Tips For First Time Home Buyers
For those who are trying to venture into the real estate realm, tax season can be frustrating. First-time homeowners can get so caught up in the paperwork that they forget there are programs and services out there designed to help them save money on their annual property taxes.
The SmartMove program
The SmartMove program is designed for qualified buyers who have limited funds for down payment and/or closing costs. The program has several features:
• A first mortgage with an affordable interest rate.
• A second mortgage up to $6,000 for down payment and/or closing cost assistance
• Variety of loan products including FHA, VA, USDA and conventional loans.
SmartMove consists of three easy steps that help potential applicants reach their eventual goal of home ownership. The applicant must first make sure they meet all the qualifications for the loan provided within the program. These qualifications include:
You must be a first-time homebuyer. A first-time homebuyer is defined as someone who hasn't owned a primary residence within the last three years. Exemptions to the first-time homebuyer requirement:
- Veterans: If you are a veteran, both you and your spouse do not have to be first-time homebuyers.
- Targeted Area: Homebuyers purchasing a home in targeted areas of the state are exempt from the first-time homebuyer requirement. Please review the listing of targeted areas.
- Your total household income and the purchase price of your home must be under the program limits.
Once the applicant has met all the necessary qualifications, the next step is to visit a participating lender. The lender will determine if the applicant will be approved for the loan based on qualificaitons an credit. The lender will also assist with any necessary documentation. If the applicant is approved, he or she will receive a pre-approval letter detailing the amount of the loan in which he or she qualified.
Finally, the applicant may start looking for a home! Once the applicant finds the property they wish to purchace and signs a contract, he or she notifies the lender who will gather all loan information for final approval. IHDA and the lender agent will review all information within a 30-45 day window. From there, the applicant will know if SmartMove loan is officiallyy approved.