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CLICK FOR IMPORTANT HOME PLUS PROGRAM UPDATES
Home Plus Product Update, News, & Information
Potential homebuyers are facing historic headwinds in their pursuit of homeownership. Now more than ever, buyers need every resource available to help achieve homeownership, and the Arizona IDA HOME Plus DPA Program is a leading provider of down payment assistance in Arizona. Despite economic challenges in 2022, we found a way forward and will continue to search for solutions to bring the best available DPA products to the Arizona market.
Effective May 1, 2023, the Arizona IDA HOME Plus program will incorporate the following updates:
- Increase the annual borrower income limit to $126,351.
- Expand manufactured home eligibility to VA & USDA mortgages.
- Lower minimum credit score on manufactured homes from 680 to 660.
- Allow manual underwrites on FHA mortgages – US Bank overlays apply.
- Each mortgage type will have two Lender SRP options: 1.50% & 2.50%.
- Allow 50% DTI on VA & USDA mortgage – US Bank overlays apply.
- Reduce DPA on VA from 3% to 2%.
- Arizona IDA HOME Plus DPA program is a participating State Housing Finance Authority in the HFA1 Affordable Homeownership Lender Toolkit.*
* The HFA1 Lender Toolkit is a new online resource that will enable more regional and national mortgage lenders to partner more efficiently with multiple state housing finance agencies in providing mortgage loans and down payment assistance to lower-income home buyers.
- We are relaunching our 5% non-forgivable DPA option on FHA, Fannie under 80% AMI and Fannie over 80% AMI. We are self-funding this product with $15MM in AzIDA reserves and as such only have funding for 1,000 transactions. The corresponding interest rate on the first mortgage will be very comparable to current market rates without DPA.
- At the request of several lenders, we are providing six new DPA offerings at a lower lender SRP (150 bps). That reduced margin / spread in today’s market has created more availability for DPA offerings. These six new options are only available to lenders who choose to participate.
- The 5% non-forgivable DPA and lower lender SRP options will appear on our daily interest rate email beginning July 5.
- Both the non-forgivable option and lower lender SRP option are not intended to be permanent products. They are alternatives to bridge the current gap in the fixed income financial markets that are negatively affecting DPA availability.
- The 5% non-forgivable DPA and lower lender SRP options will appear on our daily interest rate email beginning July 5.
- The AzIDA HOME Plus annual borrower income limit will increase to $122,100.
- The 80% AMI income limits on Fannie and Freddie have also changed, increasing in all but one Arizona County. These income limits are provided within our Product Summary (click to open) and Program Guidelines. You should always follow your DU and LPA findings for 80% AMI income limits and effective dates.
- We have eliminated the expiration date on completed homebuyer education certificates AND added Fannie Mae – HomeView as another AzIDA HOME Plus approved HBE provider. All other HBE requirements remain unchanged.
It has been a very difficult few months for Lenders, Realtors and especially Buyers who use / need down payment assistance. No one anticipated the investor pull back and thus the resulting lack of funding from our normally very reliable capital market sources. These changes are the best options we have available currently. Hopefully in the near future the MBS market finds its new normal, investor interest returns, and our full HOME+PLUS DPA product offering resumes.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Home Plus DPA
We are happy to announce that we have added some new content and systems to help you:
- We have created video segments, taken from 2021 online training sessions. Overviews, procedures, policies, training, and more. You can watch them all or select a filter for target results.
- Multilingual content. The website is now available in Spanish with some support materials: Marketing, Logos, and Program Description sheets.*
- As well, you can select from French, Chinese, and Japanese for general website text translation. *
*Translated content is provided via automated systems. Some translations may have slight variances in meaning. Please contact us with any questions for clarification.
On May 26, 2021, US Bank issued Seller Guide Update SEL-2021-26. Within that communication they announced, “many of the COVID credit-related restrictions and flexibilities are being eliminated”.
It has recently come to my attention that the specific US Bank overlay of a 1-month reserve on FHA transactions where the borrower has a credit score between 640-659 was an overlay that was eliminated as one the many COVID credit-related items lifted.
We have updated the AzIDA HOME Plus Program Guidelines and HOME Plus Summary for Lenders to reflect this change. I have also attached to this document, USB SEL 2021-26 Seller Guide, USB Ginnie Overlay Matrix and AzIDA – USB Government Loan Product overview. All of which support that change.
The Area Median Income (AMI) figures are set to change in June. The changes are minor and the new income figures will increase or decrease slightly depending upon the County where the subject property is located.
The use of an 80% AMI income figure on conventional mortgages is established, set, and implemented by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, respectively. It’s their rules and their implementation timeline.
The 80% AMI figure will always be notated on your DU or LPA findings when you run FNMA HFA Preferred (Fannie) or FHLMC HFA Advantage (Freddie). Each entity has different rules as to the effective date of the change. Whether noted on my forward-facing consumer website, AzIDA HOME Plus Program Guidelines, or within our HOME Plus Summary for Lenders, the 80% AMI figures are strictly informational as you should always use the figure on your DU / LPA findings.
- Your borrower(s) must be under 80% AMI to be eligible for any of the HOME Plus Fannie/Freddie under 80% AMI DPA options.
- Our borrower(s) income limit of $112,785 is set by us, AzIDA HOME Plus. That income limit applies to all FHA, VA, USDA, and Fannie over 80% AMI DPA options.
If you have any questions or need additional clarity, please contact Dirk Swift a Dirk@HomePlusAZ.com.
We are pleased to announce the follow AzIDA HOME Plus program enhancements.
1 – Our top end borrower(s) income limit has increased to $112,785. This will go into effect immediately.
