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First Time Home Buyer Chicago

Tips To Incorporate Your New Mortgage Into Your Financial Life

Chicago’s First Time Home Buyer’s Down Payment Assistant Program
  • No matter where you buy a home, the purchase will impact your entire financial picture. Its probably wise to work with a professional as you prepare to buy your first home. SmartAssets financial advisor matching tool will match you with up to three advisors in your area who can meet your needs.
  • Determine how much house you can afford before you begin shopping for homes. This way, your mind and wallet will be in sync.
  • Just because you qualify for a mortgage, doesnt mean its right for you. Investigate the lenders, interest rates and down payment requirements of each choice. But buying a home is so much more than forking over a down payment. Be sure you know the closing costs, inspection fees and moving expenses too.

Downpayment Plus And Downpayment Plus Advantage

These programs, administered by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, offer up to $6,000 in down payment and closing-cost assistance. Grants are forgiven over a five-year period. Buyers must use a lender that’s a member of FHLB Chicago or, in the case of the Advantage program, from a nonprofit organization. Borrowers must complete a home buyer education course as well as counseling. Buyers using the program must contribute at least $1,000 to the home purchase.

Is This Right For You

Habitat Chicagos Homebuyer University courses are open to the public, and anyone is welcome to enroll in the series. This program could be right for you if you are:

  • Interested in becoming a homebuyer in the near future,

  • Unsure of the options and/or qualifications for buying a home,

  • Or interested in exploring homeownership but have been denied a mortgage in the past.

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First Time Home Buyers In Chicago

Buying your first home in Chicago is an exciting time, as it is likely the biggest purchase you have made thus far in your lifetime. That being said, it can be intimidating to purchase a home since it is a large amount of money, and typically people dont have enough money to buy a home outright.

Luckily, there are many different programs that offer assistance to first time home buyers in Chicago!

Common Illinois & Chicago First Time Home Buyer Grants

First Time Home Buyers in Chicago

A wide-range of first-time home buyer grants and programs are available in Chicago and throughout Illinois. Featured below are just some of those programs, but be sure to contact us directly for the most up-to-date information and regulations regarding each grant or program you’re interested in learning more about.

NeighborhoodLIFT® program

The NeighborhoodLIFT® program is a national down payment assistance program that is sponsored by Wells Fargo and NeighborWorks® America. NeighborhoodLIFT® provides eligible home buyers with $15,000 in down payment assistance and up to $17,500 for qualified military service members, veterans, law enforcement officers, teachers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians.

Wintrust Homebuyer Grant Program

The Wintrust Homebuyer Grant Program can offer up to $2,000 to qualifying borrowers and ca be paired with additional federal, state, and local grants and home loan options. To qualify, borrowers must be applying foe their first mortgage, have an annual household income at or below 80% of the HUD median income of the county in which the property is located, complete an approved homebuyer counseling program, and contribute at least $1,000 from personal funds.

DPP Advantage® & Downpayment Plus® Programs


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Chicago First Time Home Buyer Assistance Program

If you are looking to be a home buyer in Chicago, there are plenty of home buyer assistance program that the city offers as well the state of Illinois.

A lot of times, if you have a good lender, they will make sure you are signed up with every program that you are eligible for.

Being in real estate, I work with nothing but the best lenders so contact me if you are interested or shopping around.

Here is a list of some programs that the state is offering:

Welcome Home Illinois: This program began in April 2014 through the Illinois Housing Development Authority as an assistance program for first-time Illinois home buyers to come up with a down payment for their new homes, up to $7,500.

Smart Move: Similarly to the Welcome Home Illinois program, first-time home buyers can get up to $6,000 to help with the down payment on a home.

State Mortgage Revenue Bond Loan: Every state offers bond loans in order to buy a house for the first time , but many requirements vary by state and county. These are generally for prospective homebuyers who make less than the area median income, according to First Home Advisor.

These are just a couple of programs to help you get started. Make sure to do your research, as programs tend to change. There was a home buyer assistance program through Chicago Public School that I thought I was eligible because I was an employee.

Determining How Much You Can Afford

When it comes to determining how much you can afford when buying your first home or condo, theres really no right or wrong answer. Many different factors can go into determining how much is too much and everyones situation is unique. But with all that said, lenders are guaranteed to take into account several primary categories when weighing your risk, which include your household income, monthly debts , and the amount of money youre able to put down upfront.

