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How Talmer Bank’s homebuyer incentive helped one resident come home to Detroit


By E.B. Allen, Neighborhood News Hub

Jay Meeks and his cat “Paper” are, literally, right at home on Detroit’s west side.

Closing in on the one-year anniversary of his summer 2014 purchase, Meeks says he’s enjoying the benefits of a three-bedroom, tudor-inspired house on Ohio Street just five houses away from Marygrove College.

Jay Meeks and catMeeks, 30, is a Ph.D. student at Michigan State University and glad to have benefited from the lower cost of his house, which he bought through a Talmer Bank program devoting $1 million in forgivable loans to bidders on renovated houses in the area. After returning to Detroit after living in Boston and Lansing, Meeks found it tough to secure a mortgage and was pleased to learn about Talmer’s initiative last June.

“I read about it in the paper and then I heard about it again from a lady at church,” Meeks recalls. After learning he could receive up to $25,000 in assistance – $5,000 forgiven for living five years in the house – he was sold, and so was the home.

Lysa Davis, a Talmer spokesperson, says the program is still available to bidders until the allotted $1 million is exhausted. The response from the public has been positive, but there are more homes to be sold, she adds.

“One of my favorite features is that I can hear the bells ringing on the clock at Marygrove,” Meeks says. “It’s really relaxing in the evening.”

– This blog originally appeared in a new publication, The WEIGH/Neighborhood News Hub. Detroit Unspun is a partner in that venture.

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