Are First Time Homebuyer Programs Good Or Bad?

Buying a home is the dream of many of us. Nonetheless, not everyone can afford a mortgage, so most people have to keep on paying rent instead of getting their property to live in. Smart people who can’t accept to pay rent for the rest of their lives try to find solutions to afford to buy one. First-time homebuyer programs can be the perfect opportunity for young families who earn a stable income, yet can’t afford a regular mortgage.

The biggest advantage of such programs is that they accept people who don’t have enough savings for a large down payment. As the FHA insures lenders against the default of some of their clients, first-time homebuyers programs are accessible to those with lower credit score. Nonetheless, you’ll still need to have a minimum credit score of 580, to qualify for this type of loan. Since the market average is much higher, this is another advantage worth mentioning here.

The excellent interest rates offered by these programs make them very attractive to all people who haven’t bought a home within the past three tears, and who consider getting one. Even those who have enough savings to afford a large down payment prefer this type of program, thanks to the low-interest rates.

The main downside of first-time homebuyer loans is that they have much higher insurance rates than conventional mortgages or loans. Moreover, you need to pay this home insurance for the entire life of your loan. As this can easily add up to huge amounts, some people may be put off. Nonetheless, the attractive interest rates make the monthly payments of such loans align with other options on the market, so you aren’t going to pay a higher than average mortgage rate.

The other downside is that you can’t purchase luxury properties, as such loans are capped. The loan limit depends on the median income in your desired area, so you should check with your real estate agent the maximum amount you can borrow.

Refinancing such loans can also be a problem, so you should make sure you understand all terms and conditions before applying for one. Also, if you intend to sell this home soon after buying it, you may lose some of the benefits of the program. Some programs ask their beneficiaries to live in this home as their primary residence. If you intend to buy a home to rent it, you may not have access to all the benefits of an FHA loan.

First-time loans are perfect for young people or families who want to purchase their home to live in for a very long time. The relatively low-interest rates and the small down payment can help lots of people access a mortgage. Taking into consideration that the monthly rate may be even higher than the mortgage payment, buying a property can be a smarter decision than renting one.

If you want to know more, you should contact some lenders and ask them to provide you a price quotation. This is how you can find out what type of property you’re going to be able to buy, should you decide to go for a first time homebuyer program. If it suits your needs, you should go ahead and find your dream home. If you need something more expensive, you’ll have to save more money, to afford a larger down payment. Such programs are useful, but they have their limitations regarding prices and refinancing options. It is up to you to weigh all these factors, to take the best decision.


Most of you have read many statistics about the catastrophic plummeting number of monarchs seen in Mexico, their migration site and all across Texas, the Midwest (including Illinois) and Canada. Each of us, although we are only One can do something to help reverse monarch numbers and assure that there will be monarchs in our future. And that is… Plant Milkweed! – the only plant that monarchs will lay their eggs on. Every member of Garden Clubs of Illinois and every GCI club can take part in helping to bring back monarchs, one milkweed plant at a time, one re-seeded back road at a time with no expense or modest expense to individual or club.

Milkweed For Monarchs is being developed as a multifaceted project involving planting native swamp milkweed, (Asclepias incarnata), butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), and commonmilkweed (Asclepias Syriaca) where appropriate throughout the state.

1. GCI will partner with the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Department of Natural Resources to get flower seed including milkweed into any roadside restoration projects or construction being done around the state such as infields, ramps and interchanges. Operation Wildflower Chairman Barbara Bischoff Kleeman is already in discussion with Steven Gobelman, Roadside Operations Manager at the Schaumburg office of IDOT.

2. We are partnering with Wade Johnson’s 501c3 charity, Save Our Monarchs Foundation from Minnesota , which is dedicated to giving away 350,000 swamp milkweed seed packets by 2015. Think of ways to pass out seed— you as an individual or your club: Fund raisers, Earth Day events, Arbor Day, special programs. Other organizations: Women’s clubs, church groups, Girl and Boy Scouts, 4-H—all waiting to distribute and plant milkweed seed around our beautiful state. For seed packets immediately, contact Imagine GCI and Illinois being the “poster child” for other states to emulate in helping to save monarchs. All Illinois garden clubs will collect milkweed— swamp milkweed, butterfly weed, and common milkweed. These seeds can still be found in winter in pods, not just in fall.

1. Garden club members will find byways in their communities and disperse seed along Osage orange hedgerows or wild areas where there will be no complaints —not near farmer’s fields.

2. Garden club members will collect and clean the three kinds of milkweed seed. Any seed they don’t need for their individual club dispersal project they will send to me or the GCI office, keeping the varieties separate and labeled. This seed may go to IDOT projects or may go back into the GCI Milkweed For Monarchs seed dispersal project. (See No. 3)

3. Club members who do not have access to wild seed or garden grown milkweed seeds but want to help plant milkweeds on byways or in their individual gardens may contact me by sending a Stamped Self Addressed Envelope with a dollar bill in it. I will send them a modest package of the seed of their choice with instructions. Call me if you need advice.

Kay MacNeil – Milkweed for Monarchs Chairman Phone: 815-469-1294
689 Golf Club Lane, Frankfort, Il 60423 Email:

Save Our Monarchs Foundation, POB 390135, Minneapolis, MN 55439

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