Many homebuyers already know all about the federal $8,000 tax credit, an incentive that is credited with getting many first-time buyers off the fence in today’s market. But are they as familiar with Home Start, a new loan program through the Illinois Housing Development Authority that offers Illinois buyers a 30-year FHA-insured mortgage and the option of taking out an advance loan on their anticipated tax credit? In essence, qualifying first-time buyers can use part of their tax credit now as a downpayment when they purchase their home and then repay it when they receive their credit.

Illinois residents who qualify will receive a zero-interest loan for up to 3.5 percent (up to a maximum of $6,000) of the home purchase price to put toward a downpayment. But interested buyers will need to move fast because like the federal first-time buyer tax credit, Home Start’s advance loan expires Dec. 1. Click here to learn more about Home Start and its qualifications and watch an instructional video presentation.

REALTORS® let us know what you are hearing about Home Start. Are buyers aware of the new program? Are lenders promoting it? Has there been interest in your community?