Grants and Assistance for Homebuyers
Ready to buy a new home, but not quite sure how to pull the financing together? You're not alone, but that doesn't mean moving to a new home of your own is out of reach. That's why we've put together this comprehensive resource guide: to provide information and resources on grants and other types of assistance for homebuyers.
In the resources that follow, you'll find information on organizations and agencies that offer grant funding, both to other entities on a state and local level or directly to homebuyers, information on grants that offer assistance with down payments, how to seek grant opportunities and where to look for them, and much more. If you have dreams of buying your first home or a new home, this guide provides everything you need to know to get started finding and securing grant funding and other assistance to make your dreams a reality.
Information on Agencies Offering Grants and Assistance for Homebuyers
The following resources offer information on agencies, charitable organizations, and other organizations that provide grants to state and local governments or local non-profit organizations in order to provide assistance to homebuyers. Many of these programs do not offer grants directly to homebuyers, but do provide funding to state and local entities that can be used to aid homebuyers. Others are charitable organizations that work directly with homebuyers to help them overcome the barriers to home ownership.
- ✔ The HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) is a program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This program “provides formula grants to States and localities that communities use - often in partnership with local nonprofit groups - to fund a wide range of activities including building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or homeownership or providing direct rental assistance to low-income people.” It's the largest federal block grant to state and local governments aimed exclusively at providing homebuying and rehabilitation assistance for low-income homebuyers and existing home owners.
- ✔ Habitat for Humanity is one of the most widely recognized organizations offering assistance with home ownership to qualified families. The organization builds and renovates homes in partnership with families in need to ensure safe, affordable housing for all, with no-profit, no-interest, affordable mortgage loans for recipients.
- ✔ HomeBuyerFunds.com provides an extensive, searchable database including thousands of funds for prospective and existing homeowners. The opportunities in this database provide funds for qualified homebuyers or existing homeowners who want to purchase or repair a home and are provided by the government, non-profit agencies, and private organizations.
Many states have their own Housing Development agencies, such as the Virginia Housing Development Authority, which “exists to help Virginians achieve one of life's fundamental dreams-having a place to call home.” The VHDA offers programs for first-time homebuyers as well as homeowners who want to buy in Areas of Economic Opportunity.
The Wells Fargo Housing Foundation provides “sustainable homeownership opportunities for low-to-moderate-income people by providing volunteer and financial resources to local and national nonprofit housing organizations.”
- ✔ The National Homebuyer's Fund, Inc. supports affordable, responsible homeownership “through the development and management of various housing programs. Each program offers a unique source of assistance, whether that is down payment and/or closing cost assistance, or possibly a tax credit through a Mortgage Credit Certificate.” All programs have specific eligibility requirements; a program index provides more information on specific programs, jurisdictions, and other eligibility criteria.
- ✔ HSH.com offers a state-by-state resource on home buying assistance programs offered in each state. “Each state offers a different number of programs, and each state offers varying levels of buyer assistance. For this project, HSH.com only collected information on programs that were available statewide.” Most of the programs listed cater to first-time homebuyers, but programs open to all homebuyers are not excluded from the resources.
- ✔ Operation HOPE's Home Buyers Program is an excellent resource for low-income families who want to achieve the dream of home ownership, but don't want to resort to sub-prime loans.
Down Payment Assistance for Homebuyers
The following resources provide information on grants available to homebuyers, as well as information on other resources for finding specialized grant opportunities and non-profit organizations offering assistance for homebuyers.
- ✔ Many properties qualify for down payment assistance. In fact, this article from HousingWire says that as many as 87 percent of properties may qualify for down payment assistance, according to data from a joint analysis by RealtyTrac and Down Payment Resource.
- ✔ Getting down payment assistance is possible if you know where to look and are diligent, according to this resource from Bankrate. This article includes information on income eligibility requirements, delayed repayment loans, interest-free loans, and other options that may be available to homebuyers seeking assistance with a down payment.
- ✔ The federal government does not actually provide direct grants or loans to individuals. This is a common misconception; however, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) does work through local governments and non-profit organizations to make financial assistance and counseling available to homebuyers.
- ✔ The HUD website offers a useful, state-by-state directory of programs sponsored by state or local governments. In addition to state and local government-sponsored programs, some states also include information on other organizations that may be able to offer assistance.
- ✔ The Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation provides down-payment assistance grants for first-time homebuyers, repeat homebuyers, and existing homeowners, as well as fixed-rate mortgage financing and other assistance to help Texans achieve the dream of home ownership.
