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Zillow Adds Down-Payment Assistance Info To Listings

David Krechevsky
Dec 16, 2021
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New partnership with Down Payment Resource highlights assistance programs on listings, which analysis shows can provide an estimated benefit of nearly $17,000.

Zillow has announced a partnership with Down Payment Resource to help home shoppers find down-payment assistance programs that can make it easier to buy a home, especially for first-timers.

Home listings on Zillow now include information about the number of down-payment assistance programs potentially available to buyers searching for homes on its platform, Zillow said. Home shoppers can input basic information that is run through Down Payment Resource's database, which then provides a list of potentially available programs, the company said. Buyers will see a specific maximum amount of assistance offered and links to for more information. The feature can be found on all of Zillow's eligible for-sale listings nationwide.

"We want everyone to have access to resources that can help overcome common barriers to homeownership, like the difficulty of saving for a down payment, which is especially challenging within underrepresented communities," said Grace Chung, Zillow's director of social impact. "Down-payment assistance programs provide a viable pathway to homeownership, which can help build generational wealth and economic opportunity for many that may not have been able to imagine it for themselves. Information is power, and Zillow is proud to partner with Down Payment Resource to shed more light on these important programs."

Over the past year, skyrocketing home prices have made it harder for potential buyers to save for a down payment. In Zillow surveys, two-thirds of buyers considered affording the down payment as a barrier to homeownership, the company said. First-time buyers can expect to spend a year longer saving a down payment than they would have needed five years ago, Zillow said.

Many home buyers may not be aware of the programs that could help them with their down payment, closing costs, or taxes. All 3,143 U.S. counties have at least one down-payment assistance program, and more than 2,000 counties have 10 or more available programs. According to an analysis conducted by Down Payment Resource, the estimated average benefit of a down-payment assistance program is approximately $17,000.

"Millions of people may be more qualified to buy a home than they realize, and partnering with Zillow is a great opportunity to help guide these individuals from dreaming to reality," said Rob Chrane, CEO and founder of Down Payment Resource. "We've worked for many years to curate the most expansive list of affordable homeownership resources available. Nearly every community is served by some type of assistance program, and it's our mission to get this information into the hands of those that need it."

The down-payment assistance feature was developed and launched by Zillow's Social Impact Product team, a group of engineers and product managers dedicated to creating positive change in the housing marketplace, the company said.

Down Payment Resource provides current information about down-payment assistance and other affordable lending programs. The company tracks more than 2,200 programs nationwide, of which more than 73% specifically support down-payment or closing-cost assistance. Many of these programs vary by location and are often offered by state, county, or city governments.

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