This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Jason Accola
Wintrust Mortgage

For more information about the Welcome Home Illinois program:

Homeowner Tips

Start with mortgage prequalification.
Don’t fall in love with the home of your dreams before first knowing what you’re prequalified for — everything from purchase price and property type to loan type and property taxes need to be considerations to ensure you can make your monthly payments.

Do your homework and see if you qualify for down payment assistance.
The Welcome Home Illinois home loan program jump-starts the planning and shopping process, and offers incentive, providing $7,500 in down payment assistance and below-market rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage.

Make a budget and stick to it.

Consult a homeownership counselor.
Home buyers who undergo housing counseling see an average increase in borrowing power of more than $7,000.

Look at the big picture.