A Real Estate Discussion Blog


Illinois First Time Home Buyer Assistance Programs

As a first-time homebuyer there are so many fantastic programs to help make a home purchase a reality.  You only get to be a first time homebuyer once, so please research all the programs available to you! 

City Mortgage(Chicago) - The City Mortgage program offers qualified first-time homebuyers 30-year, fixed-interest mortgages at competitive interest rates and a gift of 4 percent of the mortgage amount to cover down-payment and closing costs. See website for income and purchase price restrictions. 

IL Housing Development Assets IL Homeownership Project- In Sept 07 this project was created to help up to 850 in IL to become first time homeowners. The Assets Illinois Homeownership Project funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) will offer a dollar for dollar up to $2,000 match in a structured savings account to help individuals save for the purchase of their first homes and build equity for the future.

Illinois First Time Home Buyer Grants - Cook County residents can be eligible for up to $5,000 in grant money through this program.  Visit thier websiteto read about eligibility and approved lenders. 

Our Home Program- This programs is offered by the Illinois State Treasurer's Office and helps people purchase their first home, refinance a mortgage or modify a loan if they are facing a financial hardship outside of their control.  If you are close to getting a conventional loan but can't because of a situation like bruised credit, lack of down payment or have a high debt-to-ratio , this program could be of help.  You must be a IL resident and taxpayer and have a household income of less than $75,000. 

USDA Illinois Gauranteed Rural Housing Loans - Guaranteed Rural Housing Loans are available to assist eligible households with incomes that do not exceed 115% of median income for the area. The program provides up to 100% financing for moderate-income applicants. This eliminates the need for down payment and private mortgage insurance. Customers receive competitive 30-year loans with fixed interest rates. They work with local community lenders, using conventional lender's forms and receive quick service.

IL Housing Development Authority- This organization helps low and moderate-income families become first-time homeowners through varies programs.  They offer lower-than-market rate down payments to first-time homebuyers or those who haven't owned a home in the past three years.  One of the programs they are piloting now is the 40 year note, to help with affordiblity.  They also offer programs for households that demonstrate that their monthly income doesn't exceed 80% of area medium income.  Visit their website for a complete list of programs and participating lenders.

Public Safety Officer and Teacher Homeownership Incentive Program- If you are a Chicago police officer, fire fighter, paramedic or public school teacher you could be eligible for up to $7,500 in assistance when purchasing a home. 

TaxSmart Mortgage Credit Certificate- Any person who has not owned a principal residence at any time during the three years prior to closing a loan under this program is considered a first-time home buyer. Non first-time home buyers are also eligible if they purchase a home in a designated target area.  TaxSmart is a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program that provides a federal income tax credit to qualified homebuyers.  Under the program, a home buyer would receive an MCC to reduce income taxes by an amount equal to 20% of the interest paid on a mortgage. The tax credit may be claimed each year the home buyer continues to live in a home financed under this program.  See website for income and purchase price restrictions. 

 There are many programs out there to assist you in your first home purchase.  Make sure you throughly research the resources and work with an educated Realtor and Lender. 





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Comment balloon 11 commentsSara Bonert • November 26 2007 06:18PM


Great collection of resources for first time home buyers in Illinois.  We have many similar tools in California. 
Posted by Erin Stumpf (Attardi), 916-342-1372 / DRE# 01706589 Sacramento, CA (Coldwell Banker) over 12 years ago
I know of another program that is more than likely in your area. Contact me for details.
Posted by Derik Tutt (InstaSure Financial ) over 12 years ago

Sara, Now you've got to do this for the rest of us. Fair is fair.

Bill Roberts

Posted by Bill Roberts, "Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner (Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate) over 12 years ago

Bill- Yeah, I'll get on that! :)  This did take some time to pull together. 

When I think back to when I bought my first home, I would have loved to have known these types of programs were available.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the best Realtor.  Now I make sure I tell everyone considering buying about such opportunities.  You only get to be a first time home buyer once!

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) over 12 years ago

Sara, This is a nice list of first time buyer resources.  It shows that you know your stuff.

Thanks for commenting on my featured post about open houses.

Posted by Dan Forbes over 12 years ago
You know Sara -- a resource like this would really make a good entry for the real estate guide on Zillow (hint hint).
Posted by Drew Meyers, Drew Meyers (Geek Estate) over 12 years ago
Thanks Drew!  http://www.zillow.com/wikipages/IL-First-Time-Home-Buyer-Assistance-Programs
Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) over 12 years ago

Great post Sara, very useful info. Thanks for putting in the time to write it!

Posted by Tony Murray (American Financial Funding Corp.) over 12 years ago
Great post, Sara. With all the changes in conventional mortgage underwriting, these bond programs are going to be a major source of funding in the year ahead.
Posted by Peter Thompson, Chicago Mortgage Insight over 12 years ago
Hey Sarah,  Here in Illinois most counties also have a first time Home Buyers grant program as well.  I know that in McHenry County we have CHAMCO which grants up to $7000 for just taking a 3 hour class!  And you can combine that with one of the State programs and possibly get $12,000 to use towards your down payment or closing costs!    Good post and Happy New Year!
Posted by Vicki Watzlawick, Illinois Foreclosure Expert, The Watz Team ( Broker (The Watz Team) Exit Strategy Realty) over 12 years ago

Where do you get info. about CHAMCO?  I can't find anything online...

Posted by Jen almost 12 years ago