Real Estate Professionals
How can real estate agents partner with Montana Housing to help people buy homes?
Montana Housing welcomes many opportunities to partner with the real estate community - through our Homeownership Program, which helps people buy homes, our continuing education classes, and our ongoing communication with professionals in the real estate community. Montana Housing offers three general types of homeownership programs to help finance loans for low and moderate-income borrowers.
Regular Mortgage Bond Program
The Regular Mortgage Bond Program offers an interest rate lower than the market rate, which makes your client's purchasing power go farther. Montana Housing also limits fees lenders can charge and provides a 1% "grant" to the borrower by paying 1% to the lender to cover part of the fee.
Mortgage Credit Certificate Program
The Mortgage Credit Certificate Program provides eligible homebuyers with the opportunity to buy a home by keeping more money in their pockets each month. An MCC reduces the amount of federal income tax homeowners' pay, giving them more money to use toward their mortgage. Under this program, a homebuyer selects any loan other than a Montana Housing loan, and attaches a federal income tax credit to their loan. Lenders can use this tax credit to help qualify the buyer for the loan. It is important to remember that this is a tax credit and not a loan.
The Set-aside Program is designed to help buyers who don't qualify under either of the other two programs. Many times, these buyers can afford a monthly payment, but are struggling to save their down payment and closing costs. Or, they face an "affordability gap", the difference between what they can afford to purchase, and what homes in their area actually cost. In this program, Montana Housing partners with cities, counties, non-profits, and others resources to complete a purchase. The homebuyer takes out a loan from Montana Housing for as much as they qualify, and the non-profit steps in with the balance. This difference can be as little as $1,500, or as much as $45,000, depending on the location in the state, and the needs of the buyer. Also Montana Housing pays the lender fees, further reducing the amount that the buyer needs to close.
Requirements for Homeownership Programs:
Each of these programs has requirements that must be met for both the buyer and the property. Sponsors on the Set-aside Program set their income limits usually at or below 80% of area median income. Terms and Conditions for the various Set-asides can be found at Special Programs Descriptions.
Montana Housing generally requires approved Home Buyer Education for their clients in order to qualify for the down payment and closing cost assistance. Home Buyer Education classes are available statewide through a network called the Montana HomeOwnership Network. The schedule of upcoming classes can be found on their website,or by calling 1.800.318.0268.
Continuing Education Credit for Real Estate Agents:
Montana Housing also offers continuing education classes, in the mandatory topic of Finance, to help real estate agents understand the details of the various programs. Montana Housingdoes not charge a fee for these classes. If your organization would like to schedule a class, please go to our staff page for more information.
About Montana Housing:
Montana Housing is a state agency, but does not receive any state or federal funding, and is solely funded by the private sector. Montana Housing sells tax-exempt bonds, and uses the proceeds of these bond sales to provide loan funds for people to buy homes. The governor appoints board members. The board meetings are held monthly, and are open to the public. During summer months, the board takes the meetings to various locations across the state. The board always welcomes input from real estate agents, lenders, and others concerning the direction and scope of programs. Please call 406.841.2840 or toll free 800.761.6264 or TDD 841.2702/855.859.7262 for location and time of next board meeting.