Walker Signs Law Helping First Time Homeowners
Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday signed into law a measure that could help thousands of first-time homeowners in Wisconsin get lower rates on their WHEDA mortgages.
WHEDA, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, provides support for first- time, low-income home buyers.
“This bill…provides those homeowners an economic option that can lower their monthly payments, give them extra disposable income, help them build equity faster, achieve better credit scores and pay off their mortgages sooner,” Walker said in a statement.
Not all WHEDA borrowers will be eligible for the lower rates. They’ll need to have earned at least 3 percent equity in their homes and meet some other program criteria.
Often working with community banks, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority helps qualified borrowers get low-cost, fixed-rate mortgages on their first homes. People who haven’t owned a home for at least three years also are eligible, if they have good jobs and decent credit ratings.
But state law — not anticipating the record and near-record lows that mortgage rates would fall to following the housing crash — had prevented most WHEDA loans from being refinanced, basically to preserve agency funds for more new mortgages.
Under the new law, the program to accomplish the refinancings will be called the WHEDA Refi Advantange. Details are available here.