Updated IHDA Program for Down Payment and Closing Costs Assistance

The Illinois Housing and Development Authority (IHDA) has updated its first-time homebuyer assistance program, which is called 1st Home Illinois. Here’s what you need to know to help you figure out if you qualify for IHDA down-payment and closing cost assistance under the 1st Home Illinois program:

  1. First of all, you don’t really have to be a first-time homebuyer. As long as you have not owned a home in the last three years, you may qualify. Even if you have owned a home in the last three years, you still may qualify if you are purchasing a home in a “targeted area”. For more information on targeted areas, see IHDA’s website. Moreover, if you’re a veteran, it doesn’t matter if you owned a home last week; you still qualify.
  2. The home you are purchasing must be in either Cook County or one of the following Illinois counties: Boone, DeKalb, Fulton, Kane, Marion, McHenry, St. Clair, Will or Winnebago.
  3. The home you buy can either be a single unit (like a single-family home, townhome or condominium), or a two-flat.
  4. The home must be your primary residence, not investment property.
  5. The home must be an existing home. Down payment assistance is not available for new construction properties.
  6. The purchase price must fall within the limits IHDA has determined for your county. Purchase price limitations are available here.
  7. Your income must fall within certain limits. The limits vary by county, and take into account how many people are in your household. For more information on income limits, click here.
  8. You must go through homeownership counseling.
  9. You must be able to pay either $1000 or 1% of the purchase price of your home, whichever is greater.
  10. You must meet IHDA’s minimum credit requirements.

If you meet all of these requirements, what do you get? Well, it’s a pretty sweet deal. You will receive $7,500 in down payment or closing costs assistance from IHDA. While this is a loan, it’s fully-forgivable, meaning you won’t have to pay a penny towards it so long as you don’t sell the house in the first five years and you occupy it as your primary residence during that time. If you do sell during the first five years, you will need to pay IHDA back some of what they lent you. The 1st Home Illinois program is an option with conventional, FHA, VA, and even USDA loans. Make sure you ask your lender if you qualify!