Programs help new homebuyers

Published: Thursday, April 12 2012 2:20 p.m. MDT

Bank of Utah announced grants up to $5,000 to help first-time homebuyers who qualify to get into a home this year.

Paul Sakuma, Associated Press

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OGDEN — Bank of Utah announced grants up to $5,000 to help first-time homebuyers who qualify to get into a home this year. As part of the Home$tart program, $1.5 million is available to all Federal Home Loan Bank members on a first-come, first-served basis.

According to a news release, in order to qualify, homebuyers must earn at least 20 percent less than the local median income — adjusted for family size. The Home$tart Program matches $3 for every $1 that homebuyers save — up to $5,000 — toward buying a home.

Grants may be used for down payments, closing costs, or rehabilitation of an owner-occupied housing unit, including condominiums or townhomes. Applicants must qualify for a Federal Housing Authority loan and intend to live in the home for five years or receive a prorated penalty.

“In addition to the Home$tart Program, first-time homebuyers may be able to take advantage of additional programs through the state of Utah,” said Scott Parkinson, Bank of Utah senior vice president of marketing and communications.

In addition, Utah Housing Corporation offers three down payment assistance programs for low to moderate income homebuyers. All programs have requirements for household income, credit score and home purchase price.

A person is considered a first-time homebuyer if he or she has not owned a primary residence in the last three years. All applicants must qualify for an FHA loan.

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