DeWitt, Iowa, Aug 10, 2012 -- Achieving homeownership is many times referred to as the American Dream. For first-time homebuyers, and even those who have gone through the process before, buying a home can also be a very challenging experience.
The City of DeWitt’s Homeownership Assistance Program (HOAP) not only helps residents purchase homes, but also helps new homeowners make any needed repairs to ensure the home is safe to move into. Repairs include such things as electrical and plumbing improvements, window and furnace replacements, added insulation and even new roofs.
“The city council, mayor and staff are very supportive of this program,” said Deanna Rekemeyer, director of finance for the City of DeWitt. “The city sees this program as good for our citizens and good for the city. Homeownership helps individuals take more pride in their homes and helps improve neighborhoods.”
The City of DeWitt has also developed a partnership with agencies such as USDA Rural Development to further assist residents looking to make a home purchase. Last year USDA Rural Development helped 2,000 families living in rural Iowa communities become homeowners, many of whom now own their first home.
“The City of DeWitt is very fortunate to have the support of USDA Rural Development, local realtors, bankers, businesses and community organizations as this allows more people to find out about the program,” Rekemeyer added.
HOAP provides grant funds to eligible low and moderate income first-time buyers to rehabilitate homes they wish to purchase within the City of DeWitt. When the purchase loan is closed, HOAP grant funds are used to make repairs needed to ensure the home meets minimum property standards. The focus is on safety and long-term efficiency.
Residents interested in apply for HOAP can stop at City Hall for an application.
“Many residents who have qualified for the city’s program are also using USDA Rural Development’s low-interest, no-down-payment home loan programs,” said Jan Finn-Takes, housing specialist for USDA Rural Development.
One USDA program provides a federal guarantee on home loans made by approved lenders to moderate income households in eligible rural areas. The loan provides qualified borrowers up to 100-percent financing on a 30-year fixed-rate loan, while eliminating the need for a down payment or private mortgage insurance.
The USDA also has a direct home-loan program where the agency serve as the lender and provides 100-percent financing on home loans to eligible rural residents.
In most cases, a family of four with an adjusted annual income of up to $74,750 may qualify for the guaranteed home loan program. If that same family’s adjusted annual income is less than $47,450 they may also qualify for a direct loan.
USDA Rural Development also has loans and some grants available to help families make needed repairs to their homes as well.
Contact USDA Rural Development
For more information about finance programs available through USDA Rural Development, please call the office located in Tipton at (563) 886-6006 Ext. 4. This office serves communities, businesses and residents in Benton, Cedar, Clinton, Dubuque, Iowa, Jackson, Johnson, Jones, Linn and Scott Counties.
USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities and areas. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.
Further information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting the agency’s web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.
“Homeownership is good for families, good for communities, and good for the economy,” said Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa. “Owning a home is the American Dream and the Obama Administration housing’s policies are helping to strengthen rural communities and driving the nation’s ongoing economic recovery forward.”
USDA Rural Development is an equal opportunity lender with a variety of grant and direct and guaranteed loan programs for single and multi-family housing, community facilities, water and sewer development and business and industry programs.
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