Wisconsin First Time House Patrons: Packages and Grants for 2021

Things to Know About Buying a Home in Wisconsin

First time home buyers in Wisconsin have a head start over buyers in several other states. Both home prices and home price inflation are well below the national average.

Of course, saving for your down payment and getting a home loan can still be a challenge. But Wisconsin has programs that help.

Badger State offers specialty mortgages and training to first-time Wisconsin buyers. And it has several deposit support programs that can help meet your deposit and closing cost needs.

Check your eligibility to buy a home in Wisconsin. Start here (25.11.2021)

In this article (continue to …)

Wisconsin Homebuyer Overview

The average home price in Wisconsin was $ 245,000 as of September 2021, according to the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

That was an increase of $ 229,900 in September 2020. And it was a 6.6% increase, which was much lower than the national average of 18% over the same period.

Of course, this is great news if this is your first time buying a Wisconsin home. Because lower house price inflation makes it easier to save for a down payment.

But some buyers will still be short of cash. This is where Wisconsin's first-time buyer programs can help.

Wisconsin Home Buyer Summary

Average house sale price in WI
$ 245,000

Minimum deposit in WI (3%)
$ 7,350

20% deposit in WI
$ 49,000

Average credit score in WI1

Maximum buyer of State Home WI2
A loan of up to 6% of the purchase price of the house, available nationwide

Down payment amounts are based on the last available average home sale price in the state. A “minimum” down payment is assumed to be 3% less than a traditional mortgage with a minimum credit of 620.

If you are eligible for a VA loan (supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs) or a USDA loan (supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture), you may not require a down payment at all.

Check your eligibility to buy a home in Wisconsin. Start here (25.11.2021)

Initial Loans for Home Buyers in Wisconsin

If this is your first time buying a Wisconsin home with a 20% down payment, you can get a conventional loan with a low interest rate. And you never have to pay for personal mortgage insurance (PMI).

Of course, only a few first-time buyers have saved enough for 20 percent. But the good news is you don't need that much. By far not.

Borrowers can often move into a new home at as little as 3% or even 0% using one of these low down payment mortgage programs:

Conventional 97 – From Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. 3% deposit and a minimum of 620 credits. You can usually stop paying mortgage insurance after a few yearsFHA loan – Supported by the Federal Housing Administration. Down 3.5% and a credit score of at least 580. But you're usually on the hook for mortgage insurance until you refinance, move to another type of mortgage, or pay off your loanVA loan – For veterans, active members of the military, reservists and National Guard only. A zero deposit is required. The minimum credit score varies by lender, but is often 620. No ongoing mortgage insurance upon completion. These are arguably the best mortgages available. So apply when you are eligibleUSDA loan – For people with low to middle income who shop in designated rural areas. Zero deposit required. The creditworthiness requirements vary depending on the lender, but are often 640. Low mortgage insurance ratesWHEDA loan – May include competitive interest rates and can be used with down payment assistance. More information below

Note that most of these programs require you to purchase a primary residence. This is a home that you will live in full time, not a vacation home or investment.

Depending on the mortgage loan you choose, you may be able to get into your new home with minimal cash out of your pocket.

With these programs, you can even use free cash or Down Payment Assistance (DPA) to help cover down payment and closing costs.

If you are unsure which program to choose for your first mortgage loan, your lender can help you find the right deal based on your finances and your home purchase goals.

Find the best first-time buyer loan for you (November 25, 2021)

Wisconsin Programs for First Time Home Buyers

The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) has two main types of mortgages:

WHEDA advantage conventional – A kind of conventional mortgage that follows Fannie Mae's rules. Minimum creditworthiness 620WHEDA advantage FHA – A mortgage secured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Minimum creditworthiness 640

You can compare the two loans side by side on the WHEDA website to see which loan suits you better. And if you are eligible for down payment assistance, both loans may be available with no down payment. There is also a renovation program in place if you are looking to buy a home that needs renovation.

Note that you must select a mortgage lender from a list approved by WHEDA.

You must also complete a homebuyer training course to qualify. And you need to live in the home for the duration of the mortgage so that this is not an opportunity for landlords or vacation home buyers.

If you are looking to buy a home in any of the 15 counties that make up the Wisconsin rural destination, you may get a lower mortgage rate. Read the WHEDA flyer on these areas.

WHEDA regularly hosts online webinars for first time home buyers in Wisconsin. And these could be a great opportunity for you to learn more and ask questions. So check out when the next one is scheduled. It promises: "If you never thought you could become a homeowner, you definitely can – and WHEDA can show you how!"