Total debt-to-income ratio

Another component that youll need to learn about is your debt-to-income ratio. A DTI is the ratio of your total monthly debts to your monthly pre-tax income. So for example, if your monthly debt payments are $3,000 and your total pre-tax income is $8,500, your debt-to-income ratio is 35.3 percent . Depending on your credit score and lender, borrowers might be able to be qualified with a DTI up to 43 percent, but youll probably want to be closer to 36 percent to have the best chance for approval and to also get the best possible rate.

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Wintrust Community Bank Homebuyer Grant Program

Wintrust Mortgage, through nonprofit partners, offers grants of up to $2,000 for first-time home buyers in Cook, DuPage, McHenry, Will, Kane and Lake counties. Buyers must contribute at least $1,000 in personal funds toward the home purchase and complete a home buyer counseling program. The grants are limited to buyers of one- to two-unit properties who make it their primary residence.

City Of Chicago Taxsmart Mortgage Credit Certificate

Talking with a first time home buyer | Chicago Real Estate

Client Criteria: TaxSmart is a Mortgage Credit Certificate issued by the Department of Housing that provides federal income tax credits to homebuyers. To qualify, an applicant must be either a first-time homebuyer or purchasing a home in an economically troubled census tract, also known as a designated target area. They must not exceed the limit for gross annual income, which is $84,600 for a one to two-person household or $97,920 for a three or more-person household. The purchase price must not exceed the limits, which can be found online.

What the Mortgage Credit Certificate Offers: The Mortgage Credit Certificate allows homebuyers to claim a tax credit for a portion of the mortgage interest paid per year. Currently, annual savings are 25% for a purchased home or 50% for a home improvement or rehab loan, and savings are capped at $2,000.

Find Out More At:www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/doh/provdrs/lenders/svcs/taxsmart.html

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Common Home Buyer Grant Terms

Each first time home buyer program typically has its own eligibility terms and conditions, so its important to speak with a professional about the most up-to-date qualification guidelines. But many grants have the following stipulations:

  • Must occupy the home as a primary residence
  • Must have low to moderate income
  • Must buy within specified purchase price limits
  • Must put some money down, often $1,000 or 1 percent of the homes price
  • Must buy in pre-determined locations
  • Must take buyer classes or participate in housing counseling.

Dont Make Any Big Purchases Before Closing

The reason being now is when your credit needs to be at its best and nothing should change. Let’s say you buy something big, like that car youve been eyeing up for months. Now let’s think about what happens when you buy this new car right before you buy a home.

This new car is a $30,000 car. By purchasing it you have now have changed your debt to income ratio. I wont go too deep into this now so lets just keep it simple. You now have more debt , which means less net effective income, which means the Lender now sees your situation as you being less financially secure. Unfortunately, its things like this that can hurt your credit that a lot of people are unaware of.

It happens all the time, less money in your pocket makes the bank more skeptical. And what does the bank do when they are skeptical? They raise your interest rate, which will in turn raise your payments, and that means they will have you paying more for your home than you should have. Get it, NO BIG PURCHASES PRIOR TO CLOSING! After closing, go crazy if you can afford it.

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Who Qualifies As A First

A first-time homebuyer in Illinois is any family or individual who has never owned a home. For the majority of local programs, youre also considered a first-time homebuyer if you havent owned a home in the past three years.

If youre nearing the three-year mark, it may be worth waiting so you can become eligible again for any of these programs with this caveat.

Theres a silver lining, too. The statewide programs listed below apply to first-time homebuyers and repeat buyers alike. If youre already an established homeowner, Illinois Housing Development Authority programs are all fair game.

As always, when youre doing your research, read the fine print. Also refer to limitations listed below.

Building Neighborhoods And Affordable Homes Program

July First Time Home Buyer Seminars

About the Program: The Building Neighborhoods and Affordable Homes Program encourages homebuyers to purchase properties in Englewood Square, North Lawndale, South Lawndale, Humboldt Park/Garfield Park and Woodlawn. Homebuyers can receive up to $60,000 in assistance to purchase homes built through the City Lots for Working Families programs.

The income of the whole home cannot be more than 140% of the area median income, and the homebuyer must live in the home for a minimum of 10 years.

Find Out More At:www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/doh/provdrs/homebuyers/svcs/buildingneighborhoods-andaffordable-homes-program.html

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Its Time To Negotiate Again

Yes, negotiating the first time around is not the end of the back and forth with the seller. As discussed, you never know what issues could come up during a home inspection, there could be a leak under the sink that is causing rust on the pipes, the water heater could be making an odd tinging noise that you never noticed before, maybe there is no drain pan under the washer/dryer , or maybe even worse, theres mold!

