Lease / Purchase

Housing for Long-Term Affordability

Since 1999, Common Wealth has purchased, rehabbed, and re-sold 34 properties to first-time lower-income home buyers in our Lease-Purchase program. Most of these homes have been two-unit properties, though some were single-family homes. 

The goal of the Lease-Purchase program is to provide affordable home ownership opportunities and one-on-one homeownership counseling. A resident in this program may rent a house for a period of time with an option to buy, as a portion of their rent payment is deposited into a down payment account. 

Common Wealth provides 0% second mortgage financing which helps to reduce housing costs, and a shared appreciation agreement is created to help keep these Lease-Purchase Program houses affordable into the future for low to moderate-income households. 

To qualify for this program, a person must be a first-time homebuyer, and their household income must be under 80% of Dane County Median Income adjusted for household size. For reference in 2023 these limits were $75,750 for a two person household and $94,650 for a four person household. 

Affordable Homeownership Interest List

Thank you for your interest in Common Wealth’s Lease-Purchase program. Please fill out this form to sign up for our Housing Interest List. When apartments become available for rent, we will notify you for the chance to apply. 

We will contact you when we become aware of an upcoming apartment opening.
Our apartments are smoke-free.
We allow most pets with the exception of dogs.

Lease Purchase Program

The lease purchase program provides an opportunity for first-time homebuyers to become homeowners and maintain long-term housing affordability through a shared appreciation model.

This program is designed to assist persons who could not otherwise afford to purchase a home without assistance.

How it works

  • A participant leases a house from Common Wealth with an option to purchase.
  • A portion of their monthly rental payment is deposited into an account over a period of time up to 3 years to accrue a down payment of 3 to 5%.
  • Other sources can be used for a down payment such as personal savings or a security deposit. Additional down payment assistance grants or loans may be available to help with down payment or closing cost assistance.
  • Once the down payment is accrued, the participant can purchase the house from Common Wealth.
  • A 0% second mortgage for approximately 25 to 35% of the value of the house will be used to help decrease the housing costs.
  • A 50/50 shared appreciation model, which limits the amount of appreciation an owner will receive, will be used to keep this housing affordable into the future.
  • A participant of our Affordable Home Ownership Program needs to have a minimum gross annual income of approximately $27,000 to $35,000 per year (depending on house values and financing costs), along with a satisfactory credit rating and a stable employment history.
  • In order to qualify for this program, interested persons must also have an income below 80% of Dane County median income, adjusted for family size.
  • Participants must be willing to participate in homeownership counseling which could consist of monthly budget and credit building education as well as home maintenance skills

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