First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Programs for 2022 in Iowa

Last Updated on August 7, 2022 by Danielle McDonald

Mortgage Assistance for Homebuyers in Iowa

FirstHome Plus

42 Grants for Single Moms (Updated ...
42 Grants for Single Moms (Updated 2022)

Iowa Finance Authority offers the FirstHome Plus program, which provides assistance for down payment to eligible homebuyers. It is an effort to help achieve their goal of buying a primary residence in Iowa.

Available Assistance

The FirstHome Plus is a down payment assistance (DPA) program. It then works with the Iowa Finance Authority’s FirstHome Program, which is a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. Applicants who qualify may receive up to $2,500 as a grant to cover the down payment and closing costs associated with the first loan. However, every applicant can only use this program one-time, and those who have received a Plus grant in the past are not eligible.

Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must meet certain requirements to qualify for assistance through the FirstHome Plus program. This program is available only to:

  • First-time homebuyers who have never owned a house in the past three years;
  • Military veterans who have received a discharge that is not dishonorable, and have never used a mortgage revenue bonds program to finance a home;
  • Applicants buying a house in Targeted Areas

Applicants must be able to repay the loan, and must have an acceptable credit record. Their credit scores must be a minimum of 640, and a debt-to-income ratio no more than 45%.

Any property bought using program funds must be the primary residence of the homebuyer, and should not exceed the determined price limit of $253,000.

Homes for Iowans

The Iowa Finance Authority introduced Homes for Iowans. It is a program that assists potential homebuyers in financing the purchase of a home. Additionally, this program isn’t just for first-time homebuyers, but it is affordable and can help them buy their first home.

Available Assistance 

Homes for Iowans provides borrowers low-interest rates and lesser mortgage fees. Moreover, the interest rate is not affected by the borrower’s credit score. The borrowers can also request a free Iowa Title Guaranty Owner’s Certificate. It makes sure that the Iowa Title Guaranty covers the attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses related to defending the title of their home in the event of title problems.

Borrower can combine a Homes for Iowans mortgage with one the Iowa Finance Authority’s assistance programs for down payments once they are approved. They provide a grant of $2,500 to help with closing costs and down payment. Additionally, they offer a second loan program, which provides loans up to 5% of the sale price of the home or $5,000 (whichever is lower). The loan can be repaid at the time the home is sold, refinanced, or after the first mortgage has been paid in full.

Eligibility Requirements 

Homes for Iowans is open to both first-time homebuyers and repeat buyers who want to purchase a primary residence in Iowa. Applicants must have at least 640 of credit score, and a maximum ratio of debt-to-income of 45%. Conventional loans do not require homebuyer education. In a situation where all borrowers are first-time buyers, only one borrower must complete the course. Additionally, the household income limit for applicants is $141,680, and the maximum home price must not exceed $360,000.

Cedar Rapids First Time Home Buyer Program

The City of Cedar Rapids provides down payment assistance through the First Time Home Buyer Program. However, the funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and all applications are considered in the order they are received.

Available Assistance

The First Time Home Buyer (FTHB) Program offers $1,000 to $5,000 in assistance to qualified homebuyers to cover their down payment and closing costs related with purchasing a home. The assistance is received as a 5-year, forgivable loan.

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be a first-time homeowner. Therefore, applicants who owned a house for the past three years are not eligible.
  • You must obtain an acceptable mortgage. All applicants must get “Qualified mortgages” and satisfy additional requirements such as no co-signers not occupying the home or co-borrowers, and ARM’s at a minimum of 10 years.
  • You also must meet the income and asset requirements. The households must satisfy the maximum housing and debt-to-income ratios of 31% and 43%. Then, the assets of an applicant (checking, savings etc.) should not exceed $15,000 non-retirement funds. Applicants will need to contribute 1 – 3% of the sales price for the down payment, based on their assets.
  • You need to complete the homebuyer education. All applicants must attend an approved HUD-approved online or in-person homebuyer education course before applying for down payment assistance. Keep in mind that it must clearly be an “HUD-approved” course and agency to meet the requirements for the First Time Home Buyer program.

Property Guidelines

Homes purchased must be located within the city limits of Cedar Rapids. However, properties in the 100-year floodplain are not eligible. These homes must be vacant or owner-occupied. It cannot be a current rental property with tenants. Single-family dwellings and condominium units are eligible, while mobile home purchases are not. Furthermore, the City staff will inspect your home and verify that it meets the Housing Quality Standards. These standards are based on safety and health requirements. Additionally, a single-family dwelling may not be purchased for more than $135,000.

Income Limits

  • 1 person household: $44,750
  • 2 person household: $51,150
  • 3 person household: $57,550
  • 4 person household: $63,900
  • 5 person household: $69,050
  • 6 person household: $74,150
  • 7 person household: $79,250

Dubuque First-Time Homebuyer Loan Program

The City of Dubuque offers a First-Time Homebuyer Loan Program to assist individuals in achieving their goal of homeownership. This program helps potential homebuyers to overcome the challenge of saving for the large upfront costs related with a mortgage transaction.

Available Assistance

This program offers long-term, zero-interest loans up to $5,000 to cover closing costs and down payments for a home purchase. Those with household incomes less than 30% of the area median income (AMI) may be eligible to receive up to $25,000.

