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The Short List: Todd Probasco on Down Payment Assistance Programs in Illinois

by Chicago Agent

todd-probasco

Todd Probasco is a regional manager with American Financial Network, Inc.

Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Todd Probasco, the regional manager for American Financial Network, Inc.

In today’s real estate market, first-time homebuyers make up a large percentage of the total buyer population, but we find few of them know about the down payment assistance programs that are available.

Down payment assistance can help many first-ime home buyers get into their home, and make the process easier and more affordable. The key for real estate brokers and buyers is to become educated on the programs that are available, and reach out to a qualified lender for information and qualifications.

To help first-time homebuyers, Illinois has a great program called “1st HomeIllinois,” which assists buyers with their down payment. In Boone, Cook, DeKalb, Fulton, Kane, Marion, McHenry, St. Clair, Will or Winnebago counties, buyers can get $7,500 in down payment assistance with a competitive interest rate for a secure, 30-year fixed rate mortgage; the 1STHomeIllinois program is tailored for first-time homebuyers, veterans or anyone who has not owned a home in the last three years.

Here is what 1STHomeIllinois offers:

  • $7,500 cash assistance for down payment and closing costs
  • 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with a competitive interest rate
  • Choice of FHA, VA, USDA or conventional loan type

And here are the requirements for the program:

  • Must be purchasing a one- or two-unit property in Boone, Cook, DeKalb, Fulton, Kane, Marion, McHenry, St. Clair, Will or Winnebago counties
  • First-time homebuyer or anyone who has not owned a home in the last three years (veterans are exempt) in one of the above 10 counties
  • Contribute $1,000 or 1 percent of the purchase price, whichever is greater
  • Meet the income and purchase price limits
  • Meet the credit requirements
  • Live in the home as primary residence
  • Complete homeownership counseling (online and in-person options available)
  • Property must be an existing residential dwelling (new construction excluded)

Buyers need to contact a qualified IHDA participating lender, and they will guide you through the process.


Todd Probasco is a regional manager and mortgage banker at American Financial Network. With more than 16 years in the mortgage business as a high volume producer, coach and industry leader, Todd’s strengths include communication, marketing, sales, recruiting, profitability, leadership and team building.

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