#HomeownerHero Profile: First-Time Homebuyer States
What is a first-time homebuyer savings account program?
A first-time homebuyer savings account encourages future homeowners to save money for their first homes. States across the country are adopting first-time homebuyer savings account programs to boost homeownership. Though programs vary by state, they all allow individuals to overcome hurdles to homeownership, such as low salaries and high college debt, that can make it difficult to save for a down payment.
What states currently have first-time homebuyer savings account programs?
In 1997, Montana became the first state to pass a bill creating a first-time homebuyer savings account program. Since then, seven more states (Missouri, Iowa, Colorado, Mississippi, Virginia, Oregon, Minnesota, and Alabama) adopted similar programs.
In Missouri, state legislators understood the value of homeownership and introduced a first-time homebuyer savings account bill. State Senator Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) said of the program, “My wife, Aubrey, and I are fortunate to have recently purchased our first home. As small business owners in a rapidly growing college town, we know the challenges entrepreneurs and recent graduates face in the housing market. This First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account program gives the next generation the foothold they need to pursue homeownership and has the added benefit of encouraging more skilled workers to stay here in Missouri.”
Why are each of these states a #HomeownerHero?
First-time homebuyer states are helping expand access to homeownership across the country. These savings accounts provide an opportunity to save for down payment in an economic and housing environment that typically makes this difficult. States with first-time homebuyer savings account are ensuring the next generation can realize the American Dream of homeownership. Missouri state Rep. Becky Ruth said, “As a REALTOR®, I see firsthand the struggle so many potential first-time homebuyers face when it comes to saving for their down payment. They typically have enough for their monthly mortgage, it’s the initial upfront costs that keeps them from buying, and this program gives them an advantage with that.”