Funding Status - Updated March 1, 2013
We are out of funds for this funding cycle. We are not accepting applications at this time. Those wanting to be added to the information list may call or email.
Additional funds are anticipated to be available this fall (August/September). Program changes will be discussed this spring, and will be posted on this page when they are completed.
First Time Home Buyer Frequently Asked Questions
For answers to questions frequently asked about the First Time Home Buyer Program click here.
The purpose of this program is to increase the overall homeownership rate, create greater opportunity for homeownership among lower income and underserved households, and revitalize and stabilize communities, by providing $6,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance. Funds may be used to pay the upfront costs of acquiring a principal residence, but not the entire cost of acquisition, and other reasonable and necessary costs incurred by the home buyer. These other costs may include: private lender origination fees, credit reports, fees for title evidence, fees for recording and filing of legal documents, attorney fees, and private appraisal fees. For more information about the First Time Home Buyer Program please contact our office.
· Eligible participants must have gross annual incomes at or below 80% of the median income for the City of Cedar Rapids, adjusted for household size (see Program Income Limits). Household incomes must include all forms of income from those 18 or older who reside or will reside in the home.
· Eligible participants (both applicant and co-applicant) must meet one of the definitions of First Time Home Buyer described below:
§ Applicant(s) shall not have owned a home within the last three years prior to application of the program; or
§ A displaced homemaker who, while a homemaker, owned a home with his or her spouse or resided in a home owned by the spouse. A displaced homemaker is an adult who has not worked in the labor force for several years, has worked in the home to care for the home and family during that time, and is currently unemployed or underemployed and is having difficulty finding or upgrading employment; or
§ A single parent who, while married, owned a home with his or her spouse or resided in a home owned by the spouse. A single parent is an individual who is unmarried or legally separated and has one or more minor children for whom the individual has custody or joint custody, or is pregnant.
· Eligible Applicants must provide a minimum 1% down payment, which cannot be a loan.
· Prior to being accepted as a program participant (but not required prior to application for the program), applicant must successfully complete Homebuyer Education. Contact Horizons for upcoming class dates at (319) 398-3943. There is also an online option at www.mgichome.com, or any HUD-approved education course.
· Applicants are responsible for obtaining their own mortgage financing.
Complete a Confidential Application including all supporting documentation and submit to: Housing Services Office, City Hall - First Floor, 101 First Street SE.
· The house must be located within the city limits.
· The sales price cannot exceed $135,000.
· The house must be owner-occupied or vacant - not a current rental.
· The house can be a single-family dwelling or a condo/townhouse. A mobile home would not be eligible.
· The house cannot be located in the 100-year floodplain.
· The house must meet minimum Housing Quality Standards inspection performed by staff.
· The City's 0% loan is a deferred, shared appreciation, 5-year loan secured by a Lien and agreement for covenants and restrictions.
· No payments are required as long as the home remains the primary residence of the qualified buyer.
· The City's note becomes due and payable when the homeowner sells the property, rents the property, adds someone to the title, or changes the use from single family residential.
· The City's note becomes due and payable upon refinance, if the refinance is not approved by the Housing Services or the refinance exceeds the homeowner's equity at the time of the refinance (see payment schedule).
· The Lien shall be for a term of five years, after which time, all unpaid principal and shared appreciation remaining will be forgiven if all requirements have been satisfied.
· The City of Cedar Rapids staff will monitor annually to insure the home has remained the program participant's primary residence.