Gov. Pat Quinn is touring Illinois to trumpet his program aimed at helping first-time homebuyers. Quinn is urging people to take advantage of "Welcome Home Illinois." The program offers homebuyers $7,500 for a down payment and interest rates as low as 3.75 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.
The head of the Peoria Area Association of Realtors says the program could substantially benefit the home sales market in central Illinois. Tonya Burris says while mortgage rates have risen, they are still reasonable and the Governor's program offers an incentive to get into the market.
Burris says more than half the home inventory available for sale fits a price bracket that is attractive to first time home buyers, so clearly that segment needs stimulation that Quinn's program can offer. Illinois Housing Development Authority spokeswoman Cami Freeman says similar programs have been launched before, but there are key differences between those programs and this one. She says the biggest difference is that this is the first time state money is being used to subsidize the interest rate. The Chicago Democrat's Republican opponent Bruce Rauner quickly issued a news release to call the program old news. He says this is the third time such a program has been launched, once by Quinn and once by his predecessor, Rod Blagojevich.
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