September 28, 2023

Improve Our Home

The best way to Get Assist Shopping for Your First Residence

11 min read

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Final Up to date: November 21, 2022


If you happen to’re like many first-time patrons, saving up the chunk of cash you’ll want to purchase a house generally is a actual problem.


However in the event you’ve received an excellent job, regular revenue, and respectable credit score, and the one factor holding you again is an absence of money available for the down cost, you will be completely happy to know that every one throughout the nation, native and state businesses provide grants and low-interest loans to assist first-time patrons obtain homeownership.


Generally known as down cost help applications (DPAs), these sources may present the monetary enhance it is advisable to purchase a house months and even years earlier than you possibly can save all the cash by yourself.


How do DPAs work?


Managed by state housing finance businesses or metropolis and county governments, these applications give first-time patrons monetary support to assist pay for a down cost and/or closing prices.  If you happen to qualify, you possibly can obtain support in a pair other ways:

  • Grants –Free cash it’s possible you’ll by no means should pay again
  • Loans Usually paid alongside along with your main mortgage or whenever you promote or refinance the property

Some applications additionally forgive DPA loans after you’ve been in your home for some time, so that you by no means should pay again the whole quantity they lent you. Normally, DPA loans have rates of interest which might be decrease than your most important mortgage, and in some circumstances, the mortgage is interest-free—so that you pay again solely what you borrowed and never a cent extra.


How a lot are you able to get from a DPA?

That relies on many components, together with your revenue, the world the place you wish to purchase, and the kind of applications supplied in your space. We’ll talk about revenue necessities in a minute, however in the event you qualify, you might be able to get wherever from $5,000-$10,000, or much more. Meaning you possibly can use your individual cash on different family bills and get into your own home that a lot sooner.


Can DPAs prevent cash in the long term?

Sure! Whereas some loans require simply 0-3% down, paying extra upfront can actually repay. Keep in mind, the bigger your down cost is, the smaller your month-to-month funds will likely be, and that makes budgeting the remainder of your life simpler. Since you’re financing much less, a bigger down cost can prevent 1000’s of {dollars} over the lifetime of your mortgage. And the earlier you purchase, the earlier you can begin paying off your mortgage and start constructing fairness in your house.


Who’s eligible for a DPA?

The applications are designed to assist the individuals who want it most. Necessities differ from place to put, however in the event you’re making use of for a DPA, it’s possible you’ll have to:

  • Be a first-time homebuyer. In some locations, you possibly can qualify in the event you haven’t owned a house for a sure variety of years.
  • Have a low to reasonable family revenue. Unsure you qualify? Attempt googling the Space Median Revenue (AMI) the place you reside. If you happen to make 50% or much less of that quantity, you’re thought-about low revenue, and 50-80% of the AMI is taken into account reasonable revenue.
  • Plan to buy your own home inside a particular space. Whereas some DPAs apply to the whole state, others are focused to areas which have been hard-hit economically and must be revitalized. When you’ve discovered a DPA in your space, verify your zip code to see if the property you wish to purchase qualifies for help.
  • Use the cash for a house that you will stay in. These applications are for main residences solely; rental properties and trip houses usually don’t qualify.
  • Pay for a part of the down cost your self. The proportion you pay might differ by the kind of mortgage and DPA program, however your mortgage officer might help you determine how a lot you’ll want to produce.
  • Take a brief homebuyer training class. It will put together you for the monetary obligations of proudly owning a house to make sure that you purchase a property you possibly can afford and might proceed to make your funds after you progress in.

 What sort of mortgages work with a DPA?

If you happen to’re contemplating a DPA, one among our Amerifirst mortgage officers will likely be completely happy to elucidate your choices. These applications normally work with the most typical mortgages, together with FHA, VA, USDA Rural Improvement, and traditional loans.


How do you apply for a DPA?

We’ve put collectively a listing of applications in every of the states the place Amerifirst operates. Simply scroll down to seek out your state and comply with the hyperlinks to see what’s accessible in your space. As at all times, if you would like somebody that can assist you perceive these applications (even earlier than you’re prepared to purchase), attain out to us at Amerifirst. We’re at all times completely happy to assist!



Down Fee Help Applications by State



  • The Step Up program gives a 10-year second mortgage mortgage to cowl your down cost. Some limitations apply, together with an revenue cap, a credit score rating of at the least 640, and utilizing an FHA or standard mortgage from Step Up’s most popular listing.
  • Affordable Income Subsidy Grant gives eligible debtors a grant to assist with closing prices. Your qualifying revenue transformed to an annual foundation can not exceed 80% of the Space Median Revenue for the property location.
  • The Freddie Mac Benefit Mortgage can be utilized for folks whose revenue is over 80% of AMI however under $130,600. 

