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Homebuyer Program Highlighted in Governor's Visit

Jennifer Fuller

Illinois leaders say a program to help first-time home buyers with their down payment and closing costs is yielding good results.

The “Welcome Home Illinois” program pairs qualified first-time homebuyers with lenders offering a low, fixed interest rate. Governor Pat Quinn says it also provides thousands of dollars in down payment and closing costs.

“For a lot of folks who are renting today, the key is to get over the hump of that down payment and closing cost challenge, in order to become eligible for a mortgage. So we're helping out in that area, as well.”

Tabetha Smith and her husband, Devin, recently bought their home through the program. She says it was just what they needed.

“We didn't exactly have the money for the down payment, or a way to make the money for a down payment. We were sitting at home, thinking, 'Oh my God, we've got two little babies coming. We're still renting a trailer.' We really didn't want to stay there and run out of money to buy a house.”

Funding for the program comes from the state's capital program. Quinn and housing leaders say there is plenty of money available, but expect it to go quickly because of the program's popularity.

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