First-time buyer programs in each state revealed — can you get up to $60,000 in down payment assistance?

MANY people think that they need a huge down payment to secure a home.

However, that is not the case. We explain first-time homebuyer programs that can help you secure your home today.

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With first-time homebuyer program, you can put as little as 1% downCredit: Getty

Alabama

If you are a first-time home buyer in Alabama, you can apply for the Housing Finance Authority’s (AHFA) Step Up program. This program will help you obtain an affordable fixed-rate mortgage and down payment assistance.

The requirements listed below do need to be met in order to participate in the program.

  • Property must be in Alabama
  • Income can’t exceed $130,600
  • Credit score must be 640 or higher
  • Debt-to-income ratio must be 45 percent or lower
  • Must complete a homeownership education course

Alaska

In Alaska, the First Home Plan program offers mortgages with reduced interest rates for first-time buyers and qualified veterans.

However, buyers cannot have owned a primary residence in Alaska in the past three years, and they must have a minimum credit score of 620.

Another option for first-time homebuyers in Alaska is the Interest Rate Reduction for Low-Income Borrowers program. This allows first-time homebuyers to reduce their mortgage interest rate by 0.5% or 1%. But, the interest rate reduction depends on family income.

Arizona

Arizona offers first-time homebuying assistance as well. One of the state’s prgram’s is called Home Plus loan program.

It combines 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages with financial assistance for your down payment or closing costs. Qualified applicants can receive up to 5% of the loan’s principal balance in the form of a deferred, no-interest second mortgage.

Pathway to Purchase Down Payment Assistance is another program that first-time home buyers can look into. The program combines 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages with assistance for down payment and closing costs for homes in ZIP codes and cities most affected by foreclosures.

Arkansas

The Arkansas Development Finance Authority’s (ADFA) Move-Up Program provides affordable 30-year fixed-rate mortgages to low- to moderate-income homebuyers.

This program can be used with a Freddie Mac HFA Advantage Conventional loan or an FHA, VA or USDA loan.

The ADFA’s Move-Up Choice Program is also available to both first-time and repeat homebuyers. This program includes a 4 percent grant to help with a down payment and closing costs. Like the Move-Up program, the maximum home purchase price is $424,100.

California

MyHome Assistance Program is a deferred-payment subordinate loan that low- to moderate-income first-time homebuyers in California can use to make a down payment or cover closing costs when taking out a CalHFA mortgage loan.

California first-time homebuyers can also apply for the CalHFA Zero Interest Program.

This program can make CalPLUS Conventional and CalPLUS FHA loans even more affordable by paying a portion of your closing costs. The CalHFA Zero Interest Program provides up to 3% of the total loan amount in the form of a no-interest second loan.

Colorado

Colorado has a ton of first-time homebuyer programs.

One of the programs that Colorado offers is the CHFA down payment assistance program. This program is a grant that allows homebuyers to get up to 3% of their CHFA 30-year mortgage amount for a down payment grant — repayment isn’t required.

Connecticut

In Connecticut, HFA Advantage and HFA Preferred Loans offer eligible first-time homebuyers lower monthly mortgage insurance premiums with a conventional mortgage. One of the great things about these loans is that no upfront mortgage insurance payment is required, and the mortgage insurance is canceled when your equity reaches 20%.

Another option is the Military Mortgage program. This program is for first-time homebuyers who are current service members or veterans, including the Army National Guard and Air National Guard.

Current service members or veterans may receive an additional 0.125 percentage point discount on CHFA’s below-market interest rates.

Delaware

The first-time homebuyer tax credit provides a federal tax credit of up to $2,000 per year to buyers who haven’t owned a home in the past three years.

Veterans and those who purchase in certain areas may be exempt from the three-year requirement. Borrowers using this tax credit may incur an application or issuance fee

Florida

Florida First Mortgage is a program that offers government-backed FHA, VA and USDA 30-year fixed-rate mortgages to borrowers who meet income and purchase-price limits.

This program can be combined with the Florida Assist program for help with down payments and closing costs.

In addition to Florida First Mortgage, Florida also offers Florida HFA Preferred. This is a program that provides 30-year fixed-rate conventional loans to first-time buyers from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Those who qualify for an HFA Preferred or Advantage loan can benefit even more by combining their loan with one of Florida Housing’s down payment and closing cost assistance programs.

