Between 1998 and 2000, Innovative Housing, Inc. developed three mixed-income condominium projects in central Portland. We did this largely without public funding and made the units affordable using an innovative financing tool called a Shared Appreciation Mortgage, or "SAM." A SAM is a "soft second" mortgage, which means it doesn't get amortized or repaid on a monthly basis like a typical mortgage. Homebuyers pay no interest on the SAM during the life of the loan, nor does interest accrue, but when the buyer sells the condo they repay the principal amount of the SAM along with a proportionate share of the condo's appreciation. For example, if the total purchase price of a condo is $160,000 and IHI provides a SAM for $40,000, when the homeowner sells, he or she will repay IHI $40,000 plus 25% of the difference between $160,000 and the sales price (because $40,000 represents 25% of $160,000).

SAMs are beneficial because they reduce barriers to homeownership for low-income buyers by reducing the amount they need to borrow from a bank. In the example above, the homebuyer purchased a $160,000 condo but only needed a bank loan of $120,000. Not only is it easier to qualify for a lower mortgage amount, but it is also much more affordable to make monthly payments on the lower amount.

All units have been sold and IHI does not currently have any homes available for sale.

  • Arbor Vista Condominiums, Goose Hollow [View]
    Arbor Vista was IHI's first condo development and created 27 condominiums in an exclusive West Portland neighborhood, where cost would otherwise be prohibitive for moderate-income households. The condos are easily accessible by public transportation (located across the street from a MAX light rail station and near a bus hub) and within walking distance of downtown. IHI enabled 10 households earning less than area median income to purchase homes here by providing a Shared Appreciation Mortgage ("SAM").
  • Cornerstone Condominiums, Downtown Portland [View]
    Cornerstone Condominiums created 46 condominiums in downtown Portland. Recognizing that downtown real estate prices were cost prohibitive for most low-income people, IHI reserved 36 of the condos for first-time homebuyers earning between 60 and 80% of area median income. Four of the condos were sold at market rates and six others were retained by IHI to provide rental housing for very low-income individuals. IHI worked with the Portland Development Commission to provide shared appreciation mortgages to the 36 buyers earning less than 80% of AMI in order to achieve below-market purchase prices.
  • Center Townhomes, NE Portland [View]
    Innovative Housing developed 26 three-story townhomes adjacent to Center Commons, a mixed-income apartment development. The townhomes are beautiful, high-quality condominiums with an award winning design and were built primarily for first-time homeowners. Ten of the 26 homebuyers earned less than area median income and purchased with the assistance of a Shared Appreciation Mortgage provided by IHI. In addition, income-qualifying households receive 10-year, transit-oriented property tax abatements from the City because of their proximity to the MAX light rail system.