August 31st, 2016 5:59 AM by Jackie A. Graves
House-hunting bummer: You’ve found the perfect home, and you’ll
have no trouble covering your monthly mortgage and bills—but that 20% down
payment is woefully out of reach. Could that mean you’re out of luck?
Not quite. That’s because there are 2,290 down payment programs across the country that can help—that
is, as long as you meet eligibility requirements in terms of income,
occupation, or credit. Yet many home buyers don’t even think about
applying for down payment assistance,
because they’re not aware of these programs or they assume they don’t
“Consumers do not know about these programs, and those that do
assume it’s more difficult to get than it is,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief
economist of realtor.com®. Read on to make sure you
don’t miss out.
One study found that buyers who use down payment
assistance programs save an average of $17,766. To reach this figure, these
buyers save an average of $5,965 upfront at the down payment stage.
Because this also lowers the amount of money they owe their lender,
it means they save on average an additional $11,801 in monthly
house payments over the life of the loan.
While many down payment assistance programs are geared toward
low-income home buyers, you don’t have to be destitute. Plenty of programs
are geared to middle-income buyers as well. Yet a survey by NeighborWorks America found that
40% of respondents hadn’t received any information about down payment
assistance programs for middle-income homebuyers, which
Part of the reason for the confusion might be because the
programs are fragmented.
“Down payment assistance can come from many different sources,
including the federal government, counties, and local communities,” says Chantay
TruLine Realty in Los Angeles.
There will be a list of qualifying factors,
Bridges cautions, but a number of programs are available,
including FHA and VA. Homes that are part of a Neighborhood Stabilization Program often qualify, as do homes purchased
by teachers, firefighters, and other civic employees under certain programs.
Many counties also offer down payment assistance to first-time buyers, who
are defined as anyone who hasn’t owned a home in three years.
A great place to start is Down
Payment Resource, which offers a handy calculator that can show you what you may be
eligible for. Many multiple listing services nationwide display a
special icon on the listing of a property that might qualify for down payment
Many options are also listed by state, or you
can check your state on the Department of Housing and Urban Development website.
Also check with your agent and lender for programs available in your
specific county, because they change frequently—and these
professionals should be up on the latest options.
By Cathie Ericson - To view the original article click here