A Place of Our OwnA mom and daughter receive the keys to their first home.

Krista Brenneman can’t describe how excited she was to get her first home in Cedar Rapids. It is a safe place, with a backyard, for her daughter Jaime to grow.

The home, rehabilitated since the floods of 2008, is practically new and offers an open floor plan, patio and of course, room for all of Jaime’s stuffed animals and toys. 

Krista and Jaime’s dream home may  not have been a reality without the Iowa Finance Authority’s FirstHome and FirstHome Plus programs, with affordable, fixed interest rates and down payment assistance. With a new home and room to play, these “girls just wanna have fun!”

Pride & Coming HomeA dad strums his guitar, while his daughter plays the violin, and his son watches them both.

Gabe Casciato appreciates the little moments he spends with his wife and growing family of three in the small Iowa town of Huxley. Enjoying time playing instruments, running around the backyard and pastoring the local church are the highlights.

Gabe didn’t always have so much time with his family, being a pastor of the military; Gabe spent years serving in Afghanistan. The love letters to his wife are the precious reminders of how much he thought about life back home.

Upon his safe return, however, it became quickly apparent that his growing family needed more space! Thanks to the Iowa Finance Authority’s Military Homeownership Assistance Program, the Casciato family was able to find a new home with room to grow.

Gabe attests that they wouldn’t have been able to make their dream a reality, without the down payment and closing cost assistance provided by the program. Now, each of the kids has their own space, and more importantly, time to spend with dad!

A Dream Come TrueNicole Pribyl stands with her lender and Realtor, excited about closing on her new home!

Nicole Pribyl is the proud, first-time homeowner of a home in Council Bluffs. She says it took her a long time to find the “perfect fit”. But once she found it, she couldn’t get it out of her mind, attesting that it has been worth the long wait. 

Her lender, Erin Trescott,  and Realtor, Therese Van Sorlen, knew Nicole was a prime candidate for homeownership and they set out to make her homeownership dreams come true! Utilizing the FirstHome and FirstHome Plus programs through the Iowa Finance Authority, they were able to secure a loan for Nicole and help her with down payment assistance.  

Nicole is excited about the possibilities that come with owning your first home, and enjoys decorating, porch sitting and doing yard work with her two American bulldogs. The fenced in back yard is probably her favorite amenity, now allowing her two companions to run and play.

The Perfect FitA woman stands laughing on her front porch.

Kim Ford had searched long and hard for the right house and she knew she had found the perfect fit when she happened upon a townhome on a quiet cul-de-sac. Plenty of space, a yard, a convenient location and definitely enough room for her granddaughter to spend the night!

All the amenities, plus being close to her granddaughter, made the decision easy for Kim. The house also had many opportunities  to decorate and to make her own. Between the apple-inspired kitchen to the cozy, creme living room, Kim turned the house into her perfect home.


Investing in the FutureSandra places a picture of her family on a shelf in her living room.

Sandra Jacinto is like most young professionals in their twenties. She just finished school, is beginning to pave her career path and enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Upon obtaining full-time employment, Sandra received some words of advice from her father regarding investing – do it while you’re young! Sandra took these words to heart and discovered that the perfect first step was to stop spending money on rent, and instead invest it in a property she could own and take care of.

Working with a local lender, she obtained affordable mortgage financing through the Iowa Finance Authority, as well as an entry cost assistance grant to assist with down payment and closing costs. To Sandra’s surprise and relief, this freed up her savings to spend on enhancements to a home! She’s now in a house of her own and working on making it home.

Sandra is proud of her first investment and the Iowa Finance Authority is proud to have played a part in making it a reality.