Iowa First Time Home Buyer – 2019 Loan Programs
Are you looking to purchase your first home? Our first time home buyer programs might be the perfect solution to help you obtain the financing you need to purchase the home you desire. We provide excellent home financing options, and encourage you to compare our offered loan terms to other mortgage lenders.
Iowa First Time Home Buyer Loans
There are 5 types of first time home buyer loans. You may select different loan terms, such as a fixed rate or adjustable rate mortgage, and the number of years to repay the loan (such as a 30 year fixed rate mortgage).
Types of Mortgages:
- Conventional Loans – Conventional loans offer the best loan terms to borrowers with good or excellent credit, as well as those who can afford to place a larger down payment. If you are able to put 20% or more down, you will be able to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI). However, conventional loans also offer low down payment options, such as programs that only require 3% down.
- FHA Loans – FHA loans are a good option for borrowers who may not be able to qualify for a conventional loan. The qualification requirements for FHA loans are much more lenient than conventional loans. This includes options for home buyers with credit scores as low as 500 (in order to qualify for a 3.5% down payment, you must have a credit score of at least 580).
- USDA Loans – USDA loans provide home buyers the opportunity to purchase a home without any down payment. These loans are intended for borrowers with low-to-moderate income. In addition to not requiring any money down, you can also finance the closing costs into the loan. This means you can essentially buy a home with no money out of pocket!
- VA Loans – Active duty military members and veterans can apply for a VA loan which allows you to buy your first home without any down payment. These loans are not available to the general public, but exclusively to military/veterans.
- Jumbo Loans – Any loan that does not meet the conforming or FHA loan limits is a jumbo loan. The 2019 FHA loan limits for the entire state of Iowa are $314,827. For conforming loans, which are used for conventional and VA loans, the maximum loan limits are $484,350 for the entire state. If you want to buy a more expensive home, and have the income to qualify, we provide what are known as jumbo loans up to $2,000,000.
The above 5 types of loans are the main first time home buyer options that exist. We can help you determine which loan is the right fit for you based on your particular needs and eligibility.
Iowa Down Payment Assistance Programs and Grants
Iowa has a couple of excellent down payment assistance programs. Both of these DPA programs are in the form of a grant which does not require you to pay the money borrowed back. The details are requirements of these home buying incentives for first time homebuyers are featured below:
- FirstHome Program Plus – Receive up to $2,500 in grant funds which can be applied towards your down payment. To qualify, you must use the home as a primary residence (no investment properties). The income limits for all counties is $67,500. Your combined income of you and your spouse must not exceed this amount to be eligible. Additionally, the maximum purchase price of the home you intended to buy must not exceed $258,000.
- Homes For Iowans Program – This program accommodates to households with higher incomes, as well as repeat buyers (those who have already owned a home before). The $2,500 is available to families with more income, as high as $121,800. The maximum purchase price allowed for this grant money is $331,000, allowing you to buy a little more home than the FirstHome Program allows.
If you would like to learn more about either of these DPA grants, visit the official Iowa Housing Authority website, or speak with a home loan representative.
In addition to these state programs, all HUD down payment assistance programs are available in Iowa. There are also various other local incentives offered at the county and municipal level. The best way to find out what you personally can qualify for is to speak with a mortgage specialist who can look into your eligibility or you. You can also get pre-approved and know how much you can borrow, what your payment will be, and all other pertinent information. To learn about what down payment assistance is available to you, and to get pre-approved for a home loan, request a free consultation today.
Iowa First Time Home Buyer Tax Credits
The Mortgage Credit Certification (MCC) tax credit provides you an opportunity to reduce your tax bill, as well as enhance your home loan application by reducing your debt-to-income ratios. How this works, is you can deduct up to $2,000 off your federal tax bill each year. The MCC allows up to 35% of your annual interest to be eliminated (with the cap being at $2,000). Some great news, is this can be used in addition to standard mortgage interest deductions!
Frequently Asked Questions About Buying Your First Home
How much do I need for a down payment?
It depends on the type of loan you want. USDA and VA loans often will not require any down payment. FHA loans require a 3.5% down payment, which if you get down payment assistance, only .5% is required. Conventional loans typically require either 3% or 5%.
How do I know if I am ready and prepared to own a home?
It is critical to consider the often unexpected expenses of buying a home. This includes repairs, maintenance, and of course furnishing the home, monthly utilities, and all other expenses that are associated with homeownership. A common mistake is to just look at the difference in rent to your total mortgage payment. Almost every year, you can expect to have to pay for various upkeep to keep the property functional. This can include anything from repairing a hot water heater that broke, to landscaping, and various maintenance.
Something else financial consultants advise is that you have at least 3 months of reserves. This means that you could afford to make your new mortgage payment for at least 3 months in the event that you lose a job or have some other unforeseen circumstance that the savings would be needed for. This is not a requirement for most home loans, but it is good advice to consider.
How much can I afford to borrow?
The amount that you can borrow depends on your particular loan type and income. There are maximum loan limits which are set at the county level. Conforming loan limits are the maximum lending amount allowed for conventional mortgages. FHA loans have their own loan limits. You can search the maximum loan amount for your county for each particular loan type by entering your zip code (or any zip code for the county you want to buy a home in). This will display the maximum amount available for all loan types. This is not necessarily how much you can borrow though, but the max amount in your location. Your personal limits will be based upon your income and how much debt you have. For instance, with most loans, you can not have a mortgage payment and debts exceed 43% of your income.
Can I buy a home without a real estate agent?
It depends on your state and the type of loan program. For some states, you must use an agent. In other states, you are not required to use a real estate agent for many loan program, such as conventional mortgages. However, some loan types require that you use a real estate agent regardless of your location, such as USDA loans.
Can I buy a home if I owe tax debt?
For government-backed loans, such as FHA, VA, and USDA loans, you can buy a home with tax debt as long as you have made a payment plan with the IRS and are not behind on the payments. Any federal debt must be in good standing in order to get a government-based mortgage. If your tax debts have moved into the status of a tax lien, this will prevent you from getting a home loan until it is resolved.
Can I buy a home if I have student loans?
As long as you are not delinquent on the student loan payments and the monthly payments do not cause excessive debt-to-income ratios, you can still get a mortgage.
Can I buy a home without my spouse?
A common question is if you can buy a house without your wife or husband. The short answer is yes. There are numerous reasons someone may want to exclude their spouse from a mortgage application, such as lower credit, lack of job history or income, or one spouse having excessive debt that could prevent an approval. You may be able to qualify and get a home loan without your spouse.
Can I buy a home after foreclosure?
Most loan programs will require you to wait 3 years before you can buy again after a foreclosure. There are some instances that you might be able to get an approval in as little as 12 months. This includes the FHA extenuating circumstances program (more commonly known as the “FHA back to work program”). If you lost your job due to a job loss or some other event out of your control, you might be able to purchase a home with a FHA loan after only 1 year.
Have more questions about buying your first home? Give us a call at 1-800-731-3560.