This story was corrected on Feb. 14, 2013. An explanation of the correction follows the story.
A six-year-old plan to encourage new residents to buy homes in Olde Towne Gaithersburg finally has come to fruition.
A forgivable-loan program has helped the developer of the Summit Crossing community sell its townhouses and condominiums faster than anticipated, Craftstar Sales Manager Erin Bauer said.
Craftstar was the developer for the Gaithersburg homes.
The loan program provides up to $15,000 to homebuyers when they close on their new property. The loans mostly help with closing costs and down payments, Gaithersburg Housing and Community Development Director Louise Kauffmann said.
If homeowners live in the homes for at least three years, the loans are forgiven. Homeowners owe the city nothing.
To prevent people from selling the property after closing, homeowners must be the primary residents to be eligible for the loan.
“We think it’s a great incentive for homebuyers,” Kauffmann said.
The community’s 45 townhouse and condominium units, at the corner of North Summit Avenue and Park Avenue, have been under construction since April 2012. About half of the units are occupied.
According to Bauer, seven homebuyers have accepted the loan and a few of the first settlements will take place in February.
“A lot of our demographic here is first-time homebuyers,” she said. It is the first time Craftstar has worked with a city to offer this loan.
According to city documents from December 2006, several council members sought to encourage homeownership in Olde Towne. The mayor and council decided to allocate $337,500 toward the loans and approved a resolution to do so on Dec. 4, 2006.
Correction: This story previously stated that the loan program is available to first-time homeowners. It is also available to those who have previously owned a home.