Down payment help for home buyers

Posted: Updated:
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

MESA, Ariz. -- At just 20 years old, Madison Boersema is already saving for her first home.

"I'm two months into it. I try to save at least $100 a month. if I can (save) more, that's awesome," she said.

She's doing so with an Individual Development Account through a MesaCAN program, which is offered by A New Leaf, a nonprofit organization. The program is for first-time home buyers, ages 18 and up, who qualify at 200 percent of the poverty level.

"For a household of one, that means she has to make $22,980 or less," said Eva Felix, Individual Development Account coordinator with A New Leaf.

Thanks to grants from the Department of Health and Human Services and funding through the Federal Home Loan Bank, the money Boersema saves in five years will soon greatly multiply.

"She's hoping to save $5,000. She will then qualify for $4,000 in a grant, $15,000 in a forgivable loan, plus she'll have $5,000 of her own money,"  Felix explained.

That will bring Boersema to $24,000 for closing costs and the down payment.

As long as Boersema's new home is in Arizona and she resides there for five years, the forgivable loan is hers to keep.

"I think a lot of kids just get things handed to them and so it's not always easy to wait for things," Boersema said. "Now that I'm waiting for this ... I'm just really excited."

If you've had a home before but have not had a title in the last three years, you could still qualify for the program.

For more information, visit