Explore Your Home Buying Options
If youre getting serious about buying a home, its worth connecting with a mortgage lender. Your loan officer can help you explore your options, look into assistance programs, and gauge your eligibility.
Not only will this give you some direction, but getting pre-approved is also often required to make an offer on a home.
So, when youre ready, your first step should be to reach out and talk to a mortgage lender about your options.
What You Need To Know About A First
Buying your first home is an exciting time in your life, but you might have a few questions as you begin your home search. Luckily, our knowledgeable mortgage consultants are here to help you with the process from start to finish. This starts with breaking down a first-time home buyer loan to understand if you qualify. The first-time home buyer program is available to first-time potential buyers, even those with a lower credit rating, and fewer funds available for a down payment. The exact qualifications can vary from lender to lender, and there are unique rules that can apply. At University Federal Credit Union, our first-time home buyers must use the loan for a primary residence.
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Down Payment Assistance Programs
Saving up for a down payment can take years and is one of the biggest hurdles to homeownership, according to a National Association of Realtors survey. You can speed up your homebuying timeline by taking advantage of a down payment assistance program . These programs offer grants, low-to-no-interest loans, deferred payment loans , or forgivable loans.
Not all DPAs are accepted by every lender. If youre eligible for a DPA program, then youll want to work with one of its participating lenders. In order to qualify for assistance, you may need to meet certain criteria, such as income limits or