Keeping Your Savings Saved

Dirk Swift
Program Director, Home Plus



Homebuyers are holding on to their savings when buying new homes by using down payments assistance programs.

The HOME Plus home buyer down payment assistance program was created to provide a pathway to homeownership by offering creditworthy buyers down payment and closing cost assistance. Over the past two years, over 11,000 Arizonians have used HOME Plus assistance for the down payment and or closing costs to purchase their new home, and that number is growing!

A new trend, however, has emerged. More and more HOME Plus homebuyers are choosing to keep their money in savings, retirement, or investment accounts, and use HOME Plus assistance for a down payment and/or closing costs

Whether you are a follower of Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, Warren Buffett, Jim Cramer, or any other financial expert, ALL of them advocate that you should maintain some form of cash reserves or liquidity. Most financial planning experts recommend a fully-funded emergency account of two to six months of expenses. It is for this reason that the HOME Plus program does not have an asset test as part of our program qualifications. Program participants do not have to prove they are short on funds to access HOME Plus assistance. In fact, we strongly believe a home buyer should still have money in the bank after purchasing their home.

• New research from the JP Morgan Chase Institute found homebuyers who retain liquidity reduce the risk of mortgage default because they have money available to meet emergencies. Mortgage default closely followed a loss of liquidity, i.e. limited savings regardless of the homeowner’s equity, income level, or monthly debt levels.(1)

Read full article at: use_down_payment_assistance/

• Additionally, the current COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding negative economic impact have further highlighted the need to have money in the bank. The typical American household has an average of $8,863 in purely liquid savings, not including retirement funds or other investments. That figure drops by more than 50% for those 34 years of age and younger.

A Home Buyer Survey conducted by revealed nearly one out of three Millennial home buyers plan to augment their savings with down payment assistance. By combining their funds with down payment assistance, these home buyers are expanding their home buying options for the following reasons:

  1. Those combined funds improve the home buyers purchasing power.
  2. With more money for a down payment, the home buyer can obtain a smaller mortgage and thus a lower monthly mortgage payment.
  3. The homebuyer can use the down payment assistance for the purchase requirements and retain their funds for improvements or upgrades to the home after closing. An alternative to FHA 203k loans and FNMA Homestyle Renovation Loans.

So, before your buyer dips into their emergency fund, taps their retirement account, or reaches out to a relative for money, have them look at the HOME Plus homebuyer down payment assistance program. By allowing homebuyers to keep their money, use our assistance funds, or even a combination of both, further promotes home ownership affordability. We support sustainable homeownership.


HOME Plus is available in every Arizona County, City, Zip.

No taxpayer dollars are used to fund this program.

Program is continually funded without a sunset date.

Streamlined process = no added delays for the buyer or seller.

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The HOME Plus program is a true public / private sector partnership. We raise funds in the national capital markets and form partnerships with lending institutions to deliver the HOME Plus program throughout the State. No taxpayer funds are used for the HOME Plus program. The HOME Plus program is administered by the Arizona Industrial Development Authority (AzIDA), a political subdivision of the Arizona Finance Authority and the State of Arizona.