In a town where the average home price is about $520,000, today's low mortgage rates mean little to many potential homebuyers. A house in Andover is too expensive for many.

But there will be good news for someone who lives or works in town. A three-bedroom home is expected to be completed by December and will be sold for $167,500.

Andover Community Trust is offering a new, permanently affordable, three-bedroom home at 57 North St. to one eligible buyer. This home will be built by the developer of Northfield Commons, a new subdivision of 32 single-family homes and townhouses to be built nearby on North Street.

Executive Director Susan Stott said ACT received a $165,000 grant from the Andover Affordable Housing Trust Fund to assist in the purchase and construction of the North Street home. In addition, ACT received a grant of $50,000 from the North Shore HOME Consortium competitive funds to assist in constructing this home.

This will be the fifth ACT home in Andover. The others are located on Haverhill Street, River Road, Heather Drive and Cheever Circle.

The new homeowner must go through a selection process that will begin in September. Anyone interested in being selected to purchase this home must attend one of the following information sessions: Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 11 at 2 p.m.; or Monday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.. All sessions will be held on the third floor of Memorial Hall Library in Andover. Applications will be available at the end of each meeting.

There are income requirements for interested buyers. Total household income must be less than 80 percent of the area median income, as established annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (approximately $51,000 to $64,000, depending on family size). Family assets may not exceed $75,000. All applicants must complete a first-time home buyer's class before being selected to purchase this home.

ACT gives preference to income-eligible, first-time home buyer households with one to four school-age children.

"Diversity is important (for communities) and ACT advocates for it," Stott said.

ACT also has its sixth Andover affordable home in town in the works. ACT purchased a half-acre lot on Andover Street from the town at a tax title auction in April 2010, Stott said.

John Pearson, ACT president and architect, has designed the affordable three-bedroom Andover Street home that will be built by students from the Greater Lawrence Technical School. This will be the third ACT home built by GLTS.

Site work began this summer, and the students will begin construction next month. Pearson also designed the ACT homes on Cheever Circle and Heather Drive.

"ACT is excited to partner with GLTS because these projects provide a learning experience for students, as well as a community service," Stott said.

The Andover Street home will be completed in 2013.

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