Programs to Help You Afford Home Ownership

Programs to Help You Afford Home Ownership

Homeownership can seem out of the realm of possibilities for many of us. The struggle of coming up with a down payment and getting approved for a mortgage can seem insurmountable by itself. Add in mortgage payments and paying for repairs, and homeownership might feel downright impossible. But it’s not. Check out these programs that can help.

First-Time Homebuyer Programs

If you’ve never purchased a home, you’re in a unique position to qualify for several mortgages that are only offered to first-time buyers. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) First Time Buyer Program is a great choice. Other programs worth looking into include the HomeReady HomePath Mortgage, the Good Neighbor Next Door Program and USDA loan programs.

Down Payment Assistance

If you don’t have 20% to put down on a home, don’t worry. Many mortgages don’t require that much down. FHA loans, for example, only require 3.5% of the purchase price as a down payment. Other types of loans, including VA loans and USDA rural loans, require zero down, says NerdWallet.

What happens if you don’t have money for a down payment and you can’t get a loan that doesn’t require one? You may qualify for down payment assistance. The National Homebuyers Fund offers grants that equal up to 5% of the purchase price. Other grant programs are available, as well as matched-savings programs and low-income buyer programs.

Mortgage Assistance

Are you having difficulty making mortgage payments? There is help available. In addition to local community programs, HUD may offer some relief if you qualify. There are also many government mortgage relief programs, including loan modification, the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), Home Affordable Unemployment Program (UP) and the Principal Reduction Alternative (PRA).

Housing Repair Grants/Loans

If your home has fallen into disrepair and you can’t afford to keep up, you may qualify for a housing repair loan or grant available through the Section 504 Home Repair Program. This program offers up a loan up to $20,000 or a grant up to $7,500 to make necessary home repairs. There may also be community programs available in your area.

Not all grant and loan programs are advertised well, so it’s up to you to find them. Your municipal, county and state offices, such as your local community action or urban development offices, can give you more information on grants and programs available in your area. Mortgage lenders and online databases are also great resources.

Struggling to make your dream of home ownership a reality? You owe it to yourself to see if there are programs that can help. The same is true if you already own a home but fear you might lose it to disrepair. There’s help out there, but it’s up to you to go get it.

~Here’s to Your Success!

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