June 06, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (June 2007) – It isn’t everyday that we get a chance to personally thank a U.S. Veteran, but several people at Vantage Point Condominiums in St. Petersburg recently found a way to show their appreciation to Paul Petersen, a former U.S. Marine Sergeant.

With the help of Vantage Point developer, APD Developers, their preferred lender, Market Street Mortgage, and the City of St. Petersburg’s W.I.N. program, Paul, who moved to St. Petersburg after his military service in Iraq, is now living the American Dream as a first-time homebuyer.

According to his real estate agent, Kelly Byers of Shine Real Estate, Paul’s new condo at Vantage Point has changed his life.

“He rode up on his bike,” Byers recalls. “He had temporary housing, but he wanted a place to live in a nice, affordable community. I really wanted to find a way to help him.”

An avid cyclist, riding up to 30 miles some days, Paul rode by Vantage Point one day and thought it might be the type of place he could live. “It looked like a nice place – pretty, with lots of flowers – and I decided to check it out and see if it was something I could afford.”

Byers showed Paul several units, and Paul ultimately selected a one-bedroom condo with a patio and a lakefront view.

Byers and the Shine Real Estate team knew Paul would obtain $3000 in closing costs from APD if he qualified for a mortgage with Vantage Point’s preferred lender, Market Street Mortgage. Based on his credit score, Paul was able to secure a 30-year fixed rate loan and down-payment from the City of St. Petersburg’s W.I.N. program.

According to Stacey Cropsey, a mortgage consultant with Market Street, Paul was able to benefit from two leading programs that can assist local first-time home-buyers who qualify.

The first is a Florida bond program that provides financing based on the HUD median income standards. This financing is contingent on household income, and must be obtained through a participating lender who has undergone specialized training and certification. Buyers can obtain up to 100 percent financing, and the rate is typically lower than the market rate.

The second program is the St. Petersburg W.I.N. program, which offers down-payment assistance to qualifying first-time buyers. Under this program buyers can obtain up to 150 percent of the median family income to use towards a down-payment, ranging from $6,000 to $20,000.

According to Tom DeYampert, Manager of Housing and Community Development for the City of St. Petersburg, “The W.I.N. program offers loans to qualified applicants who want to purchase homes within the City of St. Petersburg. We were happy to help Mr. Petersen obtain his first home.”

Cropsey feels the same way. “It was an honor to help Paul purchase his very first home,” she said. “As someone with family ties to the military, I understand the sacrifices he’s made for our country and how much this means to him. Paul was eligible for a first-time homebuyer product we have at Market Street Mortgage in conjunction with the W.I.N home buyers down-payment assistance program. Three weeks after he submitted his application, we closed on his new home.”

Today, Paul spends much of his time cycling, volunteering at a nearby church, and enjoying the Vantage Point pool, which is one of his favorite features of his new home.

“He’s like a changed man,” said Byers. “Now, when I see him out on the property, he has a huge smile on his face.”

Byers and other members of the sales team helped Paul move in after pushing for a quick closing to match the timing of his lease expiration at his former residence. “He’s doing great now,” Byers said. “He’s made friends, works in landscaping part-time, and is teaching himself to play the piano. He’s got a very positive attitude.”

For more information about Vantage Point Condominiums, visit www.vantagepointcondos.com or call Vantage Point Condominiums at 1-888-576-9601.