First-Time Homebuyers: Opportunities in 2010

For those of you who are looking to purchase your first home in 2010…with a little extra work, you could find yourself with $15,000 in down payment assistance. Newtown Community Development Corporation (CDC) is a nonprofit corporation begun in the 90s to address concerns about housing, neighborhood preservation and sustainable development. The vision of CDC is to increase affordable housing and support homebuyers through innovative programs.

Today I want to hone in on the down payment assistance CDC has to offer. It is called an Individual Development Account. Essentially, eligible homebuyers can receive $15,000 toward the purchase of a home, matching up to $3 for each $1 saved by the participants.

Now…the key with this program, as with any assistance program, is to read the fine print. To know if you should even consider applying, you must know the specific requirements of the program.

So, with that said…here are the guidelines:

•You must be a first-time homebuyer! (Remember, this means that you haven’t owned a home in the past 3 years)

•You must earn 80% or less of the HUD Area Median Income (1 person family: $36,900; 2 person: $42,150; 3 person: $47,450; 4 person: $52,700; 5 person:$56,900; 6 person:$61,150)

•As a part of the program, you must complete an approved homebuyer education and counseling program.

•Funds may only be used toward down payment or closing costs on a primary residence. (So…this means funds can’t be used for remodeling or for an investment home.)

•Your debt-to-income ratio cannot go above 43%. (This means that the total payment on the mortgage…principal, interest, taxes and insurance and home owners association fees…cannot exceed 43% of your total income)

•The funds are not a grant, but a forgivable loan. You must live in the home for 5 years. If you live in the home less than 5 years, the repayment will be prorated.

•The assistance money can be used for any property in Maricopa County.

•Your mortgage must come from a participating financial institution.

•There is a $435 administration fee, a $35 enrollment fee and a $400 closing fee.

•In order to receive matched funds, you must open an IDA savings account with a participating bank, make regular monthly deposits of $20 for a minimum of 10 months and you must open escrow on a home purchase within five years of enrolling in this program.

Since its inception, the IDA Program has provided more than $1.8 million in IDA match funds to first time homebuyers. There is, however, one issue! This money runs out fast! According to a Newtown representative I spoke with on the phone recently, in 2009 the money didn’t actually get released until about April and completely dried up by August. If you want these funds, you have to be on the ball! This means you apply for the program now , begin saving now , get pre-qualified now, find a realtor asap and be ready to put in offers come next April when the money is hot off the press. This program is for the diligent, for the planner, for the go-getter!! And if that is what you are, I have no doubt that you will be the recipient of these funds in 2010.

Update on Home in Five Program

I receive a lot of questions from readers on the current status of the Home in Five down payment assistance program. I  might as well answer these questions here. The long and short of it it is that currently I am unable to work with the Home in Five program.

From what I currently know the program is not funded, meaning there is no money available for down payment assistance. If things should change I will update this blog accordingly.

For those not familiar with the Home in Five program provides 5% down payment assistance to any homebuyer who meets the income and acquisition price limits. The household income requirements range depending on the area within Maricopa county. The program targets borrowers with moderate to lower incomes. The other factor that plays a significant role in the program is the area where the property is located.

UPDATE Summer 2013

Here is more information about the Home In 5 Advantage program along with some lenders who can help you.

Video In Support of Down Payment Assistance

Hat tip: Arizona Mortgage Team

This site is for informational purposes only. It is not sponsored or in any way affiliated with the government. If you are in need of a mortgage loan, consult with a licensed mortgage professional. All fair housing and equal housing opportunity laws apply when applying for a mortgage or buying a home. Copyright 2012.