With interest rates at an ideal level, employment rates up, and more credit available to borrowers as of late, the housing market has opened a window of opportunity for you to purchase a home. However, borrower’s often find it difficult to meet the demand of a down payment. What if I told you that there’s a chance for assistance with your down payment? Various state, county, and city governments offer financial assistance to borrowers (who meet specific qualifications) who are ready to purchase a home. Qualification criteria varies, but if you’re eligible you could receive down payment assistance ranging from a few thousand dollars to larger amounts, depending on what state you’re in, your qualifications, and where the home is located.
According to Freddie Mac there are three main types of down payment assistance are grants, second mortgage loans, and tax credits. They include:
Grants – Grants are funds that you do not have to pay back as long as you own and occupy your home for a certain period of time.
Second mortgage loans – The most common down payment source, many second mortgage loans offered by state and local governments have low or zero interest rates, and the payments are deferred over a specified time span and, in many cases, the loan is completely forgiven over time.
Tax credits – Certain states and local governments, including housing finance agencies, issue mortgage credit certificates, which reduce the amount of federal income tax you pay. This makes more money available upfront for your down payment or closing costs.
For certain programs, assistance can be restricted to target a certain demographic of borrowers, like first-time home buyers as well as low to moderate income home buyers. Some type of home buying education counseling may be required, which is to your advantage anyway. Loan Officers will be a great resource to you when it comes to inquiring about different types of assistance.
Our friends at Freddie Mac recommend that potential first time home buyers sit in on at least one educational workshop about home buying and down payment assistance. Many non profit housing organizations hold classes for surrounding communities. Don’t let the idea of a down payment snuff out your home buying dreams. Help is available for those who seek it.
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