CHICAGO – Approximately 130 families who attended the first-ever State of Illinois Homebuyer Expo over the weekend are now on the path to homeownership. After pre-qualifying for safe and affordable mortgage products featuring thousands of dollars in down payment and closing cost assistance, the next step for these families is to find their dream home.
Sponsored as part of Governor Pat Quinn’s proclamation of the “Year of Homeownership,” the Expo connected these hard working families to lenders who pre-qualified them for a fixed-rate 30-year mortgage and up to $10,000 in financial assistance available through the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA). An additional 130 families were connected to counseling to prepare for homeownership.
Families unable to attend the event – hosted Saturday by the IHDA, the state’s housing finance agency, at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago – can still take advantage of these mortgage products by visiting www.ihda.org.
“Governor Quinn proclaimed 2013 as the ‘Year of Homeownership,’ and we are opening the door to homeownership for more hard working Illinois families by increasing safe and affordable opportunities,” IHDA Executive Director Mary R. Kenney said. “Providing families with the support they need to buy a home has strong economic benefits for our state and local communities.”
The housing market shows signs of recovery with January 2013 home sales in Illinois up 31 percent over last year, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors. Still, far too many families remain sidelined due to lenders tightening credit and the inability to have enough money for down payment. Nearly half of Expo attendees cited saving money for down payment as the greatest challenge to buying a home, and IHDA’s programs provide this critical financial assistance.
IHDA has responded to these challenges to make homeownership possible for more low- to moderate-income families by expanding its mortgage products – introducing the new SmartMove Trio, which offers an additional federal tax credit, and tripling the number of communities where the Illinois Building Blocks program is available. To apply for any of IHDA’s programs, buyers must go through an approved lender listed at www.ihda.org/lender. Income and purchase limits apply.
With increased home sales, communities reap the economic rewards. For example, the sale of 500 homes supports an estimated 250 full-time jobs and generates nearly $20 million in economic activity.
Featuring interest rates as low as 3.5 percent, the following IHDA loan programs are now available:
• SmartMove (First-time buyers only)
SmartMove features affordable 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and up to $6,000 for down payment and closing costs. SmartMove is the perfect solution for borrowers who have limited funds for down payment, yet have the financial means to maintain monthly mortgage payments.
• SmartMove Trio (First-time buyers only)
SmartMove Trio is IHDA’s latest offering and is one of the best packages ever offered in the agency’s history. Available for a limited time, SmartMove Trio offers first-time homebuyers that meet certain requirements an affordable 30-year fixed rate mortgage, up to $6,000 cash for down payment and closing costs, and a federal income tax credit worth up to $18,000 over the life of the loan (based on a 30-year $128,000 loan at 4 percent interest).
• SmartMove Plus
For buyers who currently own a home and want to refinance or buy a new home.
• Welcome Home Heroes
Tailored to help military personnel who sacrifice to safeguard our freedom, Welcome Home Heroes offers an affordable 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, $10,000 in down payment assistance and a federal income tax credit. It’s available for all qualified Illinois veterans, active military personnel, reservists and Illinois National Guard members.
• Illinois Building Blocks Program
Features affordable 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and $10,000 down payment assistance to buyers who purchase vacant homes in 15 communities. The program is a coordinated effort to help stabilize neighborhoods and provide affordable homeownership opportunities. The communities are: Belleville, Berwyn, Blue Island, Champaign, Chicago Heights, Cicero, Crest Hill, Joliet, Lockport, Lynwood, Maywood, Melrose Park, Park Forest, Peoria and South Holland.