1a – Please know that the 80% AMI (area median income) is establish by Fannie & Freddie. They usually review these figures in 2nd quarter each year. Any changes are driven by and announced by Fannie / Freddie and should occur by the end of the 2nd quarter.
2 – We are introducing a new, free, and easier way to process compliance fee payments through HilltopPay. HilltopPay is a secure method to process program compliance fee payments easily, efficiently and at no cost to our participating Lender Partners, providing instant access to authorize payments via the Lender Portal.
2a – Effective September 1, 2021 this will be the only acceptable delivery method for the compliance fee. For more information, please email Homeplushelp@hilltopsecurities.com
There is talk of a relaunch of the Pathway-to-Purchase “P2P” program. Please know, P2P is administered by the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH). All details related to the P2P program including availability of funds, property location eligibility, and lender participation requirements will be provided by the ADOH. https://housing.az.gov/general-public/pathway-purchase-down-payment-assistance
Just a couple quick notes as we close-out 2020…
LENDERS: Our updated AzIDA HOME+PLUS Program Guidelines (v1/1/2021) have been posted and can be found under the “Program Documents” tab on our Lender – Online Home Plus Portal: https://lenders.housing.az.gov – System credentials are required.
Within those guidelines are two recent updates from our master servicer US Bank.
1) Effective December 11, 2020: US Bank has eliminated their FHA overlay requiring 640-659 borrowers to be on their current job for 6-months. The one-month reserve overlay is still in effect. (Click HERE for US Bank Supporting PDF Document)
2) Effective January 1, 2021: the minimum credit score on manufactured homes will be 680. This applies to both FHA and Fannie HFA Preferred manufactured home options.
As we leave 2020 behind and look forward to 2021, I want to thank all of you for your support and active involvement in the AzIDA HOME+Plus program. Despite the headwinds of 2020, the HOME+Plus program has had a record-breaking year (having provided down payment and closing cost assistance to over 7,000 new Arizona homeowners) and all signs point to continued success in 2021.
As you build out your 2021 game plan, please know I am available to speak at any Realtor outreach, event, function, etc… I will be participating in some local events and speaking engagements. Looking forward to seeing all of you in 2021.
Be safe and enjoy your Holidays!
Dirk Swift Docu
EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1ST, 2021,
the three HOME Plus non-forgivable DPA options will no longer be available. The last day to make new reservations using one of the three existing non-forgivable DPA options will be December 31, 2020.
The non-forgivable DPA program has been a success and fulfilled a need within the marketplace. Despite this, some of the geographic and income limitations of the non-forgivable options hampered a broader use throughout Arizona. We are looking into ways to potentially create a new hybrid non-forgivable DPA option that builds upon the current program while expanding borrower eligibility. And of course, our seventeen existing HOME Plus forgivable DPA options will be active and available now and into 2021.
To say 2020, has been a unique year is an understatement. Yet, despite the COVID crisis and all the challenges, AzIDA via the HOME Plus program will assist a record number of Arizonans become new homeowners. By year-end 2020 we will have provided down payment and closing cost assistance to over 7,000 new homeowners. This would not be possible without your help. Thank you!
I truly value your partnership and will continue to work with you to deliver the best DPA products to the marketplace in the most efficient and effective manner possible.
EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1ST 2020 –
Home Plus Non-Forgivable DPA Update, and Income Limit Change Update
We are pleased to announce the expansion of our HOME+Plus non-forgivable 5% DPA options to Pinal and Pima Counties.
Effective September 1, 2020, our three FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac non-forgivable 5% DPA options will now be available in Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima Counties.
In addition to expanding the geographic availability of the non-forgivable DPA options, the borrower(s) income limit will be set at $62,240 for properties in Maricopa and Pinal Counties, and $54,720 for properties in Pima County.
To date, the HOME+Plus non-forgivable 5% DPA options have fulfilled an essential need within the marketplace. At year-end, we will revisit the totality of these non-forgivable DPA options and determine our go-forward plan for 2021.
Changes to Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac – 80% AMI (Area Median Income)
The 80% AMI (Area Median Income) figures are set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These 80% AMI limits apply to all DPA programs and mirror the 80% AMI limits on HomeReady and HomePossible.
Since the Fannie Mae HFA Preferred product is a version of HomeReady and the Freddie Mac HFA Advantage is a version of HomePossible, our 80% AMI limits are subject to the effective change dates as determined by Fannie and Freddie.
- On 6/20/2020 the new 80% AMI income limits will be implemented in DU. DU will apply the 2020 limits to new casefiles created on or after 6/20/2020.
- On 7/12/2020 the new 80% AMI income limits will be implemented in LPA. LPA will apply the 2020 limits to new casefiles created on or after 7/12/2020.
- The 80% AMI income limit will be reflected on your Fannie HFA Preferred DU findings or your Freddie HFA Advantage LPA findings.
Again, these changes and their effective date are driven by Fannie and Freddie. As such, we will follow and adhere to the 80% AMI limit based on the casefile run date and not the date of the HOME Plus reservation. Lenders should always follow the 80% AMI limit on the respective DU or LPA findings.
We will have a pipeline of transactions to work through with different income limits based on your specific casefile date. We will make the necessary updates within our Program Guidelines, Program Summary, and websites in mid-August.
Lender Training Documents
There are a total of 9 sections that have been created for you. These have been processed as PDF files to view / print. We recommend you open/read in the order below. These files will open in a new window.
We have many videos for Lending Professionals, Real Estate Professionals, and Homebuyers. Each brief video addresses a frequently asked question. These videos can be found under “Video Information & Training” or simply click here.
** Dirk Swift offers Home Plus DPA program training via Zoom online or In-Person. Click Here To Learn More