Delivering Holiday Hope: Educating Illinois Homebuyers on IHDA Down Payment Assistance Programs

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Illinois homebuyers

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Dec. 9, 2014 - PRLog -- Chicago, IL. Since 2009 the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) has developed three major programs designed to provide down payment assistance to traditionally harder-to-qualify consumers through the creation of the Smart Move, Building Blocks and Welcome Home Illinois programs; information on these programs, however, has been failing to reach a specific demographic: pessimistic potential Illinois homebuyers who are completely unaware that such down payment assistance programs exist.

Enter Christine Ciana Calabrese, an ambitious new real estate broker with Keller Williams Preferred Realty of Orland Park, who has found a way to distribute this IHDA down payment assistance information to these new potential Illinois homebuyers through Facebook.

Calabrese, a recipient herself of the IHDA Welcome Home Illinois program (now unavailable) became a realtor for the primary purpose of educating Illinois homebuyers of their financing options. "My first two realtors never said a word about these programs; it was my third realtor who introduced me to IHDA and taught me that not all lenders are the same. Some lenders don't deal with these down payment assistance programs at all. I was shocked."

So she had an idea: "I said I will just post my personal story on Facebook about receiving $10,500 in IHDA downpayment assistance, and how I was finally able to join the ranks of Illinois homebuyers myself, and I will watch the response." The response was overwhelming. "Hundreds of requests for information began pouring in. Some people started sharing sad stories, while others sent me blessings for spreading this information. It literally brought tears to my eyes."

The IHDA down payment assistance programs come with many attractive components for applicants with credit scores of 630 or better; for example, both the Welcome Home Heroes program (designed for veterans) and the Smart Move program offer thirty-year fixed mortgage rates with up to $10,000 in cash assistance to cover down payments. "That's huge" says Calabrese. "The majority of individuals I speak with (most originating from Facebook) simply don't have thousands in the bank but would otherwise qualify. As long as they have good credit on their side, this IHDA down payment assistance is definitely a game-changer."

"Being able to tell people that they really can purchase homes of their own, knowing that they never imagined that becoming Illinois homebuyers themselves could be a remote possibility, makes me love my job...and with the holidays right around the corner, bringing someone that kind of news, who could think of a better gift?"

For more information, please contact Christine Ciana Calabrese at or (708) 388-6140. HTTP:// For IHDA program specifics, please visit HTTP://

Christine Ciana Calabrese

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