Finally, Florida offers a loan program that is exclusively for the military. It is called Salute Our Soldiers, and the program provides 30-year fixed-rate FHA, VA and USDA loans to all qualified veterans and active-duty military personnel.

Borrowers who qualify for this program can also take advantage of a Florida’s housing down payment and closing cost assistance program.

Georgia

If you are disabled or have a disabled family member living with you, you may qualify for $7,500 in down payment assistance through the Georgia Choice program.

Hawaii

Hawaii’s first-time homebuyer program is called HawaiiUSA’s First-Time Homebuyer program.

Below are a list of requriements for the program:

  • Must be a United States citizen or permanent resident
  • Must be a HawaiiUSA member
  • Must not have owned or had any interest in a principal residence, within or outside the state of Hawaii
  • Must be an owner-occupant and use subject property as your primary residence

Idaho

In Idaho, first-time home buyers can apply to Homebuyer Tax Credit (MCC) program. It is open to all Idaho first-time home buyers and repeat buyers in targeted counties.

The program lets a home buyer get a federal tax credit of up to $2,000 annually for mortgage interest paid each year.

Illinois

For Illinois residents applying to the IHDAccess Deferred program, applicants may receive 5% of the purchase price in cash assistance. Applicants do not have to make monthly payments on this loan.

Rather than being forgiven, the assistance you receive is paid off when you refinance, sell the house or pay off your mortgage.

Indiana

Mortgage Credit Certificate allows Low- to moderate-income first-time homebuyers can obtain mortgage credit certificates from IHCDA. Borrowers can receive a credit to offset their federal income taxes, up to $2,000 for each year they own the home.

Another program that you can apply for Next Home. Next Home provides down payment assistance in the form of a second mortgage to low- to moderate-income borrowers who get FHA mortgages. The maximum down payment assistance for FHA loans is 3.5%. The assistance must be repaid if the buyer refinances or sells the home, or goes into foreclosure

Iowa

FirstHome Program offers 25- and 30-year fixed-interest-rate mortgages. Government-backed loans may offer zero-down payments, while conventional loans allow 3% down and may feature reduced or no mortgage insurance fees. Limits on property price and income apply.

Homes for Iowans is a program that is available to first-time as well as repeat home buyers. The down payment will depend on the type of loan program chosen. Household income and home purchase price limits are higher than the FirstHome program.

Kansas

The First Time Homebuyer Program provides a loan of 15% or 20% of a home’s purchase price to help with your down payment and closing costs. You don’t have to repay the loan.

The loan is forgiven over time as long as you remain in the home. However, you do have to put up at least 2% of the sale price, and the amount of your assistance.

Kentucky

The Conventional Preferred Program is for lower-income borrowers, and it requires a minimum 3% down payment.

However, the program does not require the borrower to contribute a minimum amount toward the purchase or keep a certain amount of money in reserve.

Louisiana

The Resilience Soft Second Program offers first-time buyers forgivable assistance to help bridge the gap between what buyers can afford and the purchase price of a home.

Homebuyers can borrow as much as $60,000, and if they stay in the home for 10 years, the loan will be forgiven.

Maine

First Home Loan offers mortgages with below-market, fixed interest rates and no- and low-down-payment options for first-time homebuyers.

First-time homebuyers also can pay discount points to lower the interest rate further.

Maryland

Flex loans can be used by first-time or repeat home buyers, and offer competitive 30-year, fixed-rate home loan products.

Another loan program that is offered in Maryland is called Flex Direct. This program generally offers the best rates, but doesn’t include down payment assistance.

Massachusetts

Operation Welcome Home is a loan program that is typically reserved for first-time home buyers in the military.

It creates an affordable path to homeownership for active-duty military members, honorably discharged veterans, members of the Reserves and National Guard and Gold Star Family members.

Michigan

MI Home Loan is for first-time homebuyers with low to moderate incomes.

However, homebuyers must have a minimum credit score of 640.

Minnesota

The Start-Up mortgage is exclusively for first-time homebuyers. This program gives homebuyers access to conventional and government-backed loans with fixed interest rates and low origination fees.

The Start Up mortgage requires a down payment as low as 1% and, if necessary, provides options for low-cost or no mortgage insurance.

