Jul 19 2011

Next Home down payment assistance program coming maybe


There’s a new Indiana housing program in the works, and I hope it’s available soon!

Called Next Home, this program is slated to be for first-time homebuyers AND previous homebuyers. Further, the income ceiling is higher, so more folks should be able to qualify.

The terms right now:

·         Down payment assistance to non first time home buyers
·         DPA is 4%
·         FHA loans
·         Higher income limits than that of First Home/Plus
·         Can be used  with MCC but then all MCC requirements come into play, first time buyer etc.
·         DPA is fully forgiven after 2 years (!!!!!!!)
·         DPA is zero interest no monthly payments
·         Min credit score 650
·         No purchase price limits
·         Must be originated through a participating lender

If you qualify for the Mortgage Credit Certificate as well, you can do both programs. That’s like stacking coupons! The MCC is a program that gives you 20% of your mortgage interest paid each year. You get it back as a tax credit. Better than a tax deduction.

If you’re buying a house in Indiana in the near future, do check out these programs on the Indiana housing web site. Note that there are small fees involved for getting either program. A few hundred bucks or less.

And if you live in another state, by all means seek out the same types of programs for your area.

I do think we qualify for both programs, and if so, that would make our effective interest rate less than what we could get if we got a conventional 15-year loan.

I’m going to keep my eye out for when this program comes about. I hope it happens before we find a house, because that’s a lot of money on the table.


I spoke with a lender who has more familiarity with the program, and she said this will have a much higher interest rate. She said she expected it to be 5.25%. Yuck! She also said you’d have to pay PMI for 5 years. That would basically negate any benefit for me since we should be able to get a conventional loan at a much lower rate and we probably won’t have to pay PMI. But it’s good to know our options, anyway!

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Jul 12 2011

Can we debate two-story houses vs. one-story?


I do think I want a one-story house. But. The area we’re seeking has many more two-stories for sale and I wonder if I’m limiting myself too much by focusing on a one-story. Of what’s on the market right now in my price range and bedroom/sq. footage requirements, 20-25% are one-story.

So let’s talk about this.

Why I want a one-story house:

  • I’m lazy. Won’t have to climb up and down the stairs for laundry, bringing things up and down, or worry about the kids falling up or down the stairs. Or myself falling. I’m not the most graceful creature.
  • A one-story house is probably easier to get out of in case of fire. I guess you could get those fire ladders to keep by windows on the second floor.
  • I would like a second living area in our house to serve basically as a play room. I prefer to have the kids playing in the living areas of the house rather than in the bedrooms for the most part so I can keep a better eye on them at this age. The second living area MUST be on the main floor of the house for that reason, so if I go for a two-story, I’d just want bedrooms upstairs.

Pros of two-story houses:

  • You can often get a lot more square footage for the money here. Smaller footprint, too, so there will seem to be more yard space. Also, smaller roof than a same-sized one-story would have, so that would be cheaper to replace.
  • Maybe having bedrooms upstairs would help the kids nap without being bothered by household noises during the day?

What am I missing? Is it cheaper to heat and cool one type of house over another? What are your preferences? I’m curious for what other people think in part for resale value.

I think if I went with a two-story, I’d need all the bedrooms to be upstairs. Maybe another bedroom could be on the first floor for guests or something, but I’d want 3 upstairs, including a master suite.

Should I consider two-story options if it otherwise fits what I’m seeking, or might I regret it and grumble about the stairs every time I climb them? Are two-story houses better when the kids get older?

Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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