Wisconsin First-time Home Buyer Assistance Programs

    Wisconsin first-time home buyers can be grateful for the assistance programs available to them. The first step is ensuring you meet eligibility requirements, including income, first-time home-buying status, and satisfactory credit. 

    From there, you can take advantage of first-time home buyer grants Wisconsin, which are awarded to low and moderate-income families. These funds are often used for down payment or closing costs. 

    Furthermore, first-time buyers may also qualify for reduced mortgage rates. So, whether it’s finding a grant to help with down payments or the availability of lower interest rates, Wisconsin first-time home buyers have solid options available to them.

    Wisconsin Home Buyer Overview

    Wisconsin First-time Home Buyer Assistance

    According to the Wisconsin Realtors Association, the median price of a house in Wisconsin was $259,950 as of November 2022. This is an increase of 7% versus last year but also a decrease of 7% versus 6 months ago. This is great news for first-time home buyers because lower median prices mean it’s easier to save for the down payment. 

    However, it can still be challenging if you are short on cash and have no foreseeable resources to raise the required equity. The good news is that Wisconsin grants and home programs are designed to help first-time home buyers

    To be considered a first-time home buyer, you must have no residential property to your name, and you’ve never been a homeowner before. You’re also purchasing a house to become a primary residence and not simply investing in it or planning to offer it up for leasing or mortgage. 

    First-time Home Buyer Grants (Wisconsin)

    Let’s take a look at the first-time home buyer grants Wisconsin offers:

    WHEDA: Advantage Conventional Loan

    The WHEDA (Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority) Advantage Conventional loan is currently available even for non-first-time home buyers. It’s also available for single-family and multi-unit residences, like condominiums. Even an aspiring landlord who plans to purchase 2-4 units can qualify for this loan. 

    This is a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage where the borrower is required to occupy the unit within the duration of the loan. 

    Eligibility Requirements

    • Minimum credit score of 620
    • Documentary evidence of reliable income that can cover bills and mortgage
    • Home address must be within Wisconsin and ideally within 50 miles of the work address
    • Completed a homebuyer education course organized by WHEDA
    • Income and house purchase prices must be within WHEDA’s set limits

    How To Apply

    Apply through your mortgage lender. 

    WHEDA: Advantage FHA

    The WHEDA Advantage FHA is a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loan in partnership with the FHA (Federal Housing Administration). You don’t need to be a first-time home buyer to qualify for this loan, but you must stay in the mortgaged unit for the duration of the loan. It can be used to buy a single-family home or 2-unit properties. 

    Eligibility Requirements

    • Minimum credit score of 640
    • Property’s address must be in Wisconsin
    • Household income must meet the total household compliance income limit
    • Completed the Pre-purchase Home Buyer Education or the Pre-purchase Landlord Education

    How To Apply

    Inquire with your mortgage lender for the steps to apply. 

    WHEDA: Easy Close DPA

    WHEDA may not offer home buyer grants but offers second mortgage loans through DPA (down payment assistance) programs. You can use this in conjunction with other WHEDA first mortgage programs to get 100% financing. 

    The WHEDA Easy Close DPA lets you borrow between $1,000 (minimum) and 6% (maximum) of the home’s purchase price. You can pay this in equal installments as a 10-year, fixed-rate second mortgage. The interest rate is the same as your first mortgage. 

    Eligibility Requirements

    • Meet Total Household Compliance Income limits
    • Property within Wisconsin boundaries

    How To Apply

    Application is made through your mortgage lender. 

    WHEDA: Capital Access DPA

    WHEDA Capital Access DPA gives you between $3,050 (minimum) or 3% (maximum) of the home’s purchase price. You don’t have to pay this in monthly installments, and it’s a silent 30-year loan with 0% interest. You repay the total amount when you decide to move out of the house, sell or refinance your home, or finish paying the mortgage. 

    Eligibility Requirements

    • Meet the total household compliance income limits
    • Purchased property must be within the state of Wisconsin

    How To Apply

    Apply through your mortgage lender. 

    City of Madison: Home-Buy the American Dream

    The City of Madison runs a DPA program that gives as much as $35,000 to qualified borrowers. It’s a second mortgage that you only repay when you move out, refinance, or improve your purchased home. It’s like WHEDA’s DPA programs. However, aside from the borrowed amount, you must also repay the city a proportional share of your home’s appreciation. 

    Eligibility Requirements

    • Meet the income limits, which vary by household size
    • First mortgage must last 30 years
    • Must contribute 1% of the purchase price using your own resources
    • First-time home buyer with no home ownership in the past 3 years
    • Property must be within the City of Madison or the Dane County

    How To Apply

    To apply for this program, you must signify intent with your mortgage lender, who will initiate the process. 

    Owning a house is possible with first-time home buyer grants Wisconsin. Make sure to check out each of these programs and see if you qualify so you can finally own your dream home. 

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    What first-time home buyer assistance programs are available in Wisconsin?

    First-time home buyer assistance programs in Wisconsin include the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) Advantage Mortgage, WHEDA Down Payment Assistance (DPA), and other local down payment assistance programs, homeownership counseling, and homebuyer education courses.

    How does the WHEDA Advantage Mortgage program benefit first-time home buyers in Wisconsin?

    The WHEDA Advantage Mortgage program offers low, fixed interest rates and reduced mortgage insurance premiums to eligible first-time home buyers in Wisconsin. This program aims to make homeownership more affordable by lowering monthly mortgage payments and offering competitive loan terms.

    How can first-time home buyers in Wisconsin apply for down payment assistance programs?

    To apply for down payment assistance programs like the WHEDA Down Payment Assistance (DPA) or other local programs, first-time home buyers should contact a WHEDA-approved lender or their local housing agency. These organizations can provide information on eligibility requirements, application procedures, and the amount of assistance available. In some cases, homebuyers may be required to complete a homebuyer education course before receiving down payment assistance.

    If you’re a senior seeking house help, you may want to check our article on government housing assistance for seniors.