Missoula loan officer recognized for work in grant program for down payments

Julie Lapham

More than a dozen buyers in Missoula achieved home ownership last year thanks to Julie Lapham, who helped her clients access nearly $110,000 in combined down payments through a grant program managed by the Montana & Idaho Community Development Corporation.

For her work, Lapham earned the corporation’s Top Producer Award last year and received this year’s Realtor’s Choice Lender Award from the Missoula Organization of Realtors.

A 17-year veteran in the mortgage lending industry, Lapham has connected qualified clients with outside resources when they don’t have the cash needed for a down payment.

Last year, she helped clients access a combined total of $109,000 in down payments through the HomeNow $0 Down mortgage program, offered by the Montana & Idaho CDC.

“HomeNow has provided the missing link for many of my clients who qualify for a mortgage on every level except for the down payment,” said Lapham. “It’s an honor to receive this recognition and, more importantly, to see these clients become homeowners.

The HomeNow program is designed for borrowers who have steady income and decent credit, but lack the cash for a down payment. Buyers work with a participating mortgage lender to access the grant, which covers between 3 and 5 percent of the loan amount and can be used for down payment and closing costs.

Since the program’s inception in late 2016, Montana & Idaho CDC has provided more than $708,000 in down payment grants across Montana, supporting over $17 million in home purchases.

“Down payment funds are consistently cited as a main hurdle to home ownership,” said Dave Glaser, president of the Montana & Idaho CDC. “Lapham has helped hardworking Montanans overcome that hurdle and, in doing so, she has set them on a path to long-term financial stability.”