The Home ownership dream is becoming more affordable thanks to this year’s Welcome Home Program. The program offers low to moderate-income homebuyers up to $5,000 for closing costs and down payment assistance.
Requirements for the Welcome Home Program:
Total household income must be at or below 80% of Mortgage Revenue Bond (MRB) income limits. The MRB limit for a household of 2 or less is $66,500 (80% $53,200) and for a larger household is $76,475 (80% $61,180). The income calculation will be based on the limits in place at the time the program opens.
Homebuyers must contribute at least $500 of their own funds toward the down payment and closing costs, although 60% of these funds may be received as a gift.
Funds received from sellers, nonprofit or other organizations, including state and local government agencies, for down payment assistance grants cannot be used to reduce the required contribution.
Funds paid for costs outside of closing, such as hazard insurance, taxes, application fees, and other items related to the purchase, are considered part of the homebuyer’s required contribution.
Applicants do not have to be first-time homebuyers. However, all first-time homebuyers must complete a homebuyer counseling program.
Homebuyers may be required to pay back a prorated amount of the Welcome Home grant if the home is sold or refinanced during the 5-year retention period.
Property Requirements for the Welcome Home Program
Property must be used as the homebuyer’s primary residence.
An appraisal or current lease must be submitted when the funds are reserved
Some manufactured housing is eligible for Welcome Home assistance. Manufactured homes may be built in multi-sectional or single section units and must be installed on an FHA Title II permanent foundation system. The home and lot must be taxable together as real property. Single-section manufactured homes must be Energy Star-rated. Documentation is required.
Mobile homes are not eligible for the Program. Modular homes are eligible for the Welcome Home Program.
If more than $500 is to be escrowed for buyer repairs, the property is ineligible for Welcome Home funds without advance written approval of the FHLB prior to closing.
Applicants should be preapproved for financing by the end of February. Reservations are typically accepted starting in March and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.