Sunday, February 27, 2011

2011 Welcome Home Program

2011 Welcome Home Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How are funds reserved?

A. A homebuyer applies for a mortgage through one of the Federal Home Loan Bank of

Cincinnati’s (FHLBank) Members. The Member will then submit an online

Welcome Home Reservation Request, loan application, and pertinent income

documentation to the FHLBank. Funds are reserved on a first-come, first-served


Q. What is the maximum amount of grant funds a homebuyer and Member can


A. A homebuyer may receive Welcome Home grant funds up to $5,000 to be used for

down payment and closing costs. A Member may utilize a maximum of $200,000 for

the Welcome Home round.

Q. How long does it take to get an approval for a Reservation Request?

A. Please allow a minimum of four to six weeks from the time the Reservation Request

was submitted. If it has been more than four weeks and you have not received an

answer, please contact us via email at Please state the

homebuyer’s full name and the date you sent the request.

Q. If I put my name and contact information on the Reservation Request form, why

are the approval letters not coming to me?

A. Each Member may only have one contact person. We use the information on the first

Reservation Request received, unless instructed otherwise. If the Member wants a

particular person to be the contact, please let us know via email at

Q. Can Welcome Home funds be used in conjunction with other local, state, and

federal funding sources?

A. Yes. However, Welcome Home funds may not be used with an existing or future

award through the FHLBank’s competitive Affordable Housing Program (AHP).

Q. Where can I find the Mortgage Revenue Bond limit for my county?

A. The MRB income limits can be found on our website at or at the

State Housing Finance Agencies. Remember: Welcome Home income limits are

80% of the MRB income limits.

Q. How long do I have to close my loan?

A. All Welcome Home approvals are valid until December 1, 2011.

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Q. What if the property address changes or the grant amount needed changes after

I send in my Reservation Request or after I have received an approval letter?

A. A Reservation Request and approval are only valid for the property originally

submitted and the grant amount originally submitted. To make any changes, the

Member should withdraw the original Reservation Request and submit a new online

Reservation Request with the updated property address or requested grant amount.

The four to six week review period will begin again upon resubmission.

Q. Are non-occupant co-borrowers or co-signors permitted?

A. No. Welcome Home funds are intended to only assist homebuyers who qualify for

the first mortgage based on their current household income, not relying on others, and

not relying on any expected but uncertain change in job status or income.

Q. When and how are the grant funds disbursed?

A. The Welcome Home funds are disbursed to the Member after the loan has closed.

The Member must provide the funds to the borrower at time of closing and then send

an online Funding Request, a copy of the fully executed HUD-1, the final signed

Truth-in-Lending for all repayable mortgages, and a copy of the warranty deed

containing our 2011 retention language to the FHLBank. Please allow four to six

weeks for it to be reviewed and for funds to be disbursed.

Q. What if I do not need the whole amount I was approved for?

A. If you do not need the entire amount of the approved grant, you may apply the

difference to the first mortgage loan as a principal reduction. Be sure to show it on

the HUD-1. No cash back may be given to the homebuyer and no earnest money may

be returned!

Q. Why wasn’t my disbursement for the full amount I requested?

A. The HUD-1 may have shown payoff of debt, return of the earnest money deposit, or

cash back at closing. All of these issues will cause the grant disbursement to be


Q. Does the applicant have to be a first-time homebuyer?

A. No. However, at least one-third of Welcome Home funds must be reserved for firsttime


Q. Will the FHLBank send me confirmation that my fax or email was received?

A. No. It is the Member’s responsibility to set their fax machine or email to print a

confirmation. Do not call the FHLBank asking if your information was received

unless it has been at least four weeks since you sent it. A status report will be sent to

the Member contact every Friday.

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Q. Can the subject property be a manufactured home?

A. Yes. However, the manufactured home must be built on a permanent chassis,

installed on an FHA Title II permanent foundation system, be a multi-section home at

least 24 feet wide. Additionally, the home and lot must be taxable together as real

property and the home must be built to the Manufactured Home Construction and

Safety Standards (HUD Code). A copy of the appraisal is required at time of funds


Q. Are tax returns required to document total household income?

A. Depends. If income is from employment, we require two consecutive YTD pay stubs

or a completed Verification of Employment. If income is from self-employment, we

require the most recent two years’ signed federal tax returns. More information on

documenting income can be found in our Welcome Home Guide, which is available

on our website at

Q. Can the Member close their loan with a repair escrow?

A. Yes. However, if the repair escrow is greater than $500 and is held from the buyer’s

funds, the Member must obtain pre-approval from the FHLBank. The Member

should send the FHLBank a copy of the appraisal showing all repairs were required

and the estimated amount of the repairs. The FHLBank staff will review the request

and email the Member contact with a response. Note: We expect the Member or

their closing agent to hold the escrowed funds and to disburse them upon presentation

of acceptable receipts and/or invoices. If the repair escrow is held from the seller, no

pre-approval or documentation is required.

Q. What documentation does the FHLBank need to prove the escrowed repairs

have been completed?

A. The Member must submit an inspection showing all repairs have been made, copies

of invoices and/or receipts showing all parties were paid, and proof no funds were

returned to the homebuyer.

Q. What should I do if the homebuyer did not spend/use all of the escrowed funds?

Can they have cash back?

A. If all escrowed funds are not used, the balance should be applied to the first mortgage

as a principal reduction. However, if the HUD-1 clearly shows that the homebuyer

used their own funds to set up the repair escrow account, and they did not use all

those funds, they may have their remaining funds back as long as they have the

minimum $500 in the transaction. If the HUD-1 shows the homebuyer only had the

minimum $500 in the transaction, and they did not use all of the escrowed funds, the

balance must be applied to the first mortgage as a principal reduction or the Welcome

Home grant will be reduced.

Q. Where can I find the complete description and requirements for the Welcome

Home Program?

A. The 2011 Welcome Home Guide is available on our website at

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