Energy-efficient "idea" home unveiled in Kearns

Low-income family assistance • Homes are for sale in Kearns, West Jordan, Salt Lake City
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Kearns • A longtime neighborhood eyesore has been turned into a snug, energy-efficient house that's now on sale for a qualified buyer who may have thought home ownership was out of reach.

The nonprofit Community Development Corp. (CDC) has remodeled the home at 4506 W. 5500 South, installing an energy-efficient furnace and air conditioner, tankless water heater, insulated duct work and siding, upgraded attic insulation, Energy Star kitchen appliances and exterior doors and other devices designed to cut down on utility costs. The outside landscaping was done to help with water conservation and accessibility, including colorful, low-water plants and a graceful, gently sloping no-step entry and driveway.

The home is one of seven in Salt Lake County that is for sale. All were built for low-income families and as "idea" homes to educate the public on energy-saving strategies.

"This is like throwing a pebble into the water," said Darin Brush, the development agency's CEO. "Ideas from these homes with energy-saving features can have a ripple effect on the entire community."

Neighbor Carol Mecham went on a recent tour of the Kearns home, calling it "one of the most beautiful in the area now." She added that ideas on energy efficiency, such as vapor barriers and insulated crawl spaces, "are wonderful."

Elizabeth Wilson, also a resident in the neighborhood, was impressed with the home's interior textured walls that improve insulation and sound absorption.

Asking price for the three-bedroom, 1,014-square foot home in Kearns is $134,000. Prices of other homes range from $72,000 to $143,900.

Down payment assistance may be available for qualified buyers. Qualified persons must make 80 percent or less of the Area Median Income, which ranges from one person with an annual income of $39,950 up to a family of eight with an income of $75,350.

Maximum owner-occupant buyer income must be 115 percent or less of the Area Median Income, ranging from one person with an annual income of $57,500 up to a family of eight with an income of $108,330.

Since its founding 1990, the CDC has helped 4,000 families in more than 120 Utah communities to become homeowners.

Programs include housing construction and rehabilitation, home-buyer education and housing counseling, foreclosure mitigation help and down-payment assistance.

Salt Lake County also offers assistance through its Home Safe Home program for homeowners to make critical repairs. Low- and moderate income residents in Kearns, Magna, Copperton, White City and East Milcreek may be eligible.

County officials also have home tips to keep dwellings safe and healthy:

Keep it clean • Control the source of dust and contaminates, reduce clutter and use effective wet cleaning.

Keep it dry • Prevent water from entering through leaks in roofing systems and rain water from seeping in because of improper drainage.

Keep it contaminate-free • Reduce lead-related hazards in pre-1978 homes by fixing deteriorated paint. Also, test your home for radon, a naturally occurring gas that enters homes through soil, crawl spaces and foundation cracks.

Keep it pest-free • Seal cracks and openings, store food in pest-resistant containers and if needed, use sticky-traps and baits in containers.

Keep it safe • Store poisons out of reach of children and properly label containers. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and keep fire extinguishers on hand.

Keep it maintained • Inspect, clean and repair homes routinely, and make a checklist for spring and fall home maintenance.

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Help for affordable homes, energy efficiency grants

The nonprofit Community Development Corp. of Utah has helped 4,000 families become homeowners.

Programs • Housing construction and rehabilitation, homebuyer education and counseling, foreclosure mitigation and down-payment assistance.

Idea Homes • Built 17 homes in Salt Lake County, demonstrating energy conservation, solar-energy generation, solar thermal hot water and water-wise landscaping.

For more information • visit Affordable homes for sale

Assistance may be available for first-time buyers with minimum family incomes (for one person, $39,950; up to eight people, $75,350).

Kearns • 4506 W. 5500 South, $134,000.

West Jordan • 1419 W. 6785 South, $139,900.

Magna • 2952 S. 9000 West, $139,900; 2611 S. 8990 West, $142,900; 2745 S. 9000 West, $109,900.

Salt Lake City • 31 W. Fremont Ave. (1100 South), $72,000; 634 S. Navajo St. (1365 West), $143,900.

For information or a tour • call Carol 801-554-4942 or visit Don't move, improve

Salt Lake County's Home Safe Home program assists low- and moderate-income residents to make critical repairs to correct housing-code violations and improve living conditions. Residents in Kearns, Magna, Copperton, White City or East Milcreek may be eligible.

For more information • call 385-468-4888.