How to Buy Your First Home in 2012 If you are thinking about purchasing your first home – you might be interested to learn about a grant totaling $15,000 that was recently awarded to Decorah Bank & Trust Company by Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Des Moines. The grant, which is effective March 15, 2012, is part of FHLB Des Moines Rural Homeownership Fund (RHF) that supports homeownership opportunities for families and individuals in rural communities. “The biggest obstacle that prevents people from becoming a homeowner is usually the down payment and closing costs,” comments Mike Huinker, Mortgage Lender at Decorah Bank. He continues, “By applying for and receiving this grant, Decorah Bank will be able to help first-time homebuyers in Winneshiek and Howard Counties”. First-time homebuyer is defined as someone whom hasn’t owned a home for the past three years. By participating in RHF, Decorah Bank will distribute fifteen awards at $1,000 to each eligible homebuyer on a first-come, first-serve basis. Huinker continues, “We’re excited to offer this program as it also allows an opportunity for qualified individuals and families to participate in financial literacy education. Once guidelines are met, they can purchase a home and use the funds to help them with the down payment, closing cost, or rehabilitation of the property they want to purchase”. If you are interested in learning about applicant requirements when purchasing a home using the Rural Homeownership Fund grant, contact a Mortgage Lender at Decorah Bank &Trust at (563) 382-0091.