7 down payment assistance programs that make home buying easier

Mortgage rates are low and home prices aren’t showing signs of going up anytime soon. And now state and local governments are stepping in to help many home buyers with their down payments. SmartMoney provides a rundown of seven different down payment assistance programs across the country.

January 17, 2011
7 down payment assistance programs that make home buying easier

Mortgage rates are low and home prices aren’t showing signs of going up anytime soon. And now state and local governments are stepping in to help many buyers with their down payments. SmartMoney provides a rundown of seven different assistance programs across the country.

  1. California Housing Finance Agency’s School Facility Fee Down Payment Assistance Program: First-time home buyers, or those who haven’t owned property for at least three years can get a grant of $5,180. Buyers who stay in the new home for at least three years don’t have to pay the grant back, either. Income restrictions vary by county.
  2. California’s State Teachers’ Retirement System – the 80/17 program: Members can get two mortgages – one for 80 percent of the home’s price and one for 17 percent. Borrowers pay the remaining 3 percent. Payments on the second mortgage are deferred five years. Combined, the mortgages can total up to $650,000.
  3. Florida’s Housing Finance Corporation Down Payment Assistance Program: First-time buyers can get up to $7,500 in down payment assistance. Income restrictions vary by county, and the purchase price is limited to $466,125, but repayment is deferred for up to 30 years with 0 percent interest.
  4. New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s HomeFirst: First-time buyers can get up to $25,000 for down payments. The loan has no interest, and buyers who live in their home for at least 10 years don’t need to pay it back. But income is restricted to $63,450 and the purchase price can be up to $729,750.
  5. North Carolina Housing Finance Agency’s Down Payment Assistance: First-time home buyers who haven’t owned a home for three years can get up to $8,000 for down payment or closing costs. Income restrictions vary by county, and the purchase price is limited to $220,000. However, repayment is deferred for up to 30 years at 0 percent interest, or until the house is sold.
  6. Mayor’s Office of Housing of the City and County of San Francisco Down Payment Assistance Loan Program: First-time home buyers who have never owned property can get up to $100,000 or 20 percent of the purchase price, whichever is less. It’s restricted to families making up to $119,300, but the payment is deferred for up to 40 years at 0 percent interest.
  7. West Virginia Housing Development Fund’s Homeowner’s Assistance Program: Buyers who haven’t owned a home in three years can get up to $15,000 for a down payment or closing costs in Jefferson County, which is a popular area for Washington, D.C., commuters. The 15-year loan is deferred for the first five years at 0 percent and then becomes 2 percent amortized for the last 10 years. The loan is restricted to families making up to $102,900.

For more, visit: http://www.smartmoney.com/personal-finance/real-estate/how-to-buy-a-hous....

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