Abilene's housing market is heating up right now. The local association of Realtors report sales are up by almost 9% compared to this same time last year. Anyone who's bought a house will tell you, it's expensive; and one of the biggest roadblocks for buyers - especially first timers - is cash. After pouring as much as possible into a down payment, it's hard coming up with more money to cover closing costs on the deal.
There's some help out there from the city of Abilene; up to $3,000. The program works through federal funds, and the money is basically a deferred loan. As long as you live in the house for at least five years, the loan is forgiven, and you owe nothing.
Here's a look at the facts on some of the other requirements. Buyers must qualify for an FHA, conventional, or VA loan. You'll need to meet HUD income requirements and pass a background check. And the property must be affordable; meaning your mortgage cannot make up more than 30% of your annual income.
Sandy Bowen heads up the City of Abilene department that administers the funds. "That's what our main mission is; to remove these barriers, and to help people find a safe, dependable, affordable home," said Bowen.
While the City has that program to help homebuyers cover closing costs, Bowen also works closely with The United Way in helping folks get a home loan. Their homeownership program is made up of professionals work with potential homebuyers to improve credit scores and qualify for a home loan. They also teach folks about the basics of home ownership, including financing and maintenance of their investment.
Click here for a link to information on the City of Abilene's first time homebuyer program.