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Sweat equity program helps with Phoenix home ownership

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Homeowners can earn money towards a down payment on a new home by putting a little sweat into their project. (Source: CBS 5 News) Homeowners can earn money towards a down payment on a new home by putting a little sweat into their project. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A lot of people in the Valley of the Sun would love to live the American dream of owning a new home, but simply can't afford the down payment. But one builder in Phoenix wants to change all that, as long as the prospective homeowner is not afraid of a little hard work.

Bellago Homes has a sweat equity program called "Paint for Down" and with a little bit of sweat, a person can earn money towards their down payment.

If a person is willing to help with some of the finishing touches of their home, they can earn money for the down payment. The main job is painting the interior of a home from ceiling to floor. And depending on how much and how complicated the paint job is, the more they can earn anywhere from $2,000 to nearly $4,000.

Bellago Homes developer Wayne Funk said the program, which is offered at Bellago Homes' Tierra Vista community near Roeser Road and Montezuma Street, is quite successful.

"If people are willing to work, it's a way for them to be able to get into a home," Funk said.

He said the program is a way to open the door of opportunity for new home ownership to people who otherwise only see it as a dream.

"We think it's worth it and we think that there's a group that couldn't get into homes otherwise."

Sandra Baca and her husband jumped at the opportunity to earn free cash.

They have family members with experience in painting and for them it also will give them an even bigger sense of pride for their home.

"We'll be really proud when people compliment on our house, we'll be able to say 'you know that wall, I painted it,'" Sandra Baca said.

Bellago Homes trains all homeowners on what needs to be done and how to do it properly.

After the work is complete, Funk goes in and inspects it to make sure that it will not only pass official inspection, but the inspections needed for certain government loans.

"There's a lot of sweat involved and I make that really clear because I say this is not a walk in the park," Funk said.

The program might be expanded into more of Bellago Homes' communities, Funk said.

For more information on the project, visit Bellago Homes' website or call Rebecca Hidalgo at 602-463-2978.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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