HomeNow helpings Montanans buy homes now

MISSOULA - As housing prices skyrocket in Missoula and Bozeman, it might seem impossible for first-time home buyers to make that initial down payment.

But there is one non-profit that's helping people buy homes, not only in Missoula, but across the state.

Two years ago MoFi started their HomeNow program, and the nonprofit says they have provided $1.5 million in down-payment assistance through grants and zero interest loans.

"The price in Missoula has increased by over 50 percent in the last 10 years and that's a lot of money for a home," MoFi Director of Marketing Libby Addington said.

With home prices still on the rise the HomeNow program provides down payment and closing costs up to 5% of the total home amount. And that 5% can be used on more than just houses.

"Our program is not just for single family homes,” Addington said. It can also be used to purchase condos, manufactured homes, and townhomes.

Why are housing prices so high right now? Chair of the Missoula Organized Realtors Housing Report Committee Brint Wahlberg might have the answer.

"Our markets in general are at record levels of low supply," Wahlberg said.

A low supply and high demand creates a sellers’ market, and creating a new supply is not an issue that can be fixed overnight.

"What needs to happen in our city is to add built inventory at all price points, not just high price points for people to buy," Wahlberg said.

While it will take years to create new supply, MoFi is helping families and individuals get into homes now.

"So in the Missoula area we have helped over 50 Missoula families become home owners and that translates to over 400,000 in down payment assistance and that’s just in Missoula alone," Addington said.

If you are struggling to buy a home, this is what you'll need to qualify for the HomeNow program:    

  • A steady income and a credit score of at least 640
  • Buy a home in that state of Montana
  • Apply for a grant or a loan with a local HomeNow lender 

If you have any more questions about the process you can call the MoFi office at (406)728-9234 or visit their website. The HomeNow program is open to everyone, not just first time buyers.

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