St. Norbert College, a Catholic liberal arts college embracing the Norbertine ideal of communio, provides an educational environment that fosters intellectual, spiritual and personal development.

Walk-to-Work Program

Purchase or Lease

Overview

The Walk-to-Work Program is a program designed to facilitate private home ownership in the areas adjacent to St. Norbert College. The program is designed to encourage St. Norbert faculty and staff to live in the vicinity of the campus, but also to encourage others who would like to live near the college to do so. The Walk-to-Work Program encourages the improvements to neighborhood life made by the residents of owner-occupied houses while providing a framework for accommodating the future growth of the college, consistent with an identified timetable.

How it Works

St. Norbert College has established boundaries for the Walk-to-Work Program district. Generally, the district is bounded by the City Redevelopment District Boundary on Grant St. and College Ave.; to the north by the railroad tracks on the west, Pleasant Place and 716 Fourth St.; to the south, and the Fox River on the east.

College faculty and staff under the program will be able to purchase homes in the Walk-to-Work district for use as their personal residence. Several major area financial institutions have agreed to participate in the program by providing home mortgage financing at appropriate rates. The financial institutions would use their regular loan underwriting standards, but the college would guarantee the loan.

Within the Walk-to-Work district, the college has identified certain properties that it anticipates needing for future campus development – and has established a timetable to guide this property acquisition. The purchaser of a home in the district would be told the projected time of the college’s intention to purchase the property – within five years, between five and 10 years, and between 10 and 15 years, beyond 15 years, etc.

The faculty or staff member who purchases a home under the program in the Walk-to-Work district would agree to sell the property to St. Norbert College if and when approached by the college at a time consistent with the college’s previously disclosed timetable for acquiring the property. The participant and college would agree on a price based on the average of two appraisals done by qualified local appraisers.

If a participant who purchases a home in the Walk-to-Work program district decides to sell before the college’s time period for acquiring the property, the college would have the first option to buy, utilizing the same process of an agreed price based on the average of two appraisals.

If the home owner decides to sell the property and the college is not interested in purchasing it at the price set, the home owner would be free to sell to anyone they chose, as long as the college guaranteed mortgage would be fully satisfied.

Benefits of the Program

To participating college community home buyers:
  • Participants would have the advantage of living close to the St. Norbert College campus.
  • Participants would be able to purchase a home with little or no down payment.
  • Participants would have the security of knowing the quality of their neighborhood will be preserved and thus their investment in their home will be protected.
  • Participants would have the confidence of knowing they will get a fair return on the money spent to buy, renovate or repair their property based on the college’s intention to buy the property at fair market value at a predetermined future date.
To the community:
  • The deterioration of portions of the neighborhood to the campus would be reversed.
  • Long-time area residents, who are not members of the college community, would enjoy the benefits of the neighborhood reverting from student rental properties back to owner-occupied homes.
  • The community-at-large will be able to plan for its future, with the benefit of knowing the college’s intentions for future campus development.
  • The city, and area merchants, would reap the benefits of a neighborhood of owner-occupied homes.
To the college:
  • The college community will have the benefits of faculty, staff and others who choose to live in the surrounding area, contributing to a safe, stable residential district.
  • The college will have an established process for acquiring at a fair price, the property it may need for an orderly, planned expansion of its campus.
To participating financial institutions:
  • Area financial institutions would be making a contribution to the quality of life in West De Pere, while getting a fair return on mortgages that the college guarantees.
  • Participating financial institutions would have the security of knowing the money it was lending for a particular property was being invested as part of a larger program to improve the entire district.
Operating Procedures
  1. The college will attempt to keep an up-to-date list of the properties that we know are on the market and available for purchase within the boundaries of the walk-to-work district. Kristee Becker, extension 3066, is the contact person.
  2. Properties may be available that we are not aware of because they have either just been placed on the market, or the current owner may want to test the market before actually listing with a realtor or notifying the college.
  3. If you locate a property that is for sale within the walk-to-work district and are interested in it, Kristee will assist you, if you so desire, in investigating the property. Should you want to make an offer on a property, Kristee will assist with the appropriate documents. 
  4. Assuming on your own or with an agent’s or anyone else’s help, that you find a property you are interested in and you wish to make a purchase offer under the program, you should let Kristee Becker know of your intention. Unless you have already secured pre-approval financing, contacting the financial institute of your choice may be your next step.
  5. The price related to appraised value, the details of the transaction, and your ability to finance the property are matters between you and the financial institution you choose. They will use their usual loan underwriting standards to evaluate you as a borrower. If they agree that with our guarantee they will make the loan, then we will enter into a contractual agreement with you relating to the guarantee. Each agreement will be tailored to the specifics of each purchase, but all will spell out:

    a) The time and conditions for buy out.
    b) The rights and obligations related to default, death or termination of employment with St. Norbert College.
    c) Other items appropriate to the individual property.
    d) At the time of closing a title of document agreement will be signed by you and St. Norbert College, then filed with the Brown County Register of Deeds Office and a copy provided to the lending institution.

Lease Rather than Purchase Possibilities
In order to provide a stable market for properties in the program area, there may be some properties especially those adjacent to existing college properties that the college would purchase directly, because the property may be needed within five years, or because they are currently vacant.

The college may decide not to use them for student housing but rather to lease them to interested faculty or staff for periods of one to five years.

The college will develop a list of faculty and staff who desire to lease properties. A person’s name will remain on the list in initial priority order until they either withdraw their name or lease a property.

After the initial list is established, names will be added to the bottom of the list on an “as interested basis.”