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Better Banking

Community First Bank of Indiana Has the Programs and Service Needed for Affording Your Next Home

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In a market where housing inventories are short, home prices are on the rise, and four out of five homeowners have an interest rate of less than 5%, Community First Bank of Indiana (CFB) has the resources to cushion the blow of affordability for those buyers ready to dive into homeownership.

Community First Bank of Indiana

“While rates can foreseeably be lowered in the coming months, we will not see rates at the all-time low of two to three percent as previously seen in the past,” says Richard Candelaria, mortgage junior underwriter for Community First Bank of Indiana. “Home prices, however, will be on the rise in our market.”

First-time homebuyers face the pressuring rise in rental costs on an annual basis that has in some cases forced their hand in entering the housing market sooner than they would have anticipated. For those who have considered or are already on the hunt for their first home purchase, Community First Bank of Indiana Mortgage has the loan programs and grants at our disposal to ensure that your goal of homeownership is achieved.

HomeReady is a loan program that caters to both first-time and current homeowners. To qualify for the mortgage as a first-time home buyer, you must complete an online course provided by Fannie Mae. The course gives a breakdown of the entire home buying process in great detail, and once completed you are awarded a certificate of completion. It is a unique conventional loan that only requires a minimum down payment of 3.00% versus the traditional 5.00%.

To qualify, borrowers must be within 80% of the area’s median income. Access a median income lookup tool here: ami-lookup-tool.fanniemae.com.

Community First Bank of Indiana

CommunityMAX is a new 100% financing program that allows a borrower to loan up to the entire purchase price of the home they are buying. In this scenario, there are two mortgages that you are promising to repay: the primary mortgage for the home and a secondary mortgage for the 3.5% down payment. Each mortgage has separate terms and rates. This eases the burden of producing a down payment, and only requires the borrower to cover closing costs and prepaid items. There are no income limits on this product and you do not have to be a first-time homebuyer, but the property does have to be eligible for Federal Housing Administration financing.

Homeownership Opportunities Program (HOP) is a grant that exclusive community banks, such as CFB, have access to. It is a first-time homebuyer’s dream when it comes to grants. You can access up to $20,000 in funds for down payment, closing costs, prepaid items or appraisal.

To receive the funds, borrowers must fall within 80% of the area median income, based on the specified year, household size and location of the property. One of the caveats to the grant is you must put $500 of your own dollars into the transaction, which is easily met typically with earnest-money deposit. While there is a litany of qualifications to be met for this grant, the relief and hope it can provide to the right person or household is life changing. This grant will be available come the middle of May this year. It is first come, first served, and when funds run out, they are gone.

HomeBoost Minority Down Payment Assistance Program is similar to HOP, but with the emphasis on being a minority. The grant defines a minority as anyone who identifies as the following: Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, or black or African American. While there are limitations to your income, it is at 120% of the area median income rather than 80% with HOP. The buyer’s contribution toward the purchase must hit the $500 minimum of their own funds and they can receive up to $15,000 toward down payment, closing costs, prepaid items or appraisal.

2023 was the pilot round for HomeBoost and it launched in early September. As of when this article was written, there are no dates announced for when it will launch in 2024.

Community First Bank of Indiana

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