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Illinois Program Helps Residents Buy Their First Home

Anyone’s who’s ever had the chance to own their own home knows how satisfying and reassuring it can be to establish a stable environment. Buying your first home is a reason to celebrate, but unfortunately, the discrimination and inequality in America means that African America families often don’t get this chance to celebrate. Buying a home is an essential part to the American dream for many, and a new program in Illinois may make that a possibility for the disadvantaged.

This program, the Welcome Home Illinois Program, is statewide, so you don’t have to live in a specific county or city to take advantage of this aid, but you should act quickly – funds are limited, and when they’re gone, they’re gone. Applying as soon as possible is the best way to reserve your chance at owning a home.

The clearest reason for this program is to close the inequality gap created by discrimination. A study conducted by online mortgage database Zillow and the National Urban League shows that African Americans are at a high disadvantage in the house-buying process. They also experience the highest loan denial rates of any demographic, and even applying for a conventional loan, African Americans have a denial rate of 2.4 times that of other demographics. Because of this, they occupy a smaller fraction of American homeowners and are less likely to even apply for a home loan.

Angelique Boyd has already taken advantage of this program and moved into her first home after 10 years of renting. The process moved very quickly, taking only two months to find her a home. The process itself is very simple…
– Applicants must have a credit score equal to or greater than 640.
– Applicants must also be first-time home buyers or not have been a homeowner in the last three years.
– After meeting the requirements, applicants can be given up to $7,500 to put towards a down payment.
– Applicants are also given a below-average interest rate of 3.625 percent on their 30-year fixed mortgage.
Margaret Wooten, a veteran of the housing market and director of the Chicago Urban League Development Corporation, has a few pieces of advice for those seeking to buy a house under this new program. She says, “My most important advice to potential homebuyers is to make sure your credit is in order before applying for a mortgage because if it’s not, you either won’t qualify for a mortgage or you will get a high rate so that it will be unaffordable.”

She adds that prospective homeowners should study up a bit to fully realize what a mortgage entails. The average mortgage isn’t just as simple as it may appear. Things like interest, principal, homeowner’s insurance, and property taxes must be taken into consideration. Home insurance is an important part of securing your new home against catastrophe, loss, and damage.

“We are determined to be the leader of the next generation of homeowners and to do that we need to educate people on credit,” she said. “We do lot of financial empowerment and one-on-ones.”

Would you like to see a similar program come to your hometown? Would help like this allow you to finally buy a home of your own? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.