In an effort to assist individuals achieve their homeownership goals the Iowa Finance Authority offers the FirstHome Plus program, which provides down payment assistance to eligible first-time home buyers who are purchasing a primary residence in Iowa.

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FirstHome Plus

Financial Assistance for Homebuyers in Iowa

In an effort to assist individuals achieve their homeownership goals the Iowa Finance Authority offers the FirstHome Plus program, which provides down payment assistance to eligible first-time home buyers who are purchasing a primary residence in Iowa.

Available Assistance
FirstHome Plus is a down payment assistance (DPA) program that works in conjunction with the Iowa Finance Authority’s FirstHome Program, a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage. Eligible applicants can receive up to $2,500 in the form of a grant to help cover the down payment and closing costs associated with the first mortgage. All applicants are limited to one-time use of this program, and those who have previously used a Plus grant are not eligible.

Eligibility Requirements
In order to receive assistance under the FirstHome Plus program, all applicants must meet certain requirements. The program is only available to:
  • first-time homebuyers (individuals who have not owned a home in the last three years)
  • military veterans with discharge other than dishonorable who have not previously used a mortgage revenue bond program to finance a home purchase, or
  • those purchasing a home in a Targeted Area.
All applicants must demonstrate an ability to repay the loan and have an acceptable credit history; they must have a credit score or at least 640, and a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 45 percent.

Any property being purchased with program funds must serve as the homebuyer’s primary residence, and must not exceed the program’s purchase price limit of $253,000. 

*Seller-funded down payment programs were eliminated in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, but States and Local government agencies are still permitted to help borrowers finance their homes with second mortgages and grants. These agencies set different requirements that a borrower needs to meet in order to qualify for the grant programs, such as property location, and purchase price and income limits.

Down Payment Grants in Iowa

The City of Cedar Rapids offers individuals down payment assistance in the form of the First Time Home Buyer Program. Funds are available on a first come, first served basis, and applications are reviewed in order. 

This program provides long-term, zero-interest loans of up to $5,000 to help cover down payment and closing costs associated with purchasing a new home. In the case of household income less than 30 percent of the area median income (AMI), individuals may also receive up to $25,000.

In an effort to assist individuals achieve their homeownership goals the Iowa Finance Authority offers the FirstHome Plus program, which provides down payment assistance to eligible first-time home buyers who are purchasing a primary residence in Iowa.

In an effort to help families achieve their homeownership dreams, the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Des Moines offers individuals the Home$tart and Home$tart Plus Programs, which assist by providing down payment and closing cost assistance.

The Waterloo Down Payment Assistance Program provides applicants with assistance funds via a forgivable, second mortgage. If an applicant chooses to sell the home in under five years, the loan amount is recaptured and used to replenish the loan fund.

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