finished?
I am sure they are governed by rules, and they cant just change those rules because of this mess.
Not sure you can answer this but am curious about place like Acorn, Sawmill and other organizations that try and help first time home buyers, young people, and folks with out years of impecible credit.

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Dolores,
Well that certainly is the 100 million dollar question. Nobody knows what it going to happen to a place like Acorn, especially with all the controversy surrounding them right now due to the election. The "bail out" bill just passed included quit a bit of money for Acorn, and there are several Congress people trying to block that money getting to them now because of the election controversy with Acorn.
Sawmill is fairly different than Acorn in that Acorn is really a place where people go for counseling and help getting a lower income loan. They are like Sawmill in that neither of them lend money. They have relationships with places that lend money. But Sawmill actually buys land, builds homes and sells those to lower income people (not sure how they define that, however).
A couple of things to point out here:
1. There are other first time homebuyer programs besides what Sawmill and Acorn would do. I have always contended, and preach this like crazy to people, that you have got to analyze all the options. Just because these places offer certain programs does not mean it is the best thing out there. I would be happy to talk with your friends and see what exactly it was that they did and advise them as to a full range of their options.
2. I cannot tell you exactly what happened with Wells Fargo that would lead them to deny them. Unless I know that I cannot possibly start to speculate what is going on there. I say that because I would gently caution you from thinking this means that if these folks cannot get approved then nobody can and we are all in a world of hurt. Thay may, or may not, be the case. Lender guidelines are a partculiar thing (actually, they are often just plain stupid and unlogical). So there may be some weirdness going on with Wells that is leading to the denial.
3. So a denial by a bank does not necessarily mean they are dead in the water. Again, I would be happy to chat with them and get the whole picture and advise them accordingly. Banks are overly conservative and we often talk with people who were denied by a bank for some pointless reason, and it is not even an issue outside of a bank.
So I am not sure I really am going to satisfy your concerns over our market and places like Acorn with this answer. But just know the money is out there; it is harder to get, but it is out there. You just have to look for it in the right places and sometimes the obvious choice is not the obviou choice (meaning, just because Sawmill has a lending relationship with Wells does not mean Wells is the place to go). Shoot me any questions that arise from my long-winded answer.

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