See HUD’s listing of different applications for Alabama.



  • The Home Plus Assistance Program gives a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage mixed with down cost help (DPA) starting from 0% – 5% relying upon the brand new underlying first mortgage. One homebuyer should full a house purchaser training course earlier than closing.
  • The Home in Five Advantage Program helps low and moderate-income people and households purchase a house in Maricopa County. Certified homebuyers obtain as much as 5 p.c help for down cost and shutting prices, plus a mortgage with a aggressive rate of interest.


  • The MyHome Help Program can lend as much as as much as 3.5% of the house’s buy worth or appraised worth to first-time patrons inside an revenue cap.
  • The CalHFA Conventional program is a 30-year fastened curiosity standard mortgage that provides you the choice to roll in down cost and shutting price help into your mortgage.
  • The CalPLUS Conventional program comes with a barely increased 30-year fastened rate of interest, however you possibly can mix it with the MyHome Help program for down cost assist and the CalHFA Zero Curiosity Program (ZIP) for closing prices. The ZIP program doesn’t cost debtors curiosity on the cash it lends by this system.
  • The Forgivable Equity Builder Loan offers first-time homebuyers a head begin with quick fairness of their houses with a mortgage of as much as 10% of the acquisition worth of the house. The mortgage is forgivable if the borrower occupies the house as their main residence for 5 years.  
  • The GSFA OpenDoors Program gives as much as 7% of the primary mortgage mortgage quantity for proprietor occupied main residences. This system is just not restricted to first time homebuyers.

See HUD’s listing of different applications for California.




The Florida Finance Housing Corporation gives 3 ways to assist:

  • The Florida Help Program gives as much as $10,000 on a second mortgage with no curiosity and no month-to-month funds. Compensation is due solely whenever you promote or refinance the house.
  • The Florida Homeownership Mortgage Program Second Mortgage gives as much as $10,000 on a second mortgage with 3% curiosity and a 15 yr time period.
  • HFA Most well-liked and HFA Benefit PLUS Second Mortgage applications provide 3%, 4% or 5% of the whole mortgage quantity in a forgivable second mortgage. This second mortgage is forgiven at 20% a yr over its 5-year time period when used with Florida Housing’s standard HFA Most well-liked for TBA or HFA Benefit for TBA first mortgage merchandise.
  • The Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program makes homeownership inexpensive for eligible frontline neighborhood staff equivalent to legislation enforcement officers, firefighters, educators, healthcare professionals, childcare workers, and energetic army or veterans.

See HUD’s listing of different applications for Florida.


Residence patrons who meet family incomes caps and residential buy costs might qualify for the next support from Georgia Dream Homeownership Program:

  • First-time patrons can get $7,500 after they contribute $1,000 towards their very own down cost.
  • Residence patrons with a qualifying incapacity or a job in sure occupations can obtain $10,000.

See HUD’s listing of different DPA applications in Georgia.



The Illinois Housing Development Authority gives three applications for down cost help:

  • IHDAccess Forgivable Mortgage gives 4% of the acquisition worth or as much as $6,000 in a no month-to-month cost, forgivable mortgage with no compensation except offered or refinanced earlier than the ten yr interval.
  • IHDAccess Deferred Mortgage gives 5% of the acquisition worth or as much as $7,500 deferred cost mortgage of as much as 30 years.
  • IHDAccess Repayable Mortgage gives 10% of the acquisition worth or as much as $10,000 in a ten yr, zero curiosity repayable mortgage the place month-to-month funds are required.

See HUD’s listing of different applications in Illinois.


The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority gives two applications that present a share of the house’s appraised worth or buy worth.

  • First Place Program gives qualifying first-time homebuyers 6% of the value of the house.
  • Subsequent Residence (NH) is open to each first-time patrons and people who already personal a house, have a minimal credit score rating of 640-680, and fall inside revenue limits with 3.5% of the house worth.  

See HUD’s listing of different applications in Indiana.



The Kentucky Housing Corporation has two help applications:

  • With Common DPA, you possibly can borrow as much as $10,000 over 10 years with 3.75% curiosity.
  • With Reasonably priced DPA, you possibly can borrow as much as $10,000 over 10 years with 1.0% curiosity in the event you meet revenue limitations.

See HUD’s listing of different help applications in Kentucky.


The  Michigan State Housing Development Authority has one program that provides an interest-free mortgage with no month-to-month funds. It solely falls due whenever you refinance, end paying down your mortgage, or promote the house:

  • MI Residence Mortgage is for first time patrons and people buying in goal areas who’ve a minimal credit score rating of 640 or 660 and meet sure revenue and residential buy worth limits. It gives $7,500 statewide and $10,000 in sure areas.

