In the summer of 2019, CBC Mortgage Agency conducted an industry-wide study among mortgage lenders to measure their perceptions and use of down payment assistance (DPA) with borrowers. The lender study captured the responses from 735 lenders who utilize Chenoa Fund DPA programs. The study will be released in a white paper entitled, “The State of Down Payment Assistance 2019.”
Lenders were given a choice of four answers to explain what percent of borrowers would not have been able to purchase a home without the Chenoa Fund. An overwhelming majority of lenders indicated that the borrowers who used Chenoa Fund DPA programs would not have been able to purchase a home.
Next, the lenders were asked why they chose to offer Chenoa Fund programs to borrowers. Chenoa Fund program was preferred among lenders because of its ability to better serve more borrowers because of the program’s unique features. When asked to elaborate, lenders identified several main features as to why Chenoa Fund offers a superior product:
- Ability to help more borrowers
- Flexible, common sense underwriting
- Standardization across the nation
- Better pricing for borrowers than State Housing programs.
Chenoa Fund has brought innovation and competition to the marketplace, bringing costs down to consumers, and even spurring innovation amongst state programs in improving their offerings.
Lenders were then asked who they felt would be affected most if they were not able to provide DPA options like Chenoa Fund to their borrowers.
Interestingly lenders felt that Chenoa Fund DPA programs were needed by borrowers from all races, with minorities ranking almost as high.
Lenders were asked to expand why certain borrowers were offered Chenoa Fund DPA Program. Fifty-eight percent of respondents, representing lenders from 45 states, took the opportunity to respond to the question. The lenders’ responses follow, grouped by category of said responses. The following is sampling of the responses that reflect the majority opinions of lenders in the study.
DPA serves borrowers who have difficulty saving for a down payment.
”Chenoa Fund provides a great program and offers an outstanding loan option for home buyers that are unable to provide a full down payment but able to afford a new home. This allows for home ownership for people who would otherwise have to rent and not provide a benefit to the communities nor themselves and their families. The program is a much better program than our local program offers such as CDA and MMP program.”-Scott Nortman
“Down payment is the biggest challenge my clients face. My clients have good jobs and have seen their income rise with the better economy but student loans and other debts continue to make it hard for them to save money to buy a home. Without programs like Chenoa Fund these people might have to wait years to become homeowners. Instead, they get a fair rate and payment and a chance to take advantage of the strong housing market.”—Jeffrey E Nunley
“Lots of borrowers are paying more in rent than they ever would pay for a mortgage. Due to bills, household expenses, and family obligations, many people do not have money set aside for down payment on a home. The Chenoa Fund has made this possible for many people and should not be ruled out as a source of funding for future home buyers.” —Tanisha Treadwell
“This program is extremely important because often we find people who will qualify for home loans but do not have funds to close: so, again, my clients make the income but cannot save enough money for down payment of a home, in which they deserve the American dream and will be able to have an equitable future for their children because it is the biggest investment that each citizen can and should have.” —Demetria Smith
DPA helps minorities and underserved communities in need of extra assistance.
“My minority clients work multiple low paying jobs and support their families while paying high rent; this DPA program allows them the opportunity to achieve the American Dream while building wealth for them and their families. Losing this program will financially hurt this segment of our population.” —Kathren J Rosales
“This program allowed a Mexican immigrant family who did not have access to other down payment assistance programs . . . They had been working and working, cleaning up credit, trying to build savings, everything they could do to get into a home, but the housing costs just kept creeping up, and every time they took one step forward, the market took them one step back. This niche program is designed to catch the people who are falling between the cracks of traditional down payment assistance, and allows them to get their foot in the door on properties instead of always playing catch up to a target advancing at the same rate.” —Michael Distad
DPA helps families, first-time homebuyers, blue-collar and single parents
“This program is never our first choice for a borrower who can qualify with any other loan program. However, there are a select few who just need assistance due to their need for a down payment. Some of these people include families who are paying more for rent than they would for a house payment and can’t save up for a down payment. Some of these borrowers have medical issues preventing them from building up a savings. There are many more reasons that this is a necessary option for people who would otherwise qualify but cannot save to own their own home. These are the people that we need to continue to help.” —Angela M Gerhardson
“There are customers that cannot catch a break. They finally start making enough money to consider purchase of a new home and then now they make too much and get penalized for getting a raise or job advancement, but due to the years of being underpaid, they have no chance to get ownership in a home. Without this program, they would be forced to continue to be home renters and would not be afforded the ability to own their first home. This is very important to them to get a chance to start to benefit from benefits of home ownership (which is obvious). Most of my clients that need this program have a little higher credit score (near 660 or 680) but they have no down payment and no way to bridge that gap.” —Brent W Powell
”This program is important to every single borrower it helps. We have used this product on a single borrower who not only needed it but deserved it. I have had many borrowers who we helped get into homeownership with the Chenoa Fund program, who start crying at closing because they never thought they could own their own home. Especially helping single mothers get into a home for their families, so they don’t have to move every year.” —Rebecca Skiles
“I was introduced to Chenoa Fund in 2018—this program has helped my business along with a lot of buyers that thought they could never buy. I stay in contact with the buyers to make sure they are making their payments on time and if having any issues—we all need to support the 1st time home buyer with giving them the ability to own a home. Most of my buyers were paying more in rent than what their new current mortgage payment is.” —Tammy Swift
“Many of my Chenoa Fund eligible borrowers are single mothers with children – eliminating this program will drastically hurt their chances of buying a home!” —Tony Carroll