Guaranteed Rate is the largest mortgage provider in the City of Chicago and it recently announced its partnership with the City of Chicago and the Chicago Infrastructure Trust. It is to offer a mortgage program, helping Chicago residents to become homeowners.
The Chicago Home Buyer Assistance Program will enable Chicagoans to qualify for a mortgage by greatly reducing the down payment required. A large down payment is often one of the biggest hurdles potential home buyers need to overcome. The program also offers 7% of the final loan amount as a forgivable grant. The aim is to help more Chicago families become homeowners and to benefit from the comfort and stability this offers.
The program was announced by the City of Chicago in January and Guaranteed Rate is the first approved lender to start offering these grants to residents. Leslie Darling, Executive Director of the Chicago Infrastructure Trust said “Mayor Emanuel remains focused on his goal of building a stronger, more durable city economy that gives every hard-working Chicagoan a chance to participate. Through our partnership with Guaranteed Rate, this program will strengthen our neighborhoods by providing working and middle-class Chicago home buyers with the financial support they need for down payments and closing costs.”
Guaranteed Rate was founded in Chicago and its headquarters are still in the city. Victor Ciardelli, CEO of the company said “We are very grateful for the opportunity to partner with the City of Chicago and the Chicago Infrastructure Trust to help our fellow Chicagoans more easily refinance or purchase their homes.”
The program is open to anybody purchasing a home or condo in Chicago and current homeowners can use it to refinance a property, to move up the housing ladder or to downsize. First-time homebuyers can use it to escape renting.
Anybody taking advantage of the scheme must occupy the property and it has to be their primary residence. All participants will need to reside in the property for at least five years before refinancing or selling. If the property is sold before this time then the homeowner will have to payback a prorated amount of the grant, but after five years this grant is completely forgiven. The program only applies to homes purchased within the city limits. The program allows buyers to have an annualized income of up to $133,000, regardless of their family size. Borrowers only need to contribute the lesser of 1% of the home purchase price or $1000.