Ohio’s Affordable Housing Initiatives: Opportunities for Real Estate Agents

Blog, Housing Market, Resources

There’s help for first-time homebuyers in Ohio. New, exciting programs are available to help buyers with their down payments. These programs are just some of the most recent Ohio advocacy and policy changes that real estate agents need to share with their clients.

Challenges and Solutions Overview: The Need for Affordable Housing Programs for Homebuyers

Many of Ohio’s real estate markets (Toledo, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland) are expected to be highly competitive in 2024. From rising purchase costs to some of the highest mortgage rates in two decades, prospective buyers need some added support.

Here’s a look at the numbers. The median down payment on an Ohio home at the end of 2023 was 12.3% of the purchase price, or $15,064. However, the projected home value in Cleveland’s hot market for 2024 is $215,597, which means homeowners need to be prepared for a $26,500 down payment.

Coming up with this cash is difficult for many first-time homebuyers. Thankfully, new programs are in place to help renters save more for an Ohio home.

Recent Ohio Advocacy and Policy Changes for First-Time Homebuyers

As a real estate agent in Ohio, it’s important to be aware of programs and policy changes that affect buyers and sellers. Here are two programs you should consider sharing with people in your community.

Ohio Homebuyer Plus

Ohio Homebuyer Plus, launched at the beginning of 2024, is a savings program for Ohio residents 18 and older.

Customers in this program are able to deposit money with participating banks and credit unions and earn a higher interest rate – (currently 2.59% on top of the lender’s ordinary rate.) This interest rate changes every quarter.

Here are some of the important details of the program:

  • The savings account can only be used for a down payment or closing costs on a primary residence in Ohio.
  • The money must be used within five years of starting the account.
  • The account must maintain a minimum balance of $100 and a maximum of $100,000.

In addition, Ohio residents can deduct up to $5,000 of contributions to the Homebuyer Plus account, along with interest earned in the accounts, from their Ohio gross taxable income. Other people who contribute to the account (parents, grandparents) can also deduct up to $5,000 in contributions to the accounts from their state-taxable income.

Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance

While the Ohio Homebuyer Plus program is available to people of all income levels, the Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance program, administered by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, allows those on the lower income spectrum to uncover real estate investment potential.

Qualifying households may qualify for a loan equal to 2.5% or 5% of the purchase price for a down payment.

Buyers must make less than a certain amount and work with a participating lender. The loan is forgiven after seven years if buyers keep the home as their primary residence.

Becoming a Part of the Ohio Real Estate Industry

Are you excited by the Ohio real estate market? The first step to becoming an agent is to enroll in pre-licensing courses at Hondros College. We’ve licensed more local agents than any other Ohio real estate school. In fact, Hondros College is so confident that we can help you earn your Ohio real estate license that we offer the Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee. Pass your exam on the first try, or it’s on us.

If you are currently an agent looking to increase your real estate agent salary, consider earning your broker license with Hondros College. We also offer continuing education courses that will keep you updated on current programs available for new homeowners in Ohio.

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