First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Programs & Grants in the Midwest for 2024

By Constance Brinkley-Badgett · April 05, 2024 · 7 minute read

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First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Programs & Grants in the Midwest for 2024

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you may qualify for special mortgage rates and incentives not available to other homebuyers. For Midwestern buyers, we’ve rounded up all of the information you need to understand which programs you may qualify for in your region.

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Popular Midwest First Time Home Buyer Programs

Ohio

The real estate market has been buzzing in the Buckeye State over the last year, with the number of homes sold up 5% as of February 2024. Home prices in Ohio were up 9% compared to last year, hitting a $227,800 median price, according to Redfin. Sales prices had the most substantial jump in Maple Heights, Kettering, and Springfield, where increases all topped 30%.

Things can look a bit intimidating for first-time homebuyers seeking a home mortgage loan in Ohio in 2024. Don’t fret, though, as qualifying for a mortgage and affording a home may be more within your means than you think.

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) offers a variety of programs for low- and moderate-income first-time and repeat homebuyers meant to help them achieve homeownership.

💡 Learn about Ohio first-time homebuyer programs

Michigan

With Detroit’s revitalization, the popularity of resort towns on the shores of the Great Lakes, and the proximity to wilderness in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan real estate is bustling. The good news for first-time homebuyers: The Wolverine State is still relatively affordable.

Sales in Michigan are up about 1% year over year as of January 2024 and home prices are up 9.2% this past year. But despite that last stat, there’s good news for first-time homebuyers: The median sales price is $228,000, according to Redfin, which is far below the national median existing-home sales price of $379,100.

First-time homebuyers looking to settle in Michigan may find help through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority .

💡 Learn about Michigan first-time homebuyer programs

Indiana

At $228,552, Indiana’s average home value in early 2024 is up 4.6% year over year, according to Zillow. Even with that increase, typical costs here are lower than the numbers for America as a whole. That doesn’t mean buying a home for the first time is easy, but it certainly places home ownership within reach for more people, especially when state programs offer a helping hand in terms of their down payment, mortgage, and closing costs.

There’s lots of helpful information on the home-buying process available to Hoosier house-hunters, and there are a number of programs that can defray the costs of buying a home. First-time buyers, especially, might want to have a look.

💡 Learn about Indiana first-time homebuyer programs

Wisconsin

Home prices increased 5.5% annually here as of January 2024. And the number of homes sold rose 6.5% as the market began to warm up. The median sale price of a house in the state is $274,400, reports Redfin.

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While the uptick in cost may cause concern for those saving to purchase a property, there are many opportunities to be had for the qualified first-time homebuyer in Wisconsin.

💡 Learn about Wisconsin first-time homebuyer programs

Illinois

High prices, low inventory, and an influx of outside investors and cash buyers make diving into the market as a first-time buyer in Illinois feel daunting.

According to Redfin, the median sale price in Illinois hit $265,900 in January 2024 — an 11.2% year-over-year increase. But in some communities, the numbers have been much higher. In Winnetka, where home prices were up 40.2%, the median purchase price was $1.373 million. Marion saw an 82.3% jump. Fortunately homes there are still relatively affordable, at a median price of $174,250.

Another bit of good news: The state and some counties offer financial assistance. There also are longstanding federal programs that could improve a buyer’s chances of success.

💡 Learn about Illinois first-time homebuyer programs

Minnesota

The Land of 10,000 Lakes has seen a relatively modest 2% year-over-year increase in home values during 2023. Currently, the average Minnesota home value is $316,980, according to Zillow, which is slightly below the national average.

There are several opportunities for the first-time homebuyer in Minnesota through state programs that give assistance with mortgage rates and down payment and closing costs to those who qualify.

💡 Learn about Minnesota first-time homebuyer programs

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.


Iowa

Homes in the heartland of Iowa remain relatively affordable, with an average value of $205,988 vs. the national figure of $342,941, according to Zillow. A number of homebuyer assistance programs also exist that can make the home-buying journey more affordable for Hawkeye State shoppers.

Most of these programs are available through the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) and can especially be of help to first-time buyers.

💡 Learn about Iowa first-time homebuyer programs

Missouri

The real estate market in Missouri has remained fairly calm, with the state’s average home value of $234,949 nicely below national averages.

The good thing about being a first-time homebuyer with a low to moderate income is that state and local programs offer mortgages and down payment assistance to those who qualify. Even better: You qualify as a first-timer if you have not owned a home in three years.

💡 Learn about Missouri first-time homebuyer programs

North Dakota

Thinking about moving to North Dakota? The state has a lot going for it. In addition to tons of open space, gorgeous landscapes, and a relaxed way of life, the cost of living is lower than the U.S. average and home prices in the state dropped a tiny bit in the year ending February 2024. The average home value in North Dakota is now $248,022, according to Zillow. That means there are plenty of opportunities to find your affordable dream home in North Dakota.

There are several state programs that provide financial assistance and low-interest mortgage loans to the first-time homebuyer in North Dakota. Many of these programs are designed to help low- to moderate-income buyers, and they may have income and purchase price limits, a required credit score, or other criteria you’ll need to meet.

💡 Learn about North Dakota first-time homebuyer programs

South Dakota

The Mount Rushmore State saw a 6.8% increase in home prices from February 2023 to February 2024, however the cost of living remains relatively low here compared to other parts of the country. The median home price in South Dakota is now $311,500, according to Redfin.

If you lack the money for a down payment or aren’t sure how you will afford a mortgage, programs in the state may be able to provide assistance.

💡 Learn about South Dakota first-time homebuyer programs

Nebraska

Considering buying a home in Nebraska? Now is a good time to do so. The median price of a home there is $274,600. That’s up 5.4% year-over-year as of February 2024 but still below the national average.

The first-time homebuyer in Nebraska can also get financial assistance through state programs. Here’s what you need to know as you start your home shopping.

💡 Learn about Nebraska first-time homebuyer programs

Kansas

Though their housing market is generally known for being more affordable than most, first-time homebuyers in Kansas are facing many of the same challenges as buyers across the country. Prices have been rising. Inventory is low. And the competition for available homes can be fierce.

The median price of a home in Kansas was $290,300 in January 2024, a 2.6% increase in 12 months. In some areas, such as Leavenworth, Shawnee, and Leawood, the price increases were greater than 20%.

Fortunately, buyers who are struggling with the costs of purchasing their first home in Kansas may be able to get financial help through programs offered by the state and some cities. There also are longstanding federal programs that may improve a buyer’s chances of success.

💡 Learn about Kansas first-time homebuyer programs

The Takeaway

Qualifying first-time home buyers have many options available to them in the Midwest, including down payment assistance. If you’re looking to buy your first home and aren’t sure how to get started, looking at a list of homebuyer programs in your state is a great place to start. Once you know what kind of assistance you may qualify for, it’s a good idea to estimate just how much house you can really afford using a home affordability calculator.

Looking for an affordable option for a home mortgage loan? SoFi can help: We offer low down payments (as little as 3% - 5%*) with our competitive and flexible home mortgage loans. Plus, applying is extra convenient: It's online, with access to one-on-one help.

SoFi Mortgages: simple, smart, and so affordable.


Photo credit: iStock/Nicholas Smith

*SoFi requires Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for conforming home loans with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio greater than 80%. As little as 3% down payments are for qualifying first-time homebuyers only. 5% minimum applies to other borrowers. Other loan types may require different fees or insurance (e.g., VA funding fee, FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums, etc.). Loan requirements may vary depending on your down payment amount, and minimum down payment varies by loan type.

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