When you’re ready, have no fear — there’s plenty of help out there for you – First Time Homebuyer Programs
Buying a new home is a big undertaking. Going through the loan process makes it even more daunting. That’s one of the reasons you need the help of an experienced — and caring — mortgage lender like Zachery “Zack” Adam at GoPrime Mortgage, Inc. . (dba PrimeRate Mortgage Lending, Inc.). He’s an expert in first time homebuyer programs.
The home-buying process can intimidate anyone not directly involved in the industry. So don’t worry if you find the plethora of first time homebuyer programs a bit overwhelming. It’s not just the paperwork that can make a novice’s head spin, either. Consider the lingo, the amount of money involved and the number of different professionals you need to deal with — and you’ll begin to understand the obstacles you have to overcome before you get to move into your new home.
As a starting point, you need an income that won’t wither at the prospect of a monthly mortgage. But finding the right help is crucial, too, especially if you have anything but the most stellar credit report. It may seem easier to just trust whoever you find to represent you, but the more you know before tackling one of the first time homebuyer programs, the more likely you’ll be able to withstand the pressure.
Popular first time homebuyer programs are designed to help you reach financial independence and a stable living environment. Research shows that homebuyers take better care of their local communities, take pride in their living conditions and tend to keep steady employment more effectively than non-homeowners, one of the main reasons that most first time homebuyer programs are government backed.
Become a Homeowner
The most popular and accessible first time homebuyer programs on the market include:
- USDA loans are popular because they don’t require any down payment, so you can finance 100 percent of your home’s value. Plus, the U.S. Department of Agriculture guarantees these loans, making them attractive to both lenders and homebuyers. USDA loans are:
- Only for first-time homebuyers
- Restricted to primarily rural areas
- For eligible homebuyers only
Contact a reputable mortgage lender like Zack Adam to lean if you’re eligible.
- FHA, or Federal Housing Administration, loans Insure a portion of your home loan to lenders, making it a little easier to get approval when your credit is shaky. The FHA is a part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which serves first time homebuyers. Highlights can include:
- Lower down payments
- Easier qualifying credit
A few of the qualifications for the program can include:
- Income requirements
- Credit counseling or homebuyer education classes
- A minimum FICO score
- Each state offers first time homebuyers varying options when it comes to buying a home. States take advantage of federal programs and combine those with their own levels of assistance and requirements. For example:
- North Carolina residents often turn to The C. Home Advantage Mortgage Program, one of the first time homebuyer programs for families with an income less than $85,000 per year and credit scores at least 640. This program allows you to get an interest-free loan to cover your closing costs and down payment. You can even combine this program with a down payment assistance program. And you don’t have to pay the loan back if you don’t leave or refinance the house for 15 years.
- North Carolina also offers Mortgage Credit Certificates, a program designated for veterans and first-time buyers. It allows you to claim a special tax credit up to $2,000 on your federal income taxes.
- California offers residents who qualify through income guidelines for CalHFA Zero Interest Program, also called ZIP. This is a deferred-payment loan that amounts to three percent of your first mortgage loan amount that you can use for your down payment.
- The California Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance Program is another option for paying your down payment or your closing costs through a deferred-payment loan. This program requires that you meet qualifying income limits and purchase price limits that are set by each county.
- Mortgage Credit Certificates in California are limited to first time homebuyers. Borrowers typically claim between 20 and 40 percent of their monthly mortgage payment on this federal tax credit, which adds up to an average of $2,000.
First-time Homebuyer Programs Explained
The federal, state and local rules and regulations change so often that to try and figure out which is the best option for you and your family can be as challenging as a nighttime zipline ride through the woods, which is why you need a guide through the maze of regulations.
Don’t leave any money on the table for programs you may qualify for. And don’t pay for services that the government is willing to cover. Sometimes just knowing that, as a first time homebuyer, you have lots of options can help. Just knowing a lender who can navigate the technicalities on your behalf allows you to breathe easy and actually enjoy the process of buying and moving into your very own home.