Grants for First Time Home Buyers in Wisconsin

WHEDA does not offer any scholarships. Instead, it makes loans to eligible borrowers through two Down Payment Assistance (DPA) programs.

WHEDA Easy Close DPA – Gives you between 1,000 and 6% of the purchase price of your next home. It is a 10-year fixed-rate second mortgage that you repay in equal monthly installments. The interest rate on this loan is the same as on your first (main) mortgage. You can use this DPA with WHEDA's conventional or FHA loansWHEDA Capital Access DPA – Allows you to borrow between $ 3,050 and 3% of the purchase price of the home. But it's a silent 30 year loan with a 0% interest rate and no monthly payments. You pay back the borrowed amount when you move out, sell the house, refinance, pay off your mortgage, whichever comes first

One of these nationwide DPA programs from WHEDA might turn out to be your best bet. But do not register until you have checked whether your city, district or city offers its own program.

Below are some links and you can do an internet search: "Deposit help in (your city or county)." One of them may be even better.

Check your eligibility to buy a home in Wisconsin. Start here (25.11.2021)

Buy a home in major Wisconsin cities

Milwaukee and Madison both saw moderate house price inflation between September 2020 and the same month in 2021. But, unfortunately, this was not the case for Green Bay. Prices rose a shocking 18.9%.

However, if you're a first-time Wisconsin home buyer looking to buy in one of Badger State's three largest cities, you may need help with your down payment. So take heart!

First time home buyer in Milwaukee

The average list price in Milwaukee was $ 169,500 as of September 2021, according to That was 6% more than in the previous year.

At this average price, your down payment options may be between:

$ 5,100 for 3% deposit$ 33,900 for 20% deposit

Housing Resources Inc. lists several deposit support programs that are available to Milwaukee residents. Some are restricted to the city's current residents, while others may be open to anyone looking to shop there.

All or most of them have income limits and are primarily intended for those with low or middle incomes.

For example, a program is "provided by the City of Milwaukee (and) provides futile grants of $ 5,000 for a purchase in the City of Milwaukee or $ 7,000 for shopping in the Community Development Block grant area …" Provided you stay for. This loan is granted at home for five years.

Madison first time home buyer

The average list price in Madison was $ 332,700 as of September 2021, according to That was 7.3% more than in the previous year.

At this average price, your down payment options may be between:

$ 9,980 for 3% deposit$ 66,540 for 20% deposit

The City of Madison has a DPA program that offers eligible borrowers up to $ 20,000. Income caps vary based on household size, but you will need a modest or moderate income. Your first mortgage must be for 30 years and you must bring in 1% of the purchase price from your own resources.

This is a loan and you will need to repay it on "sale, cash out refinance for anything other than home improvements, the property is being transferred or is no longer the home buyer's primary residence". So in a way it is similar to WHEDA's offer.

But there is one important difference. You may need to repay the amount borrowed plus a “proportional share of the appreciation related to the percentage of assistance provided by the city”. In other words, the city may want a share of the amount that your home has increased in value since you bought it.

First time home buyer in Green Bay

The average list price in Green Bay was $ 219,900 as of September 2021, according to That was 18.9% more than in the previous year.

At this average price, your down payment options may be between:

$ 6,600 for 3% deposit$ 43,980 for 20% deposit

NeighborWorks Green Bay has a DPA program that offers first-time buyers loans that "typically range from $ 3,000 to $ 8,000."

Like others we've covered in Wisconsin, this DPA must be paid back when you no longer own or when you refinance or repay your home mortgage. And as always, there are various admission criteria and conditions that must be met. So click the link for details.

Where to Find Home Buying Help in Wisconsin

All of the organizations listed above should provide free advice to any first time home buyer in or near the Wisconsin area.

In addition to our selections, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers some lists for statewide, regional, and local resources:

State and Regional Resources for First Time Home Buyers in Wisconsin:

First-time home buyer programs by city / town:

What are the mortgage rates in Wisconsin today?

Here you can see the latest live mortgage rates in Wisconsin.

When you're ready to start buying your home, make sure to get personalized rate quotes from at least three mortgage lenders.

Don't just look at the advertised prices online; Indeed, apply for pre-approval and compare the interest rates and fees that are offered to you. This is the only way you can be sure that you are getting the best possible offer for your new home loan.

Confirm your new plan (November 25, 2021)

1 Source: 2021 study on 2020 data

2Based on a review of available state DPA grants at the time of this writing

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