The Citi HomeRun Mortgage Program enables borrowers with low-to-moderate incomes to afford mortgages and buy homes. The HomeRun Mortgage Program enables eligible borrowers to buy a home with a down payment as low as 3.0% of the property purchase price for a single family home, 5.0% for a condo or co-op and 10% for a two unit property. Unlike other low or no down payment mortgage programs, the HomeRun Program requires borrowers to make a minimum personal financial contribution of 1% toward their down payment for a single family home and 5% for a two unit home. The remaining portion of the down payment can come from a gift or down payment assistance program.
One of the key advantages of the Citi HomeRun Program is that borrowers are not required to pay an upfront or ongoing private mortgage insurance (PMI) fee, which reduces their closing costs and total monthly housing expense as compared to similar programs. By reducing the amount of funds borrowers are required to contribute when they purchase a home and making home loans more affordable, the Citi HomeRun Mortgage Program makes home ownership more attainable for borrowers with limited financial resources.
The Citi HomeRun Mortgage program competes with government-backed low / no down payment mortgage programs such as the FHA, VA and USDA programs as well as conventional low / no down payment programs such as the Bank of America Affordable Loan Solution, Chase DreaMaker Program, Wells Fargo yourFirst Mortgage and Fannie Mae Home Ready programs. Although similar to other programs, the Citi HomeRun Program requires a borrower financial contribution of 1% - 5%, depending on the property type, as compared to other programs that require no borrower financial contribution and enable borrowers to pay for 100% of their down payment through a gift or down payment grant. The HomeRun Program, however, offers market mortgage rates that are competitive to conventional programs and requires no PMI fees, which make it more affordable to buy a home. Be sure to review and understand multiple no or low down payment mortgage programs to find the one that best meets your needs.
Borrowers apply for and obtain a HomeRun Mortgage from Citibank. Citi administers the HomeRun Program and evaluates your eligibility for the program. Borrowers that qualify for the program are required to make a down payment of 3% of the property purchase price for a single family home as long as the loan amount is below the standard conforming loan limit ($548,250). For single family properties in higher cost areas with loan amounts between $548,250 and $822,375, you are required to make a down payment of 5%.
For condos or co-ops, borrowers are required to make a 5% down payment. For a two unit property, you are required to make a 10% down payment as long as your mortgage amount is below the standard conforming loan limit and a 15% down payment if your loan amount is between $548,250 and $822,375.
Although borrowers are required to make a minimum financial contribution of 1% for a single unit property, they can decide if they want to make the full down payment using their own funds or other sources. For example, for a single family home with a purchase price of $100,000, borrowers are required to make a minimum down payment of $3,000 (3%) and must contribute $1,000 (1%) from their own personal funds toward the down payment. Borrowers that do not have sufficient personal funds for the entire down payment on their own can combine the HomeRun Mortgage Program with a personal gift, employer program or down payment assistance grant to pay for the remainder of the down payment down payment and to help pay for closing costs.
Using a down payment grant or gift enables the home buyer to purchase the property with a lower personal financial contribution. For example, if a home buyer wants to purchase a $100,000 home, they could obtain a $97,000 HomeRun Mortgage from Citi, contribute $1,000 of their own funds toward the down payment and receive a $2,000 down payment grant to buy the home with a lower personal financial contribution. The buyer may also be able to qualify for closing cost assistance program to pay for all or part of his or her closing costs.
Down payment grants and closing cost assistance programs are typically offered by state and local housing agencies and commissions. Housing agencies and commissions are not-for-profit organizations that offer a range of home buyer assistance programs. Additionally, some companies also offer down payment assistance grants or loans for employees.
Home buyers seeking to use the Citi HomeRun Mortgage Program with a down payment or closing cost assistance program should apply for the program with Citi and also contact their local housing commission (or employer) to apply for the assistance program. In some cases, Citi may recommend specific housing agencies or organizations for borrowers to work with and the housing organization may provide additional resources to help guide borrowers through the home buying and mortgage processes. If you are interested in the Citi HomeRun Program, you should contact Citibank by calling, visiting the Citibank web site or going to a local branch.
We recommend that you compare terms including interest rate, closing costs and APR for a Citi HomeRun Mortgage to the terms for other low down payment loan programs. Contact multiple lenders in the table below to learn about the low down payment mortgage options they offer. Shopping lenders and loan programs is the best way to find the mortgage that is right for you.
We review the key Citi HomeRun qualification requirements below.
The minimum credit score required to qualify for a HomeRun Mortgage is 640. Please note that borrowers with lower credit credit scores pay a higher interest rate. Borrowers with higher credit scores may be able to qualify for a lower mortgage rate. The HomeRun Program permits non-traditional credit profiles for borrowers with limited or no credit history. In this case, instead of relying solely on your credit report and score, the lender uses your on-time payment history for items such as your rent and utility bills to establish your credit profile. According to program guidelines, borrowers with non-traditional credit profiles are required to make a 5% down payment.
