Written by Marni Pauley (left) and Tristin Meidinger (right), Real Estate Loan Officers from Miles City
June is National Homeownership month. Here at Stockman we celebrate the benefits that owning a home have for individuals, neighborhoods and communities across Montana. First time home buyers have a number of opportunities with assistance and educational programs made available through local, state, and federal programs. Saving to buy your first home may come with hurdles that seem difficult to overcome. Without the help of experts, it can be a bit daunting to get started. Working with our team of Real Estate Loan Officers, new home buyers will have the peace of mind that they are in very capable hands throughout the buying process.
In 1997, Montana became the first state to pass a bill creating a first-time homebuyer savings account program. Since that time, there have been numerous programs developed to help the newest generation of homebuyers pursue the American Dream of homeownership!
We’d like to share a little bit of information about some of these programs aimed at helping you become a homeowner:
First-Time Home Buyer Savings Account
A person can establish a first-time home buyer savings account to assist with the cost of purchasing their first single-family home in Montana. Up to $3,000 of contributions per individual (Up to $6,000 for those married, filing jointly) may be excluded for tax purposes each year, up to 10 years. The interest and other income earned on the account are not taxable if the funds are used to pay eligible expenses.
Examples of eligible expenses include:
- Down payment
- Closing costs
- Realtor’s fees
- Appraisal costs
- Home inspections
- Loan origination fees
The important thing to note about these accounts is that the funds must be used to pay for eligible expenses within 10 years of opening the account.
Matched Savings Account Programs (IDA)
A matched savings account program, also referred to as Individual Development Account, is an asset building tool designed to enable individuals to save money for things such as buying a home, paying for post-secondary education or training, and starting or expanding a small business.
In Montana, we are very fortunate to have access to matched savings accounts through programs such as Savings for Tomorrow (available to residents within select counties) and Home$tart. If you are interested in learning more, visit with one of our Stockman Bank lenders about what types of programs are available in your area.
The mission of NeighborWorks Montana is to create opportunities for individuals to live in affordable homes in strong communities. NeighborWorks Montana offers several programs to assist qualified borrowers with the down payment and closing costs associated with purchasing a single family home. Contact one of our Stockman Bank lenders to find out more about qualifying for one of these programs.
Montana Housing is passionate about collaborating with their partners to make sure Montana’s families and communities have attainable, affordable, accessible and sustainable homes. They offer several programs to homebuyers that include affordable loan programs, down payment assistance programs, and homebuyer education counseling.
In addition to the programs listed above, it’s important to mention that there are also several loan programs available to homebuyers that offer low down payment options. We recommend visiting with a Stockman Bank lender about the various loan programs available in your area. Homeownership continues to be a cornerstone of wealth for many to invest in their future and achieve the American Dream.