Mississippi

Mortgage Credit Certificate allows a first-time home buyer to claim a tax credit of 40% of the interest paid annually on the mortgage, capped at $2,000. But, limits apply on household income and home price.

Missouri

First Place Loan Program is a program that comes in two varieties: with down payment assistance and without.

The program without down payment assistance offers below-market interest rates on mortgages for first-time home buyers.

Montana

Montana Housing’s main mortgage program for first-time homebuyers is called the Regular Bond Program. It offers a low interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan.

Nebraska

The Nebraska Investment Finance Authority’s (NIFA) Homebuyer Assistance Program (HBA) offers both a low-interest mortgage and down payment assistance.

The program is available to first-time homebuyers (defined as those who haven’t owned a home in the past three years), qualifying veterans or buyers purchasing in a target area. Through HBA, you can get a 30-year conventional, FHA, VA or USDA loan.

Nevada

The Home Is Possible program gives first-time and repeat home buyers up to 5% of the loan amount to pay the down payment, closing costs or a combination of both.

The money doesn’t have to be repaid if you keep the home as your primary residence.

New Hampshire

Home Flex Plus provides down payment and closing cost assistance for up to 4% of the loan amount for an FHA, USDA or VA mortgage.

The help comes in the form of a second mortgage. The second mortgage is forgiven after four years if the borrower doesn’t refinance, file for bankruptcy or sell the home.

New Jersey

Down Payment Assistance Program offers $10,000 in closing cost and down payment assistance to first-time home buyers. That amount is offered as a 0% interest loan that is forgiven in five years. Specific county income and purchase price limits apply, and buyers must obtain financing through a NJHMFA loan.

New Mexico

In New Mexico there is a program called FirstHome that will help first-time homebuyers purchase their new home. The program is highly recommended because it offers competitive interest rates on mortgages for first-time home buyers who have low to moderate incomes.

For this program, you have to contribute at least $500 of your own money and pre-purchase home buyer counseling session must be completed.

New York

The Achieving the Dream program is offered to lower-income, first-time home buyer applicants.

Borrowers will receive reduced interest rates and a lower down payment requirement on a 30-year loan. The mortgage can finance the purchase and renovation of a one- or two-unit home.

North Carolina

NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment program is for first-time homebuyers and military veterans who qualify for an NC Home Advantage Mortgage may be eligible for $8,000 in down payment assistance under the NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment program. As with the NC Home Advantage Mortgage, the down payment assistance is a 0% interest loan.

North Dakota

The FirstHome program from the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) offers competitive conventional, FHA, VA and USDA financing to first-time homebuyers.

You could be eligible for the program if you meet certain requirements, including purchase price limits that are based on the type of property you’re buying.

These limits range from $294,600 for a single-family home (new-construction or preowned) to $566,628 for a four-unit property.

Ohio

Ohio Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance offers first-time home buyers down payment assistance of either 2.5% or 5% of the home’s purchase price.

The larger assistance amount comes with a higher interest rate. You can use the money toward your down payment, closing costs or other qualifying “pre-closing”.

Oklahoma

OHFA 4Teachers is a loan program for first-time homebuyers who work for an accredited school in Oklahoma and hold an active state teaching certificate.

Oklahoma has similar program designed for firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency medical service providers, and it is called OHFA Shield loan program. The program is meant to benefit first-time home buyers in the fields mentioned above, and eligible applicants can receive a reduction of their mortgage interest rate.

Oregon

Oregon Cash Advantage Home Loan are available to eligible first-time home buyers with a below-market interest rate. Cash assistance equal to 3% of the mortgage amount can be applied toward closing costs. Limits on income and purchase price vary by county.

Pennsylvania

Keystone home loan program is suited for first-time home buyers, discharged veterans of the armed forces or buyers interested in properties in certain targeted Pennsylvania counties.

The loans can be conventional, FHA- or VA-backed mortgages, or rural development loans. However, purchase price and income limits apply.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Housing offers up to 100 percent financing through its First-Time Homebuyer Loan program and accompanying down payment assistance. The First-Time Homebuyer Loan can be a conventional loan (20- and 30-year terms available) or an FHA loan, VA loan or USDA loan, all with competitive interest rates.

