Down Payment Assistance Now Easier For Home Buyers

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For 14 years, Chad Dutcher has been selling homes.

"Typically the biggest, obstacle we have is people coming up with 10, 15 or 20 percent down as mortgages used to carry. We've got programs now as little as zero percent down," said Chad Dutcher as he showed WILX around a new home in Lansing.

The Greater Lansing Association of Realtors is announcing a new online tool to connect people with the down payment assistance programs they qualify for.

"I think it's going to increase the number of buyers into our market just because they are now able to see that they can afford something," said Terry Frewen, the President of the Greater Lansing Association of Realtors.

The association says 88 percent of folks in the area qualify for down payment help-- that's anyone with a household income up to about $90,000 a year and purchasing a home worth up to $250,000.

"We're seeing actually an influx of new buyers coming from other areas, but we are also seeing move up buyers--people who are selling that smaller starter home and now they are buying a bigger one." said Dutcher, a realtor.

The online tool can also help college graduates, who already have a lot of debt.

"A lot of our college students are coming out with a lot of college debt and so sometimes it's very difficult for them to buy their first home-- to have a program like this that can really be focused towards them is something that's a great asset for the region," said Rep. Sam Singh a democrat from East Lansing, who was present for the announcement.

"It's going to remove this tremendous roadblock that people have when they are trying to buy a house," said Rep. Andy Schor a democrat from Lansing, also at the announcement. No republican representatives attended.

Realtors said the biggest issue they have right now is finding homes to sell.

"This is just going to help [people buy] maybe a little bit more home or maybe get into that perfect home that was a little out of their reach before," said Dutcher, who's excited for what this will do for the industry.

Representatives Andy Schor and Sam Singh are running for re-election this fall. The Greater Lansing Association of Realtors is having a down payment Open House this weekend. Click on the link above for more information.

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