Summit County businessman buys first home with USDA’s help |

Summit County businessman buys first home with USDA’s help

Kathryn Corazzelli
summit daily news
Special to the Daily

Silverthorne resident Greg Kane celebrated his new status as a homeowner last week with the very people who made the situation possible: his mortgage loan officer, realtor, and officials from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development program, which backed his loan 100 percent. The group met at Kane’s new studio condominium at Riverbend in celebration of National Homeownership Month.

The USDA is holding similar events across the country all month to talk about housing’s role in rural job creation and economic activity.

Through the department’s program, home loans are made to qualifying applicants by conventional lenders, with USDA guaranteeing repayment of the loan. Assistance is only available in rural areas; which means less than 20,000 people. Applicants obtain 100 percent financing with no down payment and do not pay mortgage insurance.

Alan Stephens, USDA Rural Housing services chief of staff, who visited Kane’s new residence last week, said rural housing leads to more jobs since finding decent affordable housing is an issue in rural America.

“In this part of Colorado, affordability is a very big issue for people who work in the tourism industry,” he said.

Jamie Spakow, the housing programs director for rural development in Colorado, said the program is perfect for first-time homebuyers because it doesn’t require a down payment.

Kane has lived in Summit County for four years, and had to move five times due to rentals being sold or property owners deciding to use it as a primary residence.

“It’s just a headache, especially when you’re in a spot you really like,” Kane said.

Kane’s studio cost him less than $100,000, something he’s happy about because it allows him to live close to where he works; he said he already spends a substantial amount on diesel fuel a month. Kane owns GMTK Contracting, a general contracting and snow removal business in Summit County.

“In this particular case it helps to create jobs, because Greg is close to where his client base is,” said Chad Noble, who works for US Bank Home Mortgage, which granted Kane his loan. “It’s really the only mortgage program that doesn’t require a down payment.”

Stephens said the USDA’s housing program actually started in 1949, and began guaranteeing loans in 1990. Because the department does “a lot of front work” to check the credit of applicants, the program currently has a lower delinquency than the Federal Housing Authority, he said.

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