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DENVER-Dallas-based JPI, which Builder Magazine recently ranked as the No. 1 apartment developer in the country for 2000, has launched a new program that allows renters to become homeowners. The program was created by Tim McEntee’s division based in Denver and is available to JPI residents in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas City, MO and Seattle.

It also will be available in Minneapolis, when JPI develops its first project there.

The program is called BEST and enables JPI residents to apply a percentage of their monthly rent payments toward the purchase of a new or previously owned home. By joining the BEST Program, residents in four JPI metropolitan markets can accrue reserves of 20% of their monthly lease payments and up to 1.5% of the base purchase price of a newly constructed home or the sales price of a previously owned home.

Except for a one-time $50 fee, there is no extra cost to participate in the program.

So far, more than 250 JPI residents are taking advantage of the BEST Program, says JPI division president McEntee.

The problem with similar programs offered by competitors is that they typically are limited to certain homebuilding companies and can’t be used for resale homes, McEntee tells GlobeSt.com.

“The BEST Program is a win-win situation for our residents and for us,” McEntee says. “It’s a good way for residents who plan to purchase a home to build toward that future while enjoying the many comforts and conveniences of the JPI lifestyle. We believe this program helps provide a higher quality living experience with JPI.”

The No. 1 reason tenants leave a JPI luxury apartment complex is to buy a homes, McEntee tells GlobeSt.com. He notes that the average salary of a resident at one of JPI’s Denver-area projects is $80,000.

BEST Program members can use their reserves to pay for home closing costs, points, upgrades and other home-buying expenses for a single family home, townhouse or condominium.

Furthermore, the program makes for a smooth transition from renter to homeowner. BEST members are pre-qualified to purchase a home, and the BEST Program is involved in every aspect of the transaction through affiliations with specified RE/MAX Alliance brokers in the Denver area, lending institutions, developers and title company professionals.

“We have had a tremendous response to the BEST Program,” says Dan Matthews, a RE/MAX Alliance-DTC broker associate and president of MBA Partners, which implements the BEST Program for JPI. “We have received multiple calls from people who are making the decision to move into a JPI property to take advantage of this program.”

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