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Cedar Rapids First Time Home Buyer Program

Iowa

Available Assistance

The First Time Home Buyer (FTHB) Program provides eligible potential homebuyers with $1,000 to $5,000 to help cover the down payment and closing costs associated with the purchase of a home. This assistance comes in the form of a 5-year, forgivable loan.

Eligibility Requirements

Must be a first-time homebuyer. Any applicant who has owned a home in the previous three years is not eligible. Must secure an acceptable mortgage. All applicants must secure “Qualified Mortgages” and meet additional requirements, including no non-occupying co-signers or co-borrowers, and ARM’s of at least 10 years. Must meet income and asset requirements. Households must meet maximum housing and debt to income ratios of 31 percent and 43 percent respectively. An applicant’s assets (checking, savings, etc.) must not exceed $15,000 non-retirement funds. Based on those assets, applicants will be required to contribute between one and three percent of the sales price towards the down payment. Must complete homebuyer education. It is mandatory that all applicants attend and complete an in-person or online, HUD-approved homebuyer education course prior to applying for down payment assistance. It must specifically state that both the course and agency are “HUD-approved” in order to meet the requirements of the First Time Home Buyer program.

Property Guidelines

Any home purchased must be within the City of Cedar Rapids limits, but those located in the 100-year floodplain are not eligible. Homes must be owner-occupied or vacant (not a current rental property with tenants). Single-family dwellings and condo units are eligible (mobile home purchases are not eligible). Homes will be inspected by the City staff and must comply with Housing Quality Standards (based on health and safety requirements). The purchase price of homes may not exceed $135,000 for a single-family dwelling.

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