Loans up to $5,000 can be repaid in a maximum 8-year term. While loans up to $25,000 can be deferred for five years, and then paid $60/month for a 35-year term. A deferred loan for five years is available for all Assisted Housing participants.

Eligibility Requirements

Every borrower must contribute a minimum of 3% of the purchase price for the down payment; 1% must be from their own funds, and 2% can be gifted. The applicant must be a first-time homeowner, and be within 80% of the AMI. Then, the income limit of an applicant (<30, <50 or <80% of the AMI) determines the repayment terms.

Property Guidelines

Applicants may qualify for assistance to purchase an owner-occupied, single-family, or duplex home, located in any part of the City of Dubuque. However, before the loan approval, all properties must be inspected by the City’s Rehabilitation Programs Inspector. If there are code violations, the homebuyer will need to complete the inspection sheet concerning repairs and submit bids if needed. Federal funds are used to ensure that all properties are lead-safe or free from deteriorated paint.

Income Limits

  • 1 person household: $37,200
  • 2 person household: $42,500
  • 3 person household: $47,800
  • 4 person household: $53,100
  • 5 person household: $57,350
  • 6 person household: $61,600
  • 7 person household: $65,850
  • 8 person household: $70,100

FirstHome Plus

Iowa Finance Authority offers the FirstHome Plus program in an effort to help people achieve their goals of homeownership. Therefore, this program provides assistance for eligible first-time homebuyers purchasing their primary residence in Iowa.

Available Assistance

FirstHome Plus is a down payment assistance (DPA) program that works in partnership with the Iowa Finance Authority’s FirstHome Program, which is a fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage. Qualified applicants may receive a grant up to $2,500 to pay the closing costs and down payment related to the first mortgage. Applicants can only use this program one time, and those who have received a Plus grant before are not eligible.

Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must meet the requirements to qualify for assistance through FirstHome Plus. This program is available only to:

  • first-time homebuyers; those who have never owned a house in the past three years
  • military veterans without a dishonorable discharge, and have never used a mortgage revenue bonds program to fund buying a home, or
  • people buying a house in a Targeted Area.

All applicants must prove their ability to repay the loan. So, they must have an acceptable credit record, credit scores at a minimum of 640, and a debt-to-income ratio not more than 45%.

Properties purchased using program funds must be the primary residence of the homebuyer, and not exceed the determined price limit of $253,000.

Home$tart and Home$tart Plus Programs

Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Des Moines offers assistance with closing costs and down payments to families through the Home$tart and Home$tart Plus Programs. This is an effort to help people achieve their goals of homeownership.

Available Assistance

Participants of the Home$tart program may be eligible for grants amounting up to $7,500, while those participating in the Home$tart Plus may receive up to $15,000. These funds are used to cover the down payment and closing costs related to a mortgage transaction, or cost of property rehabilitation. However, Home$tart or Home$tart PLUS funds cannot be for moving expenses. Members are granted funds on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to their availability.

Eligibility Requirements

Home$tart and Home$tart Plus are available to eligible homebuyers who earn within the 80% of the area median income (limitations listed below). They must also meet all lender requirements and qualify for a first mortgage. Furthermore, first-time homebuyers who participate in either program must also complete a homebuyer education course.

Property Guidelines

Homes purchased through the Home$tart or Home$tart Plus Programs must become the primary residence of applicants. Although there are no restrictions, the qualified properties include single-family homes, manufactured homes, condominiums, and townhomes.

Income Limits

Household income means every income received by members of the household (18 years old or older) who live in the house, regardless of whether they are part of the mortgage.

  • 1 person household: $46,050
  • 2 person household: $52,600
  • 3 person household: $59,200
  • 4 person household: $65,750
  • 5 person household: $71,050
  • 6 person household: $76,300
  • 7 person household: $81,550
  • 8 person household: $86,800

Waterloo Down Payment Assistance Program

The Waterloo Housing Authority acknowledges that a lot of people need assistance with paying the initial, upfront costs of a mortgage transaction. Therefore, the Waterloo Down Payment Assistance Program was established to help first-time homebuyers who are less likely to apply for a mortgage.

This programme is similar to the down payment First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Programs in Indiana.

Available Assistance

The Waterloo Down Payment Assistance Program offers assistance funds through a forgivable, second mortgage. However, the applicant needs to repay the loan amount if they sell the house in less than five years.

Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must meet specific requirements in order to qualify for the Waterloo Down Payment Assistance Program. They must establish residency in Waterloo for a minimum of one year, and their annual household income cannot exceed 80% of the area median income (limits listed below). They must also be first-time homebuyers. Therefore, they should have not owned a home or been granted title to a mortgage in the past three years. They must also not own any other residential property.

Homebuyer Education

All applicants must complete a Home Buyer Training Course provided by Operation Threshold or Family Management. If possible, they should also be able to pay the closing costs of a mortgage using their own money.

Income Limits

Household income means every income received by members of the household (18 years old or older) who live in the house, regardless of whether they are part of the mortgage.

  • 1 person household – $39,150
  • 2 person household – $44,750
  • 3 person household – $50,350
  • 4 person household – $55,900
  • 5 person household – $60,400
  • 6 person household – $64,850
  • 7 person household – $69,350
  • 8 person household – $73,800

Are you interested in the First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Programs in Kansas?

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