What is the Heritage Home Loan?

The Heritage Home Program℠ Loan is a low-interest fixed-rate home equity loan for homeowners to affordably maintain and improve their older houses.

The low interest loan product is financed through Key Bank and Third Federal Savings & Loan with fixed-interest rates available as low as 1.4%.

Loan clients have access to written construction specifications for exterior projects, locating qualified contractors and project guidance.

How do you qualify for the Heritage Home Loan?

Please read the requirements below to see if your home qualifies for the Heritage Home Loan.
Is your home located in a participating community?

If not, for a fee you can take advantage of our technical assistance services.

Is your house at least 50 years old?

Your home must be built on or before 1970.

Is the property zoned residential?

Commercially-zoned properties do not qualify.

Does the home contain three occupancy units or less?

Both owner occupied and non-owner occupied rental properties of 3 units or less qualify for the loan.

Have you already started your project?

Work that has already started cannot be funded with loan proceeds. This includes down payments and purchase of materials.

Are the property taxes current?

Property taxes must be up-to-date.

Is there equity in the home?

The loan amount is based on the available equity in your home and tailored to the project scope. The bank will use an after-rehab appraisal and base equity on the projected value of the house after the projects are complete.

After rehab value of home x ____% LTV (loan-to-value) = Max available Equity

Max available equity – Existing Mortgage balance(s) = Available Equity for loan

Example: $100,000 after rehab value x 85% LTV = $85,000 Max Available Equity $85,000 – $50,000 First mortgage balance = $35,000 Available equity

Is there more than one existing lien on the property?

The Heritage Home Program Loan can be a first or second lien (mortgage) on the property, but it cannot be the third.

Does your project qualify?

Your project cannot involve:

New or repair of vinyl siding or vinyl windows

Luxury items such as hot tubs or swimming pools

New decks and patios


Additions are subject to a review process to ensure that they are compatible with the home. An overview of that process can be found here.

Are you ready to apply?

Did you answer "yes" to all the questions above?

Once you have determined that the property and projects are eligible for the loan, contact the Heritage Home Program℠ staff to review your project scope, discuss the terms and conditions, and schedule a site visit. Homeowner must also meet the bank’s lending requirements.

Do you have estimates for your projects?

If you need assistance finding contractors or selecting estimates, Heritage Staff can assist you. Scheduling a site visit can be helpful with our construction specialists offering advice on any home repair/remodel.

The next step is to complete the Heritage Home Loan Application

Applications and estimates must be submitted to the Heritage Home Program Office before a homeowner starts the financial pre-approval process.

You can mail or fax the application to our office. Remember to include estimates from chosen contractors with the completed application.

Heritage Home Program℠
3751 Prospect Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 426-3116
Fax: (216) 426-1975

Loan Process

Once the Heritage Home Program has approved your application, you are ready to start the financial pre-approval process with a loan officer at a participating bank.

The homeowner must meet the bank’s lending requirements. You may visit or call the bank branch to speak with a relationship manager about these requirements. Heritage Home Program Staff can provide contact information for a bank branch near you.

When meeting with a loan officer, provide a copy of the Heritage Home Loan Application and additional information requested by the bank. A standard credit evaluation will be performed as well as an initial review of available equity. Bank pre-approval lasts 60 days.

The lending institution will determine whether the applicant is conditionally approved.

The bank may request additional personal documents and may require an appraisal.

Key Bank always requires an appraisal.

Third Federal will do appraisals on a case by case basis.

The bank will notify the homeowner and Heritage staff of final approval. Heritage staff will send final paperwork to the bank to confirm the project eligibility and loan amount. The lending institution will then prepare the loan documents and set a loan closing appointment with the homeowner.

Once the loan documents are signed at the bank there is a three-day right-of-rescission period. After that period, the bank will disburse the funds to a CRS escrow account.

No work funded with loan proceeds can begin until loan funds have been dispersed.
An escrow contract and payment schedule will be established between the homeowner, contract, and the Cleveland Restoration Society.

Specifications for exterior work will be provided to the homeowner and contractor.


You will have eighteen months from the signing date to complete all projects funded by the Heritage Home Program Loan.

Funds are released with the homeowner’s approval as the project progresses.

If the project requires a permit, the contractor must pull the necessary permit prior to beginning work.

When the project is complete, a Heritage Home Program staff member will complete a final project close-out site visit.

Loan Details

  • We provide low fixed-rate financing and project guidance for repair, maintenance and rehab projects for your older home.