First time home buyer programs are put together to help couples and individuals that don’t necessary have the full amount to buy their first home.

There are few rules and regulations that you must meet to qualify for such programs, one not having owned a home for the last three years.



The most popular first time home buyers assistance programs are:

First Time Home Buyer Programs:

FHA: Federal Hosing Authority (FHA).

HUD: The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

VA: Veteran Assistance program.

Cal Vet loan programs.

The HUD home buyer programs are some of the most popular programs.

The 203(k) program offers low down payment loans to primary resident owner occupants or nonprofit groups to buy and renovate a house.

The 203(b) HUD Mortgage Insurance program is a mortgage insurance program for qualifying individuals.  The mortgage must be obtained from a private lending institution such as a bank, savings and loan, or traditional mortgage company.  Under this program, the mortgage will then be insured by HUD.

Eligibility requirements for this the HUD mortage Insurance program include:

  • Meeting the FHA credit qualifications
  • Eligibility for 97% financing and upfront mortgage premiums can be incorporated into the mortgage itself
  • Borrowers are responsible for paying annual insurance premiums

Down Payment Assistance programs:

As an American you are blessed to have many agencies and programs to choose from. One in particular is The American Dream Down Payment Assistance Act (ADDI). ADDI has more than $200 million available to help all Americans in different States to help with their down payments. Other programs like Down Payment Assistance (DPA) will require you to donate the same amount of money granted to a preferred charity.

First time home buyers grants. What are they?

First time home buyers grants can acquired through an agency or private lender. A Private lender will “grant” you the money for your down payment with the option of paying it back.  It sounds like a loan and not a grant, but this is not exactly true. You only be required to pay the grant back, when you sell your home, no matter how long you stay  there.

The federal government does not make available housing grants to individuals or families.  However, the federal government does make federal grants available to states, and certain cities, that are then responsible for distributing the funds to its citizens. Most grants cover less than 10% of the home’s value and Generally, grants will not be given to anyone that cannot qualify for a mortage.

Popular First time home buyers grants include:

American Dream Home Buyer Grant:

The American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI) was a federal grant program that was signed into law in late 2003.  This was perhaps the most generous grant program run at that time.  In fact, the American Dream Downpayment Assistance Act authorized up to $200 million in grants each year, and the program was set to run through 2007. The ADDI program was created to help low-income, first time home buyers, to purchase new homes by providing funding for down payments, closing costs, and some rehabilitation projects.  ADDI program assistance was limited to the greater of $10,000 or six percent of the home’s purchase price.

HOME Investment Partnerships Home Buyer Program:

HOME is the largest Federal block grant to state and local governments.  The program is designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households.  Each year, the HOME Investment Partnership Program allocates approximately $2 billion among the states, as well as hundreds of localities throughout the United States.Households that are eligible for HOME assistance vary according to the nature of the funded activity.  For rental housing and rental assistance, at least 90 percent of benefiting families must have incomes that are no more than 60 percent of the HUD-adjusted median family income for the area.  For rental projects with five or more assisted units, at least 20% of the units must be occupied by families with incomes that do not exceed 50% of the HUD-adjusted median.  In addition, the incomes of households receiving HUD assistance must not exceed 80 percent of the area median.

Other programs worth mentioning are:  Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA).

Most of the first time home buyer programs are local state programs, but others are aimed towards certain professions, like the ones below:

Home buyer programs for Professions:

Officer Next Door Home Buyer Program:

The Officer Next Door Program is an effort to build stronger communities and safer neighborhoods; HUD offers this program to law enforcement officers.  To participate, you need to be a sworn law enforcement officer that is employed full time at the federal, state, county or local level.  Officers working for public or private colleges and universities are also eligible.

You do not have to be a first time home buyer to participate in this program; however, you cannot own any other home at the time of closing.  The properties are single family homes that are located in certain revitalization areas throughout the country.  The entire program is run over the Internet.The big advantage of this program is that participating officers can purchase these homes at a 50% discount from its listing price.  In addition, the officer may be eligible for certain FHA-insured mortgages.

Teacher Next Door Home Buying Program.

The Teacher Next Door Program is also offered by HUD and works the exact same way as the Officer Next Door Program except it is offered to teachers.  Again, in an effort to make communities stronger throughout the country, this program encourages teachers to buy homes in designated revitalization areas.

To be eligible, you must be a teacher that is employed full time by an educational agency serving the school district in which the home is located.  Educational agencies include public and private schools at the federal, state, county, or local level.  The teacher must be a state certified teacher or administrator for kindergarten through 12th grade.

-We hope that you found this page on First time home buyer grants and programs helpful.


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