David Jamison

A new state program offers help with the downpayment for those looking to buy a home. The #OwnItIowa program was laid out during the governor’s weekly news conference.

The Iowa Finance Authority and the Iowa Association of REALTORS® are sponsors for the program which offers $1,500 in closing cost assistance with conventional loans. Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director Dave Jamison says it also offers $5,000 dollars in assistance for eligible service members and veterans, and the chance for anyone to win $2,500 in cash.

“If you add all that up — they check all the right boxes — it’s possible that someone could get up to $9,000 in home ownership assistance. And often times that is the primary barrier to home ownership,” Jamison says. Jamison says they’ve worked to meet the needs of both low and middle income Iowans, and they might be surprised that they are eligible for assistance.

“You could have household income up to $121,000 and the home purchase price could be up to $310,000 in some cases,” according to Jamison. “Details about these programs are available at the IowaHouseHunt.com website. I would encourage all Iowans to visit the website.” Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg explained the contest for the $2,500.

“Entrants just need to upload a photo of themselves with something they dislike about not being a homeowner. It could be tight living quarters, or limited privacy, or a roommate’s bad habit. Be careful with this — you might not win — and they might still be your roommate after this,” Gregg says. “Photos will be judged by the public, and the photo with the most votes will win. He says the contest is designed to make everyone aware of the assistance program.

He says you do not need to be in the process of buying a home, and can already own a home to participate in the contest. “The goal here is to educate as many Iowans about the process as possible, so that when they are ready to purchase they’ll be prepared,” Gregg says. The contest runs through August 31st.

Iowa Association of REALTORS CEO Gavin Blair says the competition for homes has heated up with number of days a home is on the market in Iowa near record low. He says that means potential home buyers need to be armed with information when they go out to look for a home.