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Foreclosure Turnaround

1st Lathrop home rehabbed with federal money

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Foreclosure Turnaround

From left, Carol Ridolphi, a prospective home buyer from Stockton, talks respectively to Service First of Northern California president Vernell Hill Jr. and vice president / administrator Sharon Si...

VINCE REMBULAT/The Bulletin


POSTED August 13, 2009 2:44 a.m.
LATHROP – Carol Ridolphi hopes to become a first-time home buyer.

Retired after working 34 years at California Cedar Products Company in Stockton, she recently attended an eight-hour class that’s part of a home-buyer program with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The program is similar to that of Clear Point, a local non-profit housing counseling agency. According to Judy Thompson, Clear Point not only educates a buyer on what to expect once in a home but also works with Realtors, helps plan expenses, and discusses the various types of loans, “so there are no surprises,” she said of the latter.

Ridolphi and Thompson were among those attending Wednesday’s open house in Lathrop of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

The City of Stockton and San Joaquin County, in cooperation with the NSP “Your Own Home,” recently received HUD funding to purchase and repair vacated or foreclosed home such as the one at 920 Toro Lane.

Bob Leonard & Associates, a general building contractor, spent 3 ½ weeks in July renovating the 1,568 square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath structure built in 1989. Leonard and his project manager Kevin Morrison indicated that their efforts included a fresh coat of paint to the interior and exterior; rebuilding the backyard fence; redoing and bringing the wood deck to code;  adding new floor coverings; replacing the roof; updating the electrical work;  and replacing several windows, to name a few.

Service First of Northern California, STAND, Villa Real and Visionary Home Builders are the four non-profit housing developers of NSP.

Sharon Simas, Service First vice president, noted that the purpose of the open house was to bring in prospective buyers and discuss NSP.

NSP is a result of the Housing and Recovery Act of 2008. State and local government receives emergency assistance to acquire and repair foreclosed properties, with $12.1 million being allocated to the City of Stockton and $9 to San Joaquin County.

Eligible homebuyers are required to have an annual household income of 120 percent of the area median income or less. A one-person occupant such as Ridolphi, in order to qualify, would need an income not exceeding $53,400 annually under the NSP guidelines.

She came away impressed with the Lathrop home but is looking to purchase a home in Stockton.

“I only wish I could take this home and move it to Stockton,” said Ridolphi, who was urged to check out the Lathrop open house by Simas.

The home of Toro Lane – listed at $192,000 by National Realty – is the first by NSP.

“It’s difficult selling foreclosed homes because of the lender,” said realtor Rosalinda Ross. “But this program brings interest to the property. In the three days since its completion, we’ve had several offers.”

Work was completed on July 30, according to Morrison.

Meanwhile, Vernell Hill Jr., president of CEO of Service First, indicated that that tough job for NSP is acquiring homes.

“We also have three in Stockton and one in escrow in Lathrop,” he said.

The hope here is for homes to soon be available in Manteca, Tracy, Escalon, Ripon, Lodi and the unincorporated areas of San Joaquin County.

Lathrop Mayor Kristy Sayles added that the NSP home is a positive step in the right direction.

“This does wonders for Lathrop,” she said. “We’ve been ravaged by foreclosures.

“It’s difficult to build a community – we’re thankful to have NSP here.”

The City of Lathrop qualified for $645,663 to purchase foreclosed properties. Plans call for these homes to be rehabilitated and made energy efficient while being available to qualified low or moderate income buyers.

The NSP home did inspire hope for buyers such as Ridolphi.

“I’ve been outbidded (on homes) several times in the past seven months,” she said. “But I’m not giving up.”

 To learn more about the Lathrop house, contact Ross at National Realty, (209) 473-1609.

For more information on NSP, call Simas at (209) 644-6320.
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