State Grants Coming Soon for Eligible Home Buyers

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The year is going well for local realtors, according to Coldwell Banker Hubbell Briarwood Broker Jeff Thornton.

"Usually, this time of year we start slowing down, but I'm showing homes all weekend. Lots of people out there still looking," Thornton said.

Thornton spent Friday afternoon showing listings to Glenn and Danise Peck, who might be able to get some help from the state to buy their new home.

"We'll be providing down payment assistance funds to home buyers, for anyone that has never owned a home or has not owned a home in the last three years," said Mary Townley, Director of Home Ownership at the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

The money comes from a national settlement between 49 states and the country's five largest mortage providers. Michigan took away $97 million and a portion of that -- $15 million -- will go toward helping eligible home buyers.

"We are in the final stages right now of putting together the program, creating our process flows...We're hoping to have this up and ready at the end of the year," said Townley.

Once eligible, service members can get up to $5000 and non-service members can get $3000.

Thornton expects this money to be a significant help to first time home buyers.

"If you're buying a home under $100,000, the $3000 is almost your downpayment on a FHA mortgage."

Homeowners eligible to refinance, with loans owned by Fannie Mae, may be able to get $500 once the grants become available. According to MSHDA, the best way to apply is to contact your mortgage lender.

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