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Firsthome Program

Let the Adventure Begin

You’ve passed many milestones of firsts in your life, and holding the keys to your first home may be the best yet. With your local lender, realtor and the Iowa Finance Authority all on your team, you can rest assured knowing we’ve got you covered.

Benefits to FirstHome

  • Interest Rates Interest rates are typically lower than the market rate and have fewer fees. Credit score does not affect the interest rate.
  • Down Payment The amount of down payment is determined by loan type. Loans may require only 3% down payment and may include reduced mortgage insurance coverage for borrowers with lender's qualifying income of less than 80% of the Area Median Income. Down payment and closing cost assistance programs are available to help cover upfront expenses.
  • Free Iowa Title Guaranty Owner's Certificate Borrowers may request a free Iowa Title Guaranty Owner's Certificate at closing. With this certificate, if a title issue arises Iowa Title Guaranty will be there to step in and assume attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses associated with defending the title to your home. While title defects are not common in Iowa, they do occur. At no cost to you, an Iowa Title Guaranty Certificate is more than worth it.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Household Income Limit Varies by county and ranges from $79,700-$101,200 for a household of up to two.
  • Home Purchase Price Limit $294,000—may be up to $360,000 in targeted areas—use the eligibility checker below to determine if the home is located in one of the targeted areas.
  • Real Estate History Must be a first-time homebuyer. A first-time homebuyer is defined as not owning a primary residence in the last three years.
    OR
    Be a military member with discharge of other than dishonorable and not previously used a mortgage revenue bond program such as FirstHome to finance a home purchase.
    OR
    Purchase a home in a Targeted Area (please use the eligibility quick check tool to determine if you're purchasing in a Targeted Area).
  • Occupancy The home must be occupied by the buyer as a primary residence within 60 days of closing.
  • Credit Score All loans subject to a minimum 640 credit score. For cases where borrower has no credit score, non-traditional credit documentation allowed in accordance with agency guidelines for loan type.
  • Debt-To-Income Ratio The maximum debt-to-income ratio is 45%.
  • Homebuyer Education Required on conventional loans only. If all borrowers are first-time homebuyers then only one of the borrowers must complete the education. More details and course options can be found here.
  • Eligibility Checker Use our Eligibility Checker to find out if you qualify for a FirstHome Loan. Check Eligibility

Application Process

  • Contact IFA participating lender Interested homebuyers must apply for this financing by contacting an IFA participating lender.
  • Verification of eligibility The lender will collect the necessary documents to verify eligibility, process and underwrite the loan application.
  • Closing If the homebuyer is eligible, the lender will guide them through the closing process and to collecting the keys to their first home.
  • Find a Lender Get started on your FirstHome application by finding a lender. Find A Lender

Down Payment Assistance

We’re here to help you every step of the way. Pair one of our down payment assistance programs with your FirstHome mortgage to help with down payment and closing costs. The same FirstHome eligibility requirements apply.

  • GRANT: The down payment assistance grant provides home buyers with a $2,500 grant to assist with down payment and closing costs.
    OR
    LOAN: The 2nd Loan program offers a loan of up to 5% of the home’s sale price or $5,000, (whichever is less) and is repayable at time of sale, refinance or first mortgage paid in full. No monthly payment required!
  • More Down Payment Assistance But wait…there’s more! The grant and 2nd loan programs can also be combined with other down payment and closing cost programs. See Programs

The FirstHome Program connects first-time homebuyers with affordable mortgages and local lenders.

Learn about…

For inquiries about our homeownership programs reach out to:

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Recapture Tax & Fine Print

Details

Borrowers who buy their homes using the FirstHome or FirstHome Plus Homebuyer Programs may be subject to recapture tax.

Borrowers repay the government a portion of their gain on the sale of their home, depending on (1) whether there is a gain on the sale, (2) the household income at the time of sale, and (3) if the sale occurs within nine years of buying the home. Recapture Tax is paid directly to the IRS when filing taxes for the year in which the home is sold.

Nothing in the Recapture Tax provisions should prevent borrowers from using IFA's FirstHome or FirstHome Plus Homebuyer Programs.

For IFA FirstHome or FirstHome Plus Loans closed on or after November 14, 2011, if you are required to pay a Recapture Tax to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), IFA will reimburse you for the actual amount of the Recapture Tax paid to the IRS. Please consult the IRS or a tax professional with any Federal Recapture Tax questions.

Bullet Point

Must be a first-time home buyer (Defined as not owning your primary residence in the last three years). OR Be a military veteran with discharge of other than dishonorable and not previously used a mortgage revenue bond program such as FirstHome previously to finance a home purchase. OR Purchase a home in a Targeted Area (please use the eligibility quick check tool to determine if you're purchasing in a Targeted Area).

Bullet Point Bullet Point

For cases where borrower has no credit score, non-traditional credit documentation allowed in accordance with agency guidelines for the loan type.

Bullet Point Bullet Point Bullet Point

These are minimum requirements; a higher credit score, a lower debt to income ratio, or a down payment greater than 3% may be required in some circumstances. Follow agency guidelines for loan type.