December 9, 2019

Acquire, Renovate, Sell: New Program Gives First-time Homebuyers More and Better Options

First-time homebuyers in Virginia now have a larger pool of homes to choose from, thanks to a program introduced recently by VHDA and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The program is called Acquire-Renovate-Sell (ARS), and as its name implies, it has three distinct parts:

  • First, a property is acquired by a nonprofit organization, private developer or local government that’s been vetted by DHCD.
  • Next, the property is renovated, using funds advanced by VHDA.
  • Finally, the property is placed on the market for purchase by a first-time homebuyer.

After the sale, some of the proceeds are recycled back through the program, enabling other properties to be renovated and sold. 

Without the renovations made possible by ARS, most of these homes would have limited or no resale value. Funds for renovations are allocated through REACH Virginia, a VHDA self-funded program that provides money to help meet the state’s most critical housing needs.

Properties eligible for the ARS program are single-family detached homes, townhouses and condominiums, including foreclosed properties. Each home may receive up to $45,000 in ARS funds to pay for improvements and associated costs. Funds can be used for renovations to make the home more livable, energy-efficient or commercially viable, especially upgrades to plumbing and electrical systems, doors, windows, flooring and appliances.

The new program increases the inventory of affordable homes for first-time buyers, and reduces the number of unmarketable properties left unsold and vacant. Plus, renovations help to stimulate local economies, making the new program a win on many levels. 

For details on VHDA’s Acquire-Renovate-Sell program, including household eligibility requirements, please contact VHDA Director of Homeownership Lending Mike Urban at

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