Ask the Agent: What Programs Are Available For 1st Time Home Buyers?

by Dan Lesniak

First Time Home Buyer Programs

In today’s ask the real estate agent blog, we are taking a question that has comes up frequently – What programs are available for first-time home buyers?

Nationwide Programs

The FHA program is a 3.5% down payment that requires a funding fee up front and monthly private mortgage insurance. These loans are backed by the federal housing authority and are great for first-time home buyers. They have very high purchase limit; you can use them for loans up to $725,000 in our area and there are no income restrictions.

Many of our preferred lenders use a similar program, a 3% down conventional program. This program requires only 3% down, there is no funding fee, and other private mortgage insurance is typically less. If you were considering the 3.5% FHA loan, you should compare with this program and see which makes the most sense for your situation.

State Programs

In DC there is a program for first-time home buyers called DC Opens Doors. In Virginia, the VHDA (Virginia Housing Development Authority) has a similar program. These programs are pretty similar in that they help the borrower come up with that down payment. They are typically combined with the FHA loan and in either case, they involve grant money – so it’s free money to help you with that 3.5% down payment. There are purchase limits on these that are lower than the FHA limit, and there are income restrictions as well.

This is a brief overview, if you have specific questions please email or give us a call so we can put you in touch with a lender who can walk you through the different options and determine your eligibility.

All of these programs are great for first time home buyers. With the currently low interest rates and increasing rental prices, be sure to take advantage of these first time home buyer programs- they are all smart options.

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