SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (FOX 2) - Anyone who is in the market for a home knows the struggle of trying to get the right place. It's a tough time to be a home buyer, especially if you're in the market for your first home. But the state of Michigan is offering up to $10,000 to help new buyers get their foot in the door.
It wasn't that long ago that, if you drove through most neighborhoods, you'd see at least one 'for sale' sign. Times have changed. According to Realtor.com, inventory is down about 60% compared to where it was at the start of the pandemic. That means for every five homes that were available two years ago, that number is down to two.
Realtor John Goci explains that it may be a seller's market but buyers are going to find it really hard.
"I’m a father of 2 kids who are in the home buying market as they’re graduating college. There are just not any homes. You have a shortage of homes. You have higher interest rates, buyers are just caught in a tough place," Goci said.
Finding a dream home can feel impossible when dozens of bidders jump in and interest rates climb to the highest its been in two decades.
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) helps homebuyers find affordable mortgage options. Spokesperson Eric Dusenbury said it's going to take lot of patience, especially as spring is here.
"Perseverance, preparation for individuals going in is one of the key things people need to keep in mind," Dusenbury said. "It’s a little bit like the calm before the storm. When the weather breaks here, things really kind of breakout."
To help, the state of Michigan offers assistance to increase your downpayment. The MI $10K Downpayment Assistance Program gives eligible buyers up to $7,500 in loans in most places and up to $10,000 in certain zip codes.
There are several criteria to qualify:
- You must meet the county's household income limit
- Home sale price must be lower than $224,500
- Minimum credit score of 640
Dusenberry says MSHDA is trying to increase the home purchase limit by the summer.
Since 2019, Michigan home values have skyrocketed. In April 2019, the average price of a home was $169K. It's now $231K.
Dusenbury says their agency helps 2,700 people each year but can always assist more.
"When you think about the typical home purchaser, they’re going through their realtors, their lenders many times. So we focus on those groups. We do a lot of outreach. We continue education classes for realtor groups to educate them on our programs," he said.
To learn more information about the program and to see if you qualify, check out the MSHDA's website here.