Six Steps to a WHEDA Loan
Becoming a new homeowner is a huge milestone that many people hope to celebrate one day. It’s an exciting time that is often years in the making. For some, this dream may feel nearly impossible due to their financial situation or uncertainty on the homebuying process itself. Because the fundamental process to homeownership can be challenging, WHEDA is here to assist. Since its beginning, WHEDA has prioritized helping people access safe, affordable housing, and that continues to be WHEDA’s primary mission today.
Buying a home comes with many benefits. It is a smart long-term investment that allows owners to build equity and financial wealth. People may decide to switch from renting to owning for many reasons including: wanting to make an investment, having more privacy, and putting down roots in a community. There are also tax advantages associated with owning a home that one can’t receive through renting. On the flip side, owning a home can pose some challenges such as high upfront costs, regular maintenance, and less mobility. The good news is that a WHEDA loan can help cover closing costs and home repairs, giving people a head start as new homeowners.
If any of these ownership perks resonate with you, it may be time to consider buying a home. WHEDA has many resources available to assist. Continue reading to learn more about WHEDA's affordable mortgage options.
WHEDA recommends that potential borrowers follow Six Steps when considering applying for a WHEDA home loan. This process has been proven successful and has helped over 137,800 families buy homes.
Step 1 – Manage Your Money
The first step when looking to buy a home is to take inventory of your finances. It’s important to have a clear idea of where you stand, but a lot goes into this process so it may take time. Begin with knowing and understanding your credit score. You are entitled to a free credit report once every twelve months.
If necessary, work to improve your credit score. You can start by making regular on-time payments; opening a checking or savings account; applying for credit gradually; not taking on more debt than you can afford; and working toward paying down outstanding debt balances.
During this process, you should also review your monthly expenses to see how much you’re spending and evaluate where money can be saved. You should know exactly where your money is going in order to create a budget and stick to it. Managing and saving money is a crucial life skill that becomes especially important when looking to make a larger purchase such as a home.
Step 2 – Find a WHEDA Lender
It’s important to find a mortgage lender that will offer their expertise and guide you through the homebuying process in addition to giving you the best rate. Like shopping for a pair of shoes, you need to find the right fit.
You can search for a lender through WHEDA’s statewide lenders. Once you have selected a lender, they will review your monthly income, credit history, and debt level to determine what type of WHEDA loan you may qualify for. Before your first lender meeting, use WHEDA’s What to bring to your Initial lender meeting document to help prepare.
Step 3 – Available Mortgage Programs
WHEDA currently offers several different mortgage products. Visit our Available Programs page for a full list of mortgage programs.
Step 4 – Home Buyer Education
First-time home buyers are required to take an approved home buyer education class to ensure they are fully prepared for homeownership. In these courses, one can expect to learn about the buying process, financing options, and being a responsible homeowner.
- WHEDA accepts education from the following providers:
An approved landlord education class is required for those who are purchasing a two-to-four-unit property. At least one borrower must complete this training.
- Acceptable WHEDA approved sources of landlord education include:
It’s important to check with your lender on which type of education you will need. Both home buyer education and landlord education must be completed prior to purchasing a home with a WHEDA mortgage and are good for up to 12 months before the application date.
Step 5 – Shop for Your Home
Once you have completed your required education and are preapproved, it’s time to begin your home search!
First, use the Home Buyer Checklist to list all of your needs before you start actually looking at homes. This can help you keep track of how each property you tour matches up to your list. Then create a needs vs. wants list.
Next, search the Find a REALTOR database to find a real estate agent near you who can help identify the right home that will match your needs. A real estate agent will set up showings; provide market analyses for competing and sold listings; prepare offers; and handle negotiations on properties.
Once you find your home, use WHEDA’s Loan Closing Documents tool to assist you in the closing process. Make sure you understand the documents that you’re signing. Ask questions if a document is not clear to you. It’s also important to stay on top of deadlines in order to obtain a loan and complete the purchase of your home.
Step 6 – Become a Homeowner
Once the closing is finalized, you are officially a homeowner! Purchasing a home with a WHEDA mortgage makes you a part of our community where you have access to other WHEDA homeowner benefits. Review these Homeownership Tips for some immediate information to assist you. In addition, go through the Preventive Maintenance Checklist to make sure you’re keeping your new investment in tip-top shape.
Here are some resources available for WHEDA homeowners:
WHEDA is a leading Housing Finance Authority (HFA) and seeks to support Wisconsin residents through every step of their homebuying journey. We look forward to working with you and celebrating the closing of your new home with the help of a WHEDA loan.
Read some of our single-family success stories here:
(Updated June 29, 2022)