- ✔ American Dream Down Payment Assistance provides a state-by-state directory of information and links to every government-subsidized program in each state. These resources provide homebuyers with access to state-specific resources and organizations offering down payment assistance grants and other forms of assistance.
- ✔ Wells Fargo LIFT Programs provide another option for homebuyers seeking down payment assistance. “To support sustainable homeownership and advance neighborhood stability, the Wells Fargo LIFT programs look to the future by delivering down payment assistance and financial education to homebuyers in collaboration with NeighborWorks® America and local nonprofit organizations.”
- ✔ NerdWallet also provides information on seven programs that offer assistance to first-time homebuyers. The programs described include USDA, Fannie and Freddie, Dollar Homes, and others.
Grants for First-Time Homebuyers
There are many opportunities for first-time homebuyers to receive grants, assistance with down payments, and other special financing options in effort to make the dream of home ownership more achievable for families and individuals. The following resources provide information on grants and other opportunities specifically available to first-time homebuyers, as well as valuable information to help first-time homebuyers navigate the home-buying process.
- ✔ Community Housing Innovations offers a program providing grant opportunities to first-time homebuyers. The program is offered through the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation and provides grants to assist with a down payment and/or closing costs plus rehabilitation expenses.
- ✔ Fannie Mae offers a special program for first-time homebuyers called the HomePath Ready Buyer program. Under this program, “qualifying first-time homebuyers can receive up to 3% of the purchase price of the subject property in closing cost assistance toward the purchase of a HomePath property.”
- ✔ New American Funding outlines several assistance options available for first-time homebuyers. This resource describes the various opportunities first-time buyers can take advantage of, such as FHA loans, VA loans, fixed or adjustable rate mortgages.
- ✔ If you're a first-time homebuyer, there are several steps you should take before pursuing home ownership. This article outlines critical steps to prepare for purchasing your first home, including checking your credit, evaluating your assets and liabilities, and more.
- ✔ Wells Fargo offers an excellent resource that guides you through the entire process of buying your first home, including what to expect during the application process, loan options, how to apply for a mortgage loan, and more.
- ✔ Be sure to check your county and other local government agencies to see if there are grants or other assistance available for first-time homebuyers in your local area. For instance, Montgomery County, PA offers programs, including grant funding, for qualified first-time homebuyers.
- ✔ Identifying a grant opportunity for first-time homebuyers is one thing, but how do you navigate the application process? This article from SFGate.com outlines the specifics you need to know to apply for grant funding. Additionally, this article will point you in the right direction for finding government tax breaks and grants available to first-time homebuyers.
Grants and Assistance for Special Interest Groups
The following resources provide helpful information on grants and other homebuying assistance opportunities for members of special interest groups, such as those who work in certain professions, Veterans, and others.
- ✔ If you're a teacher (K through 12th grade), firefighter, emergency medical technician, or law enforcement officer, HUD's Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Program may mean you're eligible for a discount of up to 50% of a home's list price. These single-family homes are located in defined revitalization areas and are listed exclusively through the Good Neighbor Next Door Sales program, but it's a great opportunity for those in the aforementioned professions committed to giving back to their communities.
- ✔ Veterans have access to special VA Home Loan programs. While these are not grants, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) “helps Servicemembers, Veterans, and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners” through home loan guaranty benefits and other programs to help Veterans buy, build, repair, retain, or adapt a home.
- ✔ The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development provides single-family housing repair loans and grants for low-income families. This program, also known as the Section 504 Home Repair program, “provides loans to very-low-income homeowners to repair, improve or modernize their homes or grants to elderly very-low-income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards.”
- ✔ The Teacher Next Door Program was designed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to encourage teachers to purchase single-family homes in low and moderate-income neighborhoods. The program allows teachers to purchase homes in these designated areas at a 50 percent discount.
- ✔ The PenFed Foundation administers a program called Dream Makers, which provides homebuying assistance for Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, or Veteran military applicants who are also first-time homebuyers. “The amount of the grant is determined by a 2-to-1 match of the borrower's contribution to their mortgage in earnest deposit and cash brought at closing with a maximum grant of $5,000. The borrower must contribute a minimum of $500. Grant approvals are contingent upon available funding.”
Home ownership is the dream of many families, but financial restrictions have made that dream seem out of reach for some. By seeking out grant opportunities and other assistance options for homebuyers, your dream of home ownership can become a reality sooner than you think.