COLUMBUS — June is Homeownership Month and buying a home is within reach for many potential homeowners. National Homeownership Month is an education outreach effort to help borrowers understand the commitment involved in buying and owning a home.
“Successful homeownership is the cornerstone of our communities and neighborhoods,” said Governor Ted Strickland. “My administration continues to encourage educational opportunities for current and potential Ohio homeowners to preserve the dream of homeownership in Ohio. The National Homeownership Month will assist us in those efforts.”
The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) offers affordable housing opportunities. Since 1983, OHFA’s programs and services have helped more than 110,000 households achieve homeownership by providing affordable mortgage products and homeownership education.
“Now is a great time to explore homeownership and there are many homes throughout the state that are ready for new owners,” said Doug Garver, Executive Director for the Agency. “Despite challenges in the housing industry, many first-time homebuyers are able to purchase homes at lower prices than before.”
The First-Time Homebuyer program offers low, competitive mortgage rates to homebuyers through conventional loans or FHA, VA and USDA-RD government loans. OHFA partners with lenders throughout the state to make these attractive loan options available to borrowers. Each of these 30-year, fixed-rate loans is available to consumers based on their household income. The program offers down payment assistance with the option of a second mortgage in an amount up to four percent of the purchase price of the home or a grant in an amount equal to three percent of the purchase price of the home. OHFA increased the maximum sale price permitted in the program effective June 1.
In addition, first-time homebuyers who are active military personnel or military veterans, firefighters or emergency medical technicians-paramedics, healthcare workers, police officers or teachers can receive a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at a quarter of a percent less than OHFA’s rate for the First-Time Homebuyer program. Since the Ohio Heroes program began in March, more than 400 Ohioans have used it to purchase a home.
Traditionally, borrowers qualify for the program by being a first-time homebuyer, not owning their principle residence for at least three years, or purchasing a home in a targeted area.
“This also is a great time for current homeowners to review their current mortgage to determine if it still meets their financial needs. If circumstances have changed, then homeowners should contact their lender to discuss whether a lower rate can be achieved through refinancing,” said Garver.
Consumers interested in the First-Time Homebuyer program, refinancing options or homeownership information should visit www.ohiohome.org or call 1-888-362-6432.
OHFA utilizes federal and state resources to provide housing opportunities for families and individuals through programs designed to create, preserve, and manage affordable housing throughout the State of Ohio. The Agency is a self-supporting quasi-public agency governed by an eleven-member board, nine of whom are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Two additional seats on the board, by statute, are reserved for the Director of Development and the Director of Commerce or their designees, and both serve as ex officio voting members.