Martinsburg, W.Va., – September 5, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.-02) joined area bankers today as they explained how qualified first-time homebuyers in the Eastern Panhandle can obtain grants that make financing a home easier.
Speaking at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, the bankers said grants of up to $5,000 are now available for qualified first-time homebuyers to meet down payment and closing costs. The Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) of Pittsburgh’s First Front Door program is supported by seven West Virginia banks – CNB Bank, MCNB Bank and Trust, Mountain Valley Bank, Premier Bank, United Bank, WesBanco and West Union Bank.
A total of $2 million had been set aside for use in 2013 to distribute more than 400 First Front Door grants. Approximately $1 million of that amount remains available, and the banks hope to see it used by qualified low- and moderate-income families by the end of this year.
Launched by FHLBank Pittsburgh in 1996 as the Home Buyer Equity Fund, the program to date has awarded over $34 million in grants to more than 8,500 first-time homebuyers.
“Owning a home is part of the American Dream,” said Capito. “It gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment and a place to create lasting memories with your family. I appreciate all of the hard work these institutions have done to help make responsible homeownership a possibility for many families in West Virginia.”
How the Program Works
Through First Front Door, FHLBank Pittsburgh supplements a homebuyer’s down payment and closing costs through a matching grant. The program matches a homebuyer’s contribution to their closing costs or down payment 3-to-1. For every $1 of funding provided by the buyer, FHLBank provides $3 in matching grant assistance, up to $5,000. FHLBank member institutions enrolled in the program can register qualified homebuyers for this matching grant while working with them to finance their mortgage. The member institution makes the grant available to the buyer at closing and is then reimbursed by FHLBank. Funds are awarded to homebuyers on a first-come, first-served basis.
Program applicants must meet a number of requirements to qualify for participation:
Be a first-time homebuyer (a first-time homebuyer is an individual who has not owned a home within the past three years or owned a home only while married but not as a single person within the past three years – this includes a married couple if either has not owned a home within the past three years);
Contribute personal funds as part of the down payment and closing costs;
Have household income at or below 80 percent of the area median income at the time of First Front Door registration;
Complete at least four hours of homeownership counseling, including the topic of predatory lending, prior to the purchase of the home;
Pay at least 15 percent of his/her monthly household income for PITI (principal, interest, taxes and insurance). Homebuyers paying less than 15 percent for PITI may still qualify, but a more thorough assessment of need is required;
Retain the home for five years to avoid having to repay any portion of the grant. A First Front Door mortgage and note are required as part of the original mortgage documentation.
About FHLBank Pittsburgh
FHLBank Pittsburgh is a wholesale bank that serves the housing finance and community and economic development needs of its owner-members. FHLBank Pittsburgh provides reliable access to low-cost funds, competitive pricing in the purchase of mortgage loans, correspondent banking, technical assistance, affordable housing grants and other programs so members can better serve their own communities. FHLBank Pittsburgh is privately capitalized and funded and does not use taxpayer dollars. At June 30, 2013, it had 294 members in its district of Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia and approximately $60 billion in assets. FHLBank Pittsburgh is one of 12 Banks in the Federal Home Loan Bank System, established by Congress in 1932 to support the residential mortgage and community development activities of local financial institutions.
Lisa Boothe, U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, (202) 225-2711,
John Bendel, FHLBank Pittsburgh, 1-800-288-3400, ext. 2820,