Utah bill seeks to help first-time homebuyers

Feb 23, 2023, 7:05 PM | Updated: 8:56 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill making its way through the Utah Legislature would create a first-time homebuyer assistance program.

“In America, we believe in home ownership and in Utah, we believe in home ownership,” Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton said.

Adams is sponsoring SB240 which would create the assistance program using $50 million. The proposed funding is enough to help with the purchase of 2,500 homes in Utah.

Adams said that without assistance many families would not be able to make the jump into homeownership.

“We may be losing our middle class,” he said. “Most of people’s net worth is in their home. The security and stability, I think, economically and emotionally comes from property ownership.”

Under the program, those buying a home for the first time could get a loan up to $20,000 that could be used for the down payment, closing costs or to buy down the mortgage interest rate.

Homebuyer bill details


“It remains a lien on the house,” Adams explained. “So, if they happen to get a better rate or they want to refinance at some point in time it has to be paid back. Or if they sell the home it needs to be returned.”

To qualify for the loan, the home, condo, or townhome must be located in Utah and be new construction, or newly constructed but not yet inhabited, and priced under $450,000. The home must also be occupied by the owner upon purchase.

“The program assists families and individuals across the state get out of apartments and into homes while encouraging home builders to construct affordable housing,” Adams wrote in an opinion article for the Deseret News. “By doing this, we are helping address Utah’s housing shortage and providing an opportunity for families to build equity.”

SB240 passed the Senate Wednesday and now heads to the Utah House of Representatives for consideration.

Realtor Stephanie Grable said the program could help more first-time buyers enter the market who have been priced out by higher interest rates and higher home prices.

“Being able to buy down that rate to increase their purchasing power is going to be huge,” Grable said. She works with The Stern Team at Keller Williams.

While the details haven’t been finalized on how the proposed program would be administered, Grable said she likes the flexibility and that it helps first-time homebuyers keep crucial money in their pockets.

“Now we get them into the home they have money for repairs and they have money for furniture and they have money to start that life in this beautiful new home that they just purchased,” she said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Unaffordable Utah

FILE: A for sale sign is pictured in Salt Lake City on Thursday, July 15, 2021. (Kristin Murphy/Des...
Britt Johnson, KSLNewsRadio

Utah ranks 45th in the country for affordable housing

It’s no surprise that housing is expensive right now, but it’s that way everywhere, right? Wrong.
1 month ago
Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...
Ladd Egan

Unaffordable Utah: Shift your budget to combat inflation

After battling high inflation for nearly two years and a rollercoaster of gas prices, experts say it’s time for Utahns to make some budget shifts to survive the persistent higher prices.
1 month ago
Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...
Tamara Vaifanua

Tips to reduce your utility bills this winter

A lot of Utahns are shelling out more to keep their homes warm this winter -- about 17% more due to inflation.
2 months ago
Brenda White cookies...
Matt Gephardt

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Rent prices down nationwide but very high in Utah

All over the country, the cost of rent is finally starting to go down. But that is not the case here in Utah.
4 months ago
Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...
Ladd Egan

Unaffordable Utah: Keep the holiday magic alive without breaking the bank

From the Thanksgiving turkey to the presents under the tree, the holidays are expected to be more expensive this year.
5 months ago
Housing construction....
Ladd Egan

Unaffordable Utah: Mortgage rates climb again as buyers look for price reductions

Utah's housing market is whiplashing as last year's buying frenzy seems to have slowed down to signs of a recession.
6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Stack of old laptops with dark background...
PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
Utah bill seeks to help first-time homebuyers