Well, you cant just take a house with mold in it which is where the second round of negotiations starts. This is handled by the team youve created with your Attorney, Realtor, and yourself. Maybe you dont care about that drain pan for the washer/dryer after all or the fact that the outlet isnt a GFCI outlet because youre going to remodel the kitchen anyway.

Nonetheless, this is the time to handle this stuff and clear up any points of concern. If there is something you feel needs to be fixed, repaired, or serviced then now is the time to air it out.

This is what attorney review is, taking care of all the little things that came up after you put in your offer. It can be tedious, but it is important. Now, its finally time to

What Is A Buyers Agent

Just like a seller is typically represented by a realtor, home buyers can have an advocate on their side. Your broker will make certain your best interests are represented throughout the transaction.

Your first home buying process is complex and to make certain of a positive outcome you want a qualified leader for your team of professionals your broker will make sure your attorney, inspector and lender are working in tandem to protect your interests from showing to closing. In addition, your buyers agent will help with finding the ideal homefrom narrowing down the best neighborhood for your wants/needs, to scouting out the perfect properties

Your agent will be a fierce advocate to negotiate the best deal possible, and will know Chicagos neighborhoods inside and out. Once youve found your dream home, shell guide you through the attorney and inspection process then through the mortgage approval process, setting you up for success. She will go above and beyond to make sure youre comfortable and in-the-know at every turn.

In other words, shes the quarterback of the teamensuring that the inspector, attorney, and lender meet deadlines for contract contingencies and she gets you to the closing table on time. Most importantly, your buyers agent is your fierce advocate.

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Get Down Payment Help With Chicagos Home Buyer Assistance Program

Chicagos Home Buyer Assistance Program is making homeownership easier in Cook County. Not only can you use this grant for down payment assistance in Chicago, but you can also use it towards closing costs on your home.

Below, well review the details of Chicagos Home Buyer Assistance Program, the major benefits, how to qualify, and details about how the grant works to help you with your down payment and closing costs.

What is Chicagos Home Buyer Assistance Program?

The Chicago City Council created the Home Buyer Assistance Program to make homeownership easier for Chicago residents by offering grants to help with down payments and closing costs. The program is available to individuals and families who are buying or refinancing. This assistance can cover up to 7% of the total loan amount for the down payment and closing costs.

This Chicago-only program can be used to purchase single-family-homes, townhomes, condos, and owner-occupied properties . Better yet, you dont need to be a first-time home buyer. The Chicago City Council is willing to help you in exchange for you staying at that address for at least five years – which improves the local economy.

Keep in mind, this program is a first come, first serve program. That means once the funds are used up, there is no guarantee it will continue. If youre looking to purchase in Chicago in the near future, we suggest you move ASAP to make it more likely you can capitalize on this offer.

FHA, VA, USDA Loans:

How do I apply?

First Time Homebuyer Workshop Schedule

Barbara Corcoran Shares First Time Home Buyers Tips with WGN Chicago
***Hosted on Zoom*** Sat: 9am – 5pm. One on one appt. Oct. 18th – 22nd Neighborhood Loans

Once you have installed the program, contact NCDC staff for the join link for the workshop.

***Hosted on Zoom*** Sat: 9am – 5pm. One on one appt. Oct. 25th – 29th TBD

Once you have installed the program, contact NCDC staff for the join link for the workshop.

***Hosted on Zoom*** Sat: 9am – 5pm. One on one appt. Nov. 8th thru Nov. 12th TBD

Once you have installed the program, contact NCDC staff for the join link for the workshop.

***Hosted on Zoom*** Sat: 9am – 5pm. One on one appt. Nov 15th thru Nov. 19th. TBD

Once you have installed the program, contact NCDC staff for the join link for the workshop.

Please contact us at Ext 14 or online to sign up for one of our Homebuyer Education Workshops and the one on one appointment. Virtual appointments available!

NCDC offers a course for first time buyers covering topics of budgeting, credit, shopping for a home, purchase contracts, mortgage comparison, real estate professionals, closing, property taxes, refinancing, and assistance programs available in the Chicago region. All participants are awarded a certificate of completion which is needed to qualify for the City of Chicagos Home Buyer Assistance Program or the Illinois Housing Development Authoritys mortgage products. We also offer our First Time Homebuyer Course online through ehome America, to sign up visit:

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