First home sold through New River Home Trust

Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 4:57 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - This may look like a typical house you’d find in Blacksburg, but its recent sale was historic.

“It’s just a mechanism to reduce the cost of homeownership,” Community Housing Partners Principal Broker Michael George said.

The home was sold through the New River Home Trust. This means the home is owned by the family but the land is rented.

“Land prices are relatively high,” George said. “Blacksburg, easily $100,000, can be the cost of your lot under your house, so if we remove that and hold that in trust, and the price of the house doesn’t include that $100,000 lot anymore, the initial purchase price of the house is significantly reduced.”

“The fact that we’re buying a house in Blacksburg this close to campus, for the price that we did, which is about maybe 50% of what anybody else would pay for this house, makes it completely unique,” said realtor Joe Davidson, who sold the house.

Community Housing Partners says this is a good method for families at 120% of the area median income and below. The homeowner is still able to build equity on the home.

“The unrestricted market price for that first house that sold was, you know, in the mid-three hundreds probably, and the the actual sale price through the home trust was in the low two hundreds,” George said.

“The average house has is just probably close to upper 3′s to 400,000 in in Blacksburg, and if you consider the average salary right now would support a purchase of around $200 to $250,000,” Davidson said.

Community Housing Partners says the land trust has an investment from the Town of Blacksburg and CHP has plans to build an entire neighborhood of homes through the New River Home Trust.

“This is a new option for homeownership around here; this is not going to replace the normal market, the normal market will be out there,” George said. “This will be a new option somewhere between renting and normal unrestricted ownership.”