Ready to Own? First Time Home Buyers Grants Can Help!

houseBuying your own home is an important benchmark in adulthood. Homeowners enjoy the benefits of tax breaks while watching their investment grow. Homeownership is also a great way to build your credit record. Unfortunately it has gotten more difficult to get a mortgage ever since the mortgage crisis. Applicants must have at least 20% cash upfront to get a loan in many cases. That’s why first time home buyers grants can mean the difference between renting and owning a home.

Many first time home buyers grants are funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and can be found at their website HUD.gov. You need to register with the site in order to search. It also allows you to search Grants.gov independently. You can plug in your state to find first time homebuyers grants applicable to your situation.

There are other first time home buyers grants open to the public. At one time there were numerous first time home buyers grants offered through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Unfortunately the 2008 Economic Recovery Act put an end to down-payment assistance for FHA loans.

The Recovery Act was created to cut down on the number of defaulted home loans. It was believed that many people who could not really afford a mortgage were accepted in part due to the assistance from down payment programs. Funding programs such as AmeriDream and the Nehemiah Program were two programs eliminated by the Recovery Act. There has been a question as to who was funding the programs. In some cases it was home builders and sellers who benefitted from the sales.

AmeriDream and the Nehamiah Program are both fighting to change the lawAmeriDream does currently offer other programs, including homebuyer education classes, homeowner retention assistance, and an FHA training program.

While it can be difficult to find grants for women first time homebuyers specifically, women can apply for assistance from other state programs. Each state has loan assistance programs that can make a big difference for people looking for first time homebuyers grants.

Low-income home buyers in Houston can check out the Houston Homebuyer Assistance Program.  The applicant must be approved for a loan and the household income must be 80% of the area’s median income. First time home buyers grants can help with financing their down payment and other costs associated with purchasing a home. There are a few grants that fund the program including:

  • Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ)
  • HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program
  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program
  • American Dream Down Payment Initiative (ADDI)

Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) oversees a first time home buyers grant program that is worth up to $7500 for low-income families. It is considered a 0% loan that is repaid upon the future sale of the house. MSHDA also offers a number of counseling and assistance programs to help people unfamiliar with the home-buying process.

Washington State has a first mortgage loan program called Home Advantage with a fixed interest rate for 30 years. Applicants must first take a Homebuyer Education course and receive a certification of completion in order to qualify. In addition to the special interest rates, individuals in the program can apply for another Washington State program for help with down payment financing. It is a loan that needs to be repaid and funds up to 4% of the down payment amount.

Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (formerly the Texas Housing Agency) has a program called My First Texas Home, with competitive fixed interest loan options. Applicants can also get down payment assistance of up to 5% of the cost. The Mortgage Credit Certificate Program can make owning a home even more affordable.

Sometimes it pays to be creative. VA loans from the Department of Veterans Affairs  are for members of the military. This can be an option for individuals searching for minority first time home buyers grants. The program was established to help veterans and their families to purchase a home. A portion of each loan is guaranteed by Veterans Affairs which makes it easier to be approved by banks.

USDA loans can assist individuals who need grants for women first time home buyers. They are available in rural areas around the country. For more information about USDA loans see their website.

First time homebuyers grants are available to help you purchase a home. Investigate all of your options and you may find yourself in your own home before you know it!

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