Easing the home buying burden for Chicagoans

by Heather Turner11 Jul 2016
Young professionals in various markets across the U.S. are stretching their budgets to pay for rising city rents, including Chicago where millennial are spending more than 30% of their annual income according to a 2015 Crain’s article. However, now a new partnership formed between Guaranteed Rate and The Chicago Home Buyer Assistance Program will help millennials and other city dwellers escape those high rent prices.
Former between Freddie Mac and the City of Chicago, The Chicago Home Buyer Assistance Program partnered with Guaranteed Rate in June to help more homebuyers in Chicago get into the homes they desired with a new 1% down payment loan.
“We worked with both parties to build credit guidelines and product details, and Freddie Mac will purchase the loans through Home Possible Advantage for Housing Finance Agency’s program. This process allows Guaranteed Rate to deliver its loans into security, making the process transparent and efficient,” said Kasey Marty, executive vice president at Guaranteed Rate.
As the largest lender in Chicago, Guaranteed Rate’s participation with the program has been essential to the overall success. Expected to increase both purchases and refinances in the city’s housing market, the program will offer borrowers who meet specific requirements with the opportunity to buy or refinance a home, without the worry of having a ‘perfect’ credit score or paying a hefty down payment. Most properties in the city, from single-family homes to multi-family buildings, qualify for the program.
Additionally, the program offers up to 7% of the final loan amount as a forgivable grant. “Buyers must occupy the home as their primary residence and live in the property for at least five years before selling or refinancing, or they will have to pay back a prorated amount of the grant. After five years of on-time mortgage payments, the grant is completely forgivable,” said Marty.
Since the launch of the program last month, around 50 to 100 customers have inquired about the program and many have already begun the application program.
“Not only does this program help us enter an untapped market, it establishes Guaranteed Rate’s relationship with Chicago realtors. It gives us the opportunity to reach buyers we may not have otherwise worked with.


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