The City of Evanston is pleased to announce that its first for-sale homes through the LiveEvanston program will be available September 22, 2011. Through this initiative, 50 single-family homes and condominiums in south and west Evanston neighborhoods will be rehabilitated and sold to income-qualified buyers through mid-2013. Potential buyers who live or work in Evanston may also qualify for the “First Look Advantage,” an exclusive opportunity to make an offer on a LiveEvanston home for the first two weeks the home is on the market.

The first open houses will be held on Sunday September 25, 2011. 1704 Grey will be open from 1 – 3 pm; 238 Custer from 2 – 4 pm.

LiveEvanston provides generous buyer incentives to make high-quality homes affordable to moderate-income households earning between $31,440 and $96,960, depending on household size. The city will provide a “soft” second mortgage starting at $7,000 up to $50,000 that is forgiven over a period of up to 15 years, depending on the unit type and size of the loan. All buyers must occupy the home as their primary residence.

LiveEvanston homes will be priced as low as $60,000 for condominiums and $100,000 for single-family homes. Buyers can choose from a variety of home styles and sizes, from one-bedroom condominiums to four-bedroom detached single-family homes with a private yard and garage. Each home will be fully rehabilitated to a like-new quality. LiveEvanston homes will include energy efficient upgrades that lower energy costs and reduce the home’s environmental footprint. In addition, all buyers will receive a free bicycle as a car-free alternative to enjoy the City of Evanston.

“LiveEvanston is a great opportunity for families currently renting in Evanston who think homeownership in Evanston is out of their reach. Or for people who work in Evanston and want to live closer to their work. LiveEvanston makes high-quality Evanston homes truly affordable,” said Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. LiveEvanston is also working with local employers to inform their employees about the program.

Interested buyers must register for the program on the Live Evanston website at www.LiveEvanston.net and get pre-approved for a conventional mortgage. Buyers must also complete eight hours of homebuyer counseling, which will be provided at no cost by the Housing Opportunity Development Corporation. The counseling will include classes and one-on-one sessions that help prepare buyers for homeownership.

“LiveEvanston not only helps working families purchase quality homes within their budget, it provides the support they need to ensure successful homeownership long term,” added Mayor Tisdahl.

LiveEvanston is a Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 project, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In addition to the 50 for-sale homes, LiveEvanston includes 50 homes for rent, the first of which are now available.

The dedicated LiveEvanston sales team at Coldwell Banker’s downtown Evanston office is made up of local Realtors with over 30 years of Evanston real estate experience. For more information on this innovative program, and to register as a potential buyer, visit www.LiveEvanston.net, or call 847/869-6990. Those interested in renting a LiveEvanston home should call 847/448-8166.