Borrower Debt-to-Income Ratio
The program applies a maximum borrower debt-to-income ratio of 43- 45% to determine what size mortgage a borrower can afford. Your debt-to-income ratio represents the percentage of your monthly gross income that you spend on debt expenses including your mortgage, property taxes and insurance and other debt such as credit card, car and student loans. For example, if you earn $3,000 per month in gross income and Citi applies a debt-to-income ratio of 43%, you can spend $1,290 on monthly debt payments including your mortgage ($3,000 * 43% = $1,290). The higher the debt-to-income ratio, the higher the mortgage amount you qualify for. The debt-to-income ratio limit used by the HomeRun Mortgage Program is consistent with many other low or no down payment mortgage programs.
Please note that debt-to-income ratio used depends on several factors including your credit score, financial profile and how your loan is underwritten. Underwriting basically means how your loan application is reviewed and processed before your loan is approved. Depending on how your loan is underwritten as well as your personal and financial circumstances, the loan officer may apply a lower debt-to-income ratio. Borrowers should contact Citi to determine the specific debt-to-income ratio that applies to them.
Borrower Income Limit
The borrower’s income cannot exceed 80% of the area median income (AMI) for the county in which the property is located. You can use Freddie Mac’s Area Median Income Lookup Tool to determine the AMI for your area. Please note that the Wells Fargo yourFirst Mortgage Program, FHA and VA mortgage programs do not apply income limits and the Chase DreaMaker Mortgage Program applies a higher income limit.
Home Buyer Counseling Class
HomeRun Program applicants are required to take an eight hour home buyer counseling class. The class focuses on helping borrowers understand how mortgages work as well as the financial commitment required by owning a home. If you buy a two unit property you are also required to take a landlord training class.
First-Time and Repeat Home Buyers
The HomeRun Mortgage Program is available to both first-time and repeat home buyers, making the program accessible to more people.
Borrower Financial Reserves
The HomeRun program requires that borrowers hold at least two months of total monthly housing expense (mortgage payment plus property taxes and homeowners insurance plus homeowners association (HOA) fees, if applicable) as savings in reserve at the time their mortgage closes. For example, if your total monthly housing expense is $2,500, you would be required to have $5,000 in reserves when you mortgage closes and you may want to have more funds in savings as an additional financial cushion.
Borrower Employment History Requirement
Borrowers are required to have two years of continuous employment history to be eligible for the HomeRun Mortgage Program. Certain exceptions may be made for borrowers who recently graduated from college or graduate school as full-time education typically counts as employment history when you apply for a mortgage. This employment history requirement is consistent with other mortgage programs.
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The interest rate you pay depends on many factors including your credit score and loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. Borrowers with higher credit scores receive the program’s best interest rate while borrowers with lower credit scores and higher LTV ratios pay higher interest rates. For borrowers with higher credit scores, Citi offers a market interest rate for a HomeRun Mortgage that is competitive with other conventional low / no down payment programs but higher than the interest rate for a regular mortgage or for government-backed low and no down payment programs such as the FHA, VA and USDA mortgage programs.
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
The Citi HomeRun Mortgage Program does not require borrowers to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) which is a significant benefit to borrowers. Many other low or no down payment mortgage programs require borrowers to pay either an upfront or ongoing monthly (or both in some cases) mortgage insurance fee which is an additional expense on top of your mortgage closing costs and monthly payment. Although the Bank of America Affordable Loan Solution Program does not require PMI, the Chase DreaMaker, HomeReady, FHA, VA and USDA mortgage programs all require borrowers to pay some type of mortgage insurance fee which makes the Citi HomeRun Program attractive in comparison.
Borrowers are required to pay standard lender fees and closing costs with the Citi HomeRun Program. Borrowers using a down payment or closing cost assistance program may be required to pay a separate fee to the housing agency or commission to apply for that program.
Along with their mortgage payment, the HomeRun Program requires home buyers to pay property taxes and homeowners insurance into an impound account on a monthly basis. An impound account is a trust account controlled by the lender from which expenses such as taxes and insurance are paid when due. The impound account does not affect the amount of fees the borrower is required to pay for the mortgage.
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The HomeRun Mortgage Program only applies to thirty year fixed rate mortgages. Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) and interest only mortgages are not eligible for the program.
The maximum loan amount for a HomeRun Mortgage cannot exceed the conforming loan limit for the county in which the property is located. The conforming loan limit for a single family property is $548,250 in most counties and up to $822,375 in high cost areas. The conforming loan limit for a two unit property ranges from $702,000 to $1,053,000.
The HomeRun Mortgage Program applies to both home purchase mortgages and refinances, although cash-out refinances are not permitted according to program rules. Rate and term refinances are allowed which may enable you to reduce your mortgage rate or remove PMI from your current loan.
The HomeRun Program applies to owner-occupied, primary residences such as a single-family home, condominium or co-op as well as two-unit properties as long as the borrower occupies one of the units.
Related FREEandCLEAR Resources
"HomeRun Mortgage." Buy a Home. Citi, 2020. Web.About the author