Programs provide free cash for home buyers

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There are a couple of programs that provide grants to help buyers pay for down payments and closing costs. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) There are a couple of programs that provide grants to help buyers pay for down payments and closing costs. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The money granted to buyers does not have to be repaid. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The money granted to buyers does not have to be repaid. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The Home in Five program is an FHA program, while the Home Plus program is a conventional loan program. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Home in Five program is an FHA program, while the Home Plus program is a conventional loan program. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The only catch is, borrowers who receive grants will have to pay a slightly higher mortgage rate. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The only catch is, borrowers who receive grants will have to pay a slightly higher mortgage rate. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Rents are rising quickly in all corners of the Valley, prompting more people to look into home ownership.

Programs like "Home Plus" and "Home in Five" provide grants to help buyers pay for down payments and closing costs.

"There's no catch," loan officer Jeff Ohm, of VIP Mortgage, said.

"Plus, there's a big misconception. People think they have to put 20 down and that's not the case. A lot of buyers can purchase for only 3 percent down," Ohm added.

Home Plus provides up to a 5 percent grant which you can use for a down payment and closing costs.

The money granted to buyers does not have to be repaid.

"We were skeptical about it," Renee Niskanen, who's shopping for a home, said.

Niskanen and her husband plan to qualify for a Home Plus grant.

Buyers need credit scores of at least 640, cannot exceed $92,984 in income, and cannot purchase a home with a price higher than $371,936.

"We're paying over $2,000 in rent. Paying less for a home is something we've been dreaming about," she said.

In her case, she's hoping for a $15,000 grant, to help them purchase a $300,000 home.

The Home in Five program is an FHA program, while the Home Plus program is a conventional loan program.

"In many cases, the buyers' mortgage payments end up being less than their rent," Christy Infantino, also of VIP Mortgage, said.

The only catch is, borrowers who receive grants will have to pay a slightly higher mortgage rate.

Dirk Swift, the Home Plus administrator, says the program is self-funded from funds raised in the national capital markets, and income generated from the program's operation.

"Operating as a true public-private partnership, we can create a pathway to home ownership through the use of down payment [and] closing cost assistance and without the use of taxpayer funds," Swift said.

More information can be found at the Arizona Department of Housing website.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Jared DillinghamJared anchors the weekend newscasts at 5, 6, 9 and 10pm on both 3TV and CBS5. He also reports during the week for both stations.

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Jared Dillingham

Over his decade in Phoenix, Jared has worked all shifts at 3TV, including a yearlong stint anchoring the weekend morning show.

Since 2007, Jared has covered everything from Senator John McCain's campaign for president, to the Jodi Arias trial, to the largest wildfire in Arizona history.

Jared grew up in New York, and graduated from Syracuse University with degrees in broadcast journalism and political science.

After internships at News12 Long Island and NBC in Washington, DC, Jared moved to beautiful "Big Sky Country." He spent a year at KRTV in Great Falls, Montana, before moving to KREM in Spokane, Washington.

The Valley has truly become "home" for Jared. He lives in Phoenix, and spends his mornings listening to as many news/political podcasts as possible, while walking his (now elderly) rescue dogs, Gabby and Bree.

On his days off, Jared can be found at any of the local restaurants which have popped up in the city since he first moved here, or hiking Piestewa Peak or Camelback Mountain.

He also travels as much as possible and runs a blog with advice on visiting cities around the world.

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