Desoto County is located in the northwest corner of the state of Mississippi. It is one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. The primary reason for the rapid growth is suburban development resulting from the middle class leaving Memphis to acquire new homes. Most homeowners in Desoto Country commute to Memphis for work.

If you’ve been dreaming of owning a home in Desoto County, it will now be easier for you to realize your dream. This is thanks to the recently-enacted Mississippi First-Time Homebuyer program. The program is designed to help the residents of the state to recognize their homeownership dreams.

It is meant for Mississippians who have never bought, owned, or partially owned a house anywhere in Mississippi or any other U.S. state.  Owning your own home comes with many benefits, including financial stability via equity buildup, privacy by not having to share walls, and building community networks.

How Does First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account Work?

As the name suggests, a First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account is a savings account for those looking to purchase their first home. It provides tax reprieve for individual savers up to $2,500 annually and up to $5,000 annually for couples. Below are the basic things you need to know about this account:

  • To be eligible, you must be a Mississippi resident who has never bought, owned, or partly owned a house in any part of the country. You’re also allowed to open and save in an account for your children or grandchildren.
  • You can open an account at any financial institution authorized to operate in Mississippi. There is no limit on how much you can save towards purchasing your first house. You have the option of opening either a cash deposit or a money market account.
  • There’s no limit to how long your account can remain open. Your account can remain active year after year until you are ready to purchase your first home in Mississippi. This is true only for qualified first-time homebuyers.
  • You can use the savings to cover a down payment, loan origination costs, credit report fees, appraisal costs, flood certification, title and deed charges, and other closing costs of a settlement statement for a first-time, single-family home purchase.
  • Most single-family homes are eligible, including existing homes, newly-built homes, modular houses, manufactured homes, condominiums, and even mobile homes. 
  • You can’t use the funds for any purpose other than a first-time home purchase. Otherwise, the amount used will be taxed as gross income and may also be subject to a 10% penalty. The penalty can be waived if you die, become disabled, transfer the balance to another First-time Homebuyer Account, or disburse the balance as part of a bankruptcy filing.

Also worthy of note is that you can claim the account interest and dividends as an income tax deduction. If you want to contribute to a First-time Homebuyer Savings Account, or are ready to purchase your first home in Desoto County, consult with qualified real estate professionals like Time Couch for proper guidance.