• Welcome Home Illinois: IHDA Program Helps First Time Home Buyers

    The Illinois Housing Development Authority’s Welcome home Illinois program kicked off in April 2014 and helps first-time home buyers overcome substantial financial barriers of entry.

    Welcome Home banner

    An affordable, comfortable, safe, and conveniently located home is an essential part of a happy and successful life. The home serves as a springboard for every other aspect of living, family, friends, work, school, and safety included. Getting into an affordable home is not easy, especially for first-time buyers, so the Welcome Home Illinois program was developed to make home ownership more accessible to Illinois residents.

    Perhaps you’re getting engaged and are looking for a starter home, or you’re graduating and want to invest in a house, or maybe you’re just ready to contribute your hard-earned dollars to a mortgage payment and a property you own rather than paying rent into someone else’s pocket (did you know it’s cheaper to own than to rent?). Whatever the reason, now is an incredible time to buy, and the Welcome Home Illinois program makes the opportunity even sweeter.

    The Offer

    • $7,500 to help cover the down payment
    • 30-year fixed rate mortgage, with rates around 3.875%—well below the market rate
    • FHA, Conventional, VA, USDA loan options available, among others

    The program essentially offers a helping hand to those looking to buy a home. A down payment—typically 20% of the purchase price—is not always easy to pull together, but the IHDA doesn’t want that to stop people from buying homes. A fixed-rate mortgage below the market interest rate means paying less in interest—not just a few dollars less, but hundreds less a month. That translates into tens of thousands less over the life of your mortgage. That’s a huge deal—it means you pay less for your home when all is said and done, and gives you more financial freedom when it comes to buying your next home, if that’s in your future.

    The Guidelines

    • Buyer contribution of 1% or $1,000 of the purchase price, whichever is greater
    • The home must be a one- or two-unit property in the state of Illinois
    • Must be buyer’s primary residence

    1%. That’s $2500 on a $250,000 home. That’s the buyer contribution, which, in conjunction with the IHDA’s $7500, makes up the down payment. The other guidelines basically just restrict purchasing income properties. The program was developed and tailored for first-time home buyers, and to guarantee the deal, it’s limited to primary residences only. If you’re buying a home to live in, you’re good.

    The Fine Print

    • You must be a first-time home buyer or someone who has not owned a home in three years
    • Maximum Household Income Limit of $90,960 for a household of 1 or 2
    • Maximum Household Income Limit of $106,120 for a household of 3 or more
    • Maximum Purchase Price Limit of $378,461 for a 1-unit home
    • Maximum Purchase Price Limit of $484,476 for a 2-unit home

    Eligibility is, as stated earlier, limited to first-time home buyers, most of who fall in the required income range. These income and purchase price limits are for homes purchased in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties. The limits vary slightly for other counties, and can be found here.

    Getting Started


    If you are a first-time buyer and meet the aforementioned requirements, get in touch with a realtor and a lender to discuss the program and find the perfect home. Contact Newman Realty at 773.313.3901 or blog@newmanrealtyillinois.com

    Images sourced from WelcomehomeIllinois.gov and Wikimedia Commons

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