A new program may help more people in Illinois buy a home for a first time.  The Welcome Home Illinois program provides $7,500 in assistance towards a down payment, as well as a 30-year mortgage with an interest rate as low as 3.75 percent.  Gov. Pat Quinn says those costs may be what’s keeping some families from becoming homeowners.  
 
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“For many renters, they’re paying more money now in rent than they would in a mortgage,” Quinn said. “But the key is to get over that hump of down payment and closing costs, and get connected to our lenders and our Realtors.”  Though the program is marketed as a solution to first-time homebuyers, anyone who has not owned a home in the past three years may qualify. There are limits on the price of the home being bought, as well as limits on the household income of those receiving assistance; those numbers vary from county to county.
 
The program is being administered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) on a first-come, first-served basis.
 
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