Discover different applications in Michigan on HUD’s web site.


The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency gives three help applications for eligible debtors:

  • With the Month-to-month Fee Mortgage, you possibly can borrow as much as $17,000 on the similar price of your first mortgage and pay it down over 10 years.
  • The Deferred Fee Mortgage lets first-time patrons borrow as much as $12,500 interest-free, with no funds till you repay, refinance, or promote the house.
  • The Deferred Fee Mortgage Plus lets first-time patrons borrow as much as $15,000 interest-free, with no funds till you repay, refinance, or promote the house.

See HUD’s listing of different homeownership help applications in Minnesota.


  • The Home is Possible program for first-time homebuyers gives curiosity free help for as much as 4% of the mortgage quantity. A homebuyer training course is required, however the quantity is forgivable after three years.



  • Certified residence patrons in North Carolina might be able to obtain as much as $50,000 in direction of their down cost with the Community Partners Loan Pool program. This program is a zero p.c curiosity, deferred second mortgage. This program could be mixed with NC 1st Residence Benefit Down cost or NC Residence Benefit Tax Credit score, or different down cost help loans or grants.  
  • The NC Home Advantage Mortgage gives loans of as much as 3% of your opening mortgage steadiness. The loans begin to be forgiven in yr 11 of your mortgage and are absolutely forgiven by yr 15 however should be repaid in full in the event you promote, switch or refinance earlier than yr 11.
  • The company additionally gives an $8,000 down cost help possibility for first-time patrons and army veterans who meet extra standards.

See HUD’s listing of different homeownership help applications in North Carolina.


  • The Ohio Housing Finance Agency gives a mortgage that gives both 2.5% or 5.0% of the house’s buy worth for patrons with a credit score rating of 640 or higher and sure revenue and buy worth limits. The mortgage is forgiven after seven years however should be repaid in full in the event you promote, switch or refinance earlier than then.

See HUD’s listing of different help applications in Ohio.


  • PA Housing Finance Agency gives the HOMEstead program, which gives as much as $10,000 to certified debtors inside sure revenue and buy worth limits. This zero-interest mortgage is forgiven at a price of 20% annually over 5 years, however should be repaid in full in the event you promote, switch or refinance earlier than then.

See HUD’s listing of different help applications in Pennsylvania.



  • SC Housing has a first-time purchaser program for low-to-moderate revenue households and people who’re buying a house for the primary time. It could pay all or a part of your required down cost in the event you use a collaborating lender.

See HUD’s listing of different help applications in South Carolina.


Tennessee Housing Development Agency has three down cost help applications:

  • Nice Selection Plus Deferred Possibility gives $6,000 within the type of a forgivable second mortgage mortgage on your own home. The mortgage has a 0% rate of interest and the funds are deferred till the tip of the 30 yr time period.
  • Nice Selection Plus Amortizing Possibility gives 6% of the gross sales worth within the type of a second mortgage mortgage on your own home, that’s paid in month-to-month funds over 30 years at an rate of interest that’s the similar as the primary mortgage price.
  • The Homeownership for the Courageous program gives a 1/2-percent discount on THDA’s Nice Selection first mortgage mortgage for energetic and retired members of the army.

See HUD’s listing of different help applications in Tennessee.



  • The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority gives the Capital Entry Benefit program, an interest-free mortgage for as much as $3,050 or 3.5% of the acquisition worth towards your down cost and shutting prices. The mortgage solely falls due solely after you repay, refinance, or transfer, and there are not any month-to-month funds.
  • The Simple Shut program gives as much as 6% of the acquisition worth for a ten yr second mortgage. The rate of interest is identical as the primary residence.
  • Housing Resources, Inc. has a listing of different sources for Wisconsin homebuyers, together with grants and/or forgiveable loans for buying a house in sure areas.

See HUD’s listing of different help applications in Wisconsin.


Learn our weblog: Utilizing present funds in your down cost


Different first-time homebuyer sources

At Amerifirst, we have numerous nice sources for first-time homebuyers. Wish to be taught extra? Go to our First Time Homebuyer webpage or click on the button under to attach with one among our skilled mortgage officers. You could be nearer than you suppose!


Let's Talk!


Not all debtors will qualify. The above data is for informational functions solely and isn’t supposed as an commercial or a dedication to lend. The applications listed are supplied by the aforementioned authorities businesses and will finish with out discover at their discretion.


Alabama, Georgia, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania should not have State Applications accessible


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