Dreams can use a little nudge

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 31, 2007

It is still the American Dream, to own a home.

And every year, it seems, the dream slips away a little further. For those working hard to save money to make a down payment with an eye making mortgage payments — working for years and saving little, in some cases — the dream always remains an arm’s length from reality.

Just when a couple looks at its bank account and believes it can cover the enormous investment, dark economic storm clouds roll in and spoil the day: Mortgage rates might rise, or housing costs rise, or closing costs rise.

Or any combination of increases pop up seemingly from nowhere to keep the potential buyer from reaching that dream.

An arm of the Franklin government is trying to do something about unfulfilled dreams.

The Franklin Redevelopment and Housing Authority has completed construction of its first house and is preparing to put it on the market. Situated on Bruce Street downtown, the three-bedroom, two-story, single-family structure was built to encourage home ownership in the community.

Its incentives are many: Approved owners must take training classes that focus on various home-buying aspects ranging from having a stable income to being a good neighbor.

Federal and local funds can be used to buy down the mortgage.

In return, the owner must stay in the house for five years. For that the owners can get a house that has a dishwasher, central heat and air, and 2 1/2 bathrooms. It was built and sells for $127,500.

Potential buyers can tour the place by appointment, or come to an open house on Aug. 4. It might not be the buyers’ only chance to reach their dreams.

The house on Bruce Street is not the last, if Authority members have their way. The department owns two acres on Bank Street that will allow its to build up to 15 single-family homes there.

Dreams don’t always happen on their own. Sometimes, a little help is needed.