SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– People looking to purchase their first home are now fighting with some difficult circumstances.

Despite the housing market woes, people in KELOLAND are still making home ownership a reality.

Setting the table in their own home has been a dream of newlyweds Zach and Jordyn Bouhamidi for nearly two years.

“The housing market right now it’s kind of crazy,” the Bouhamidis said. “To find a house on the right side of town and a house that obviously we like the layout of took some time.”

That’s because the inventory of homes available for sale is still very low, especially in a first-time home buyer’s price range.

“They have low interest rates from when they were so low a couple years ago, so they’re holding onto it and not upgrading like they used to,” Levo mortgage banker Tyana Viss said.

Today’s mortgage rates are up at least two percent from the same time last year, which is also slowing down the buying process.

“Even if you find a decent priced house, interest rates really affect that payment huge,” the Bouhamidis said. 

But despite the challenges, first-time homeowners like the Bouhamidis have found a way to make it work.

“If you come in and we run the numbers and see really what your monthly payment would be and what your budget is, people are still finding ways to get into homes,” Viss said.

Special loans like the First Time Home Buyer program can help break down a common barrier to entry for many first time homebuyers.

“We can do a three percent assistance or a five percent assistance, so we can cover down payment or down payment and closing costs. Through that first time home buyer program with South Dakota housing,” Viss said.

“The closing cost assistance that’s huge. To be able to walk away while spending less money is a big thing,” the Bouhamidis said. 

So despite the rising rates and slow inventory of affordable homes, Levo is still helping plenty of first time home buyers like the Bouhamidis move into their first home.

“In July, 75 percent of our closings were first-time home buyers, so people are still looking and still getting in,” Viss said.

The Median sales price for a home in the region increased to $304,000 in August according to the Realtors Association of the Sioux Empire.