State Offers $30 Million Program to Help First Time Home Buyers

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If you're looking to buy your first home, the state is offering you a deal. Michigan State Housing Development Authority is offering a brand new program called “MI First Home.” The program aims to stimulate housing markets in Detroit, Flint, Saginaw, Pontiac, Grand Rapids, Battle Creek, Benton Harbor and Jackson.

The program offers qualified buyers help with a down payment, and/or a low-interest loan. Buyers can only purchase in one of the 8 cities designated as hard hit by blight.

In Jackson, real estate agents say the market is slowly improving. This April, 63 fewer homes were on the market, and prices are rising. Debbie Crownover with ReMax Real Estate says there’s still room for improvement. “We were one of the hardest hit cities in the state when the economy took a drop. We were also the first to start gradually coming out of that, but it's been very gradual."

Crownover says assistance for first time homebuyers will definitely help the market. “Anything can help. Our buyers, they need assistance, they have good credit but they don't have a lot of money for a down payment. A program like this will be beneficial."

“MI First Loan” will pump up to $30 million into the markets. The state says it hopes to help about 300 families. The state says money to pay for the mortgage loan program comes from the sale of mortgage revenue bonds. Interest rates range from 3.1 to 3.6 percent, depending on whether the buyer needs help with a down payment.