South Carolina

Palmetto Home Advantage is a program for first-time and repeat home buyers offers government-backed and conventional loans at market rates with forgivable down payment assistance up to 5% of the loan amount. Income and sale-price limits apply. Palmetto Home Advantage also offers reduced rates on mortgage insurance.

South Dakota

The South Dakota Housing Development Authority’s (SDHDA) first-time homebuyer program is called, fittingly, the First-Time Homebuyer Program. However, this doesn’t have to actually be your first time purchasing a property — you simply can’t have owned a home in the last three years.

If that description fits you, you’ll need to satisfy a few other conditions to qualify for a loan with a competitive interest rate:

  • Minimum credit score of 620
  • A gross household income under a certain limit, which varies based on the size of your household and where you want to live ($77,800 to $110,170)
  • Complete a homebuyer education course online or in-person

There are a few conditions that the property you’re buying or building will need to satisfy, too:

  • Cost no more than $275,000
  • If it’s a manufactured or mobile home, it must be on a permanent foundation

Tennessee

Great Choice Home Loan is a 30-year, fixed-rate loan is available to qualified first-time home buyers as well as repeat buyers purchasing property in certain designated counties. Once qualified for the Great Choice loan, you’re automatically eligible for help with your down payment and closing costs, up to $7,500.

Texas

My First Texas Home loan is a program that offers 30-year, fixed-interest rate mortgages for first-time home buyers and veterans. The program includes down payment and closing cost assistance of up to 5% of the mortgage amount as a no-interest, no-monthly-payment second lien.

Utah

The FirstHome Loan program offers mortgages for first-time home buyers and qualified veterans and single parents. Loans can be used for manufactured homes, with certain restrictions. The minimum credit score is 660 and there are limits on household income and purchase price.

The HomeAgain Loan offers affordable interest rates on mortgages for first-time and repeat home buyers. The minimum credit score is 660. HomeAgain is similar to the FirstHome program, but may carry higher interest rates

Vermont

The ASSIST program through VHFA offers first-time homebuyers down payment and closing cost assistance of up to $5,000. This assistance, which is a no-interest, no-monthly payment loan, is available to those who qualify for VHFA’s MOVE and Advantage mortgage programs. The loan must be repaid when you sell your home or refinance your first mortgage.

To qualify, you’ll be required to participate in homebuyer education, and must meet the income and purchase price limits that apply to the first mortgage program you’re using. You also can’t have more than $30,000 in liquid assets, excluding retirement savings.

Virginia

Down payment assistance grant allows qualified first-time buyers to receive up to 2.5% of a home’s purchase price to apply to a down payment — no repayment required. The grant is combined with a Virginia Housing loan and household income limits are considered.

Another option is the Virginia Housing Conventional. This program is for first-time buyers or homeowners looking to “move up.”

The down payment can be 3% — even lower, with a Virginia Housing down payment grant. While this program requires a borrower to pay for mortgage insurance, the premium is discounted. You’ll need a credit score of at least 640

Washington

In the state of Washington, they have a program called Opportunity DPA. This program offers down payment assistance of up to $10,000. The assistance is provided to first-time homebuyers with a 1% interest rate, and it is deferred for 30 years.

To qualify, you must be a first-time home buyer or live in certain areas of the state.

West Virginia

The Homeownership Program offers 30-year fixed-rate mortgages to first-time home buyers, borrowers in targeted counties and qualified veterans. With down payment and closing cost assistance, up to 100% can be financed for purchases of single-family homes, condos and townhomes.

Wisconsin

For people looking to buy a home in Wisconsin, you can apply for the WHEDA Advantage Conventional program. It offers 30-year fixed-rate mortgages to first-time and repeat buyers.

You must have a credit score of 620 or higher, and the program carries limits on household income and loan amounts.

Wyoming

The Wyoming Community Development Authority’s (WCDA) Standard First-Time Homebuyer program offers a 30-year mortgage with a fixed, low rate, along with the option for a down payment assistance loan.

First-time homebuyers can also obtain an FHA, VA or USDA loan through this program.

To qualify, the home you’re buying must be below the program’s price limit and income limits. In addition, the property can’t be more than 10 acres.

The Sun has also spoken to realtor Jeffrey D. Halpern about his top tips for first-time homebuyers in 2022.

Plus, break down states where home prices have gone up the most. 

If you’re struggling financially, here’s how you can get mortgage help.



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