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Loan Programs For First Time Buyers
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Programs Queens First Time Home Buyers Should Be Aware Of
Suzanne De Vita is the Mortgage Editor for Home Buyers, Home Owners, Investors and Renters, focusing on mortgage and real estate topics.
Jeffrey L. Bell, President of Real Estate Solutions, has 40 years of experience in many phases of the real estate industry.
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Down Payment & Closing Cost Assistance
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First-time home buyer programs and funds can help make the goal of home ownership a reality. We’ve rounded up some of the best national grants, programs and loans for first-time home buyers that can help you get your first home without a 20 percent down payment.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Macset Conventional Loan Program Guidelines. With a minimum down payment of 3 percent, the program is an affordable option for borrowers with strong credit scores and down payments:
None of these programs are available directly through Fannie Me or Freddie Mac. These are available through many different types of mortgage lenders, including banks, online lenders and credit unions.
Down Payment Assistance: Differences Between Gift Funds, Grants, And Loans
A government loan is a mortgage backed by a government agency, either the Federal Housing Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Agriculture. However, it is not created or funded by these organizations. It is offered by approved mortgage lenders across the US. Some lenders even specialize in certain types.
Green upgrades can be expensive, but you can get an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) (either a conventional loan or one backed by the FHA or VA) to help finance it. This type of mortgage allows you to cover the cost of energy-efficient upgrades (think new insulation, a more efficient HVAC system or double-paned windows) on your primary loan without requiring a large down payment. However, EEM comes with larger mortgage payments (because you’re taking on more debt), and has certain requirements to meet, including getting an energy assessment.
The Good Neighbor Next Door program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), provides housing for law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and pre-kindergarten through 12th grade teachers. 50 percent discount on houses in “revitalization areas,” if they have lived in the house for at least three years. You can find available properties in your country on the program website.
Fannie Mae’s HomePath ReadyBuyer program is intended for first-time buyers interested in foreclosed homes (“HomePath” homes). After taking the required online homebuyer education course, qualified borrowers can receive up to 3 percent down payment assistance to purchase a HomePath property, a foreclosed property owned by Fannie Mae. Of course, this limits your choice of features, which also needs improvement, so this program is not for everyone.
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Native American Direct Loans (NADL) provide financing to eligible Native American veterans and their spouses to purchase, improve, or build a home on federal trust land. These loans differ from traditional VA loans because the VA is the mortgage lender. There is no down payment required with this type of loan, nor is there mortgage insurance, but there is a financing fee.
Many states and municipalities offer first-time home buyer grants (which are unpaid) and low-interest mortgage programs:
First-time home buyers can buy a home more easily with the help of Down Payment Assistance (DPA), which is money provided as a grant, second mortgage (with different payment terms) or matching savings.
A down payment or first-time home buyer grant is free money to cover your down payment or closing costs. Grants are usually awarded to low or moderate-income borrowers, usually defined as making no more than 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). They also have some other requirements, such as home purchase price limits and minimum credit scores. You may be able to apply for multiple grants, so don’t be shy about trying to get more.
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In addition to grants, there are different types of down payment assistance loans – the second mortgage you use versus the first mortgage you use to buy a home:
A down payment savings matching program helps increase the amount a borrower puts down for a home by matching the borrower’s savings. The program is set for a specific period of time and provides matching funds up to a certain amount, which can only be used for down payments and closing costs.
For example, some state-level housing finance institutions offer Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), which can contribute up to three dollars for every dollar the borrower saves. Qualified individuals can work with an advisor assigned to raise funds within the IDA within a specified time frame. If the borrower follows the plan and saves the required amount, he will receive a match at the closing.
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