IHCDA COVID-19 update: A message from Jake

From Jake's Desk

IHCDA COVID-19 update: A message from Jake

Is it safe to buy a new home? This is a question we have heard from many Hoosiers in the market to purchase a home over the past few months. And the simple answer is: yes!

As you can imagine, given that the homebuying process usually involves face-to-face interactions, the way homes are being purchased has changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are a few things homebuyers should know when they are searching for a new home:

  • Open houses have changed – Most realtors have replaced open houses with virtual tours on their websites or via Facebook Live, Zoom and other video platforms.
  • Virtual tours are encouraged – Realtors are encouraging homebuyers to view virtual tours before they consider scheduling a private showing. Online tours are now more in-depth and not only show the inside and outside of a home, but also its neighborhood and surrounding areas.
  • Realtors are following COVID-19 guidelines during private showings – Realtors are adopting certain precautions and policies during private showings. This involves practicing social distancing and limiting viewings to one person at a time. Many realtors are providing hand sanitizer and disposable gloves, masks and foot-covers to protect themselves and potential homebuyers from the spread of COVID-19.
  • You are responsible for your own social distancing – While realtors, guided by the state and national associations, are taking all necessary precautions to keep you safe, you are still responsible for your own social distancing. Remember to set your own boundaries and communicate these to your realtor before scheduling a private showing.
  • Other parts of the homebuying process are being done electronically – Almost all other parts of the homebuying process are now being done electronically. Homebuyers can expect pre-approvals, loan applications, disclosures and even purchase agreements to be available online.
  • Closings may look different depending on the closing company – Some closing companies are conducting closings remotely while others have returned to doing them in person. Companies conducting closings in person are asking buyers and sellers to be in two separate rooms, or at least spaced six feet apart.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a great time to buy a home. And, at the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) we want to help you do so. We offer programs that assist Hoosiers with making down payments, getting low interest rate loans and offering a tax credit. In every county across Indiana, there are lenders on hand to help with all the programs we offer.

Last week we introduced our new First Place Program. This program provides homebuyers with up to 6% in down payment assistance based on the purchase price of a home. That means that on a $170,000 loan an individual could receive over $10,000 to put towards a down payment!

This program is available for first-time homebuyers, veterans and individuals purchasing a home within a qualified census tract. For more information about the First Place Program, and other IHCDA homebuyer programs, please click here.

Whether you are in the market to purchase a new home, or looking for a new apartment, I ask that you please continue following guidance from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure the safety of you and others. Remember, we’re #INthistogether.


J. Jacob Sipe
Executive Director

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