Heritage Home Program offers low-interest loans for home improvement

The Heritage Home Program is a joint initiative of the City of Cleveland Heights and the Cleveland Restoration Society (CRS), offering low-interest home repair and renovation loans for homeowners of properties built before 1961. Kelli Cone, a local realtor with Keller Williams, knows firsthand how beneficial the program can be.

Relocating here from Oklahoma, Cone fell in love with the convenient location, mature landscape and historic charm of Cleveland Heights. Because Cone specializes in older homes, it was natural that she and her husband Randy bought a historic home on Fairmount Boulevard.

Although the Cones were initially leery of the deferred maintenance that they would have to address, they recognized the home’s great potential. After hearing about the Heritage Home Program from other local residents and through the city’s website, they contacted CRS to finance their kitchen remodel. Cone found the CRS tech staff easy to work with, commenting that CRS "took a very personal approach to the process.”

Another word of advice from the Cones following their home renovation project: check out the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. You can find great salvaged materials that are inexpensive and keep with the historic styling of many local homes.

CRS’s Heritage Home Program currently has a fixed interest rate of 3.5 percent or lower for 5–10 years, and is financed through KeyBank. Homeowners can use this program to fund a variety of home maintenance and improvement projects including: interior remodels, weatherization, exterior maintenance, mechanical systems, new roofs and much more. Since this is a preservation-based program, the house should retain the majority of its original exterior materials.

CRS also offers free technical assistance to residents throughout the City of Cleveland Heights. Heritage staff provides in-depth assistance to homeowners in the form of site visits, historic color consultations and information resources. 

There are no out-of-pocket costs for the loan, no closing costs, no points, and no income restrictions, and interest from the loan is tax-deductible. For more information about the Heritage Home Program, or to see if your house qualifies, contact CRS at 216-426-1000 or www.clevelandrestoration.org.

Jamie Bertram is a historic preservation specialist with the Cleveland Restoration Society.

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Volume 4, Issue 3, Posted 1:01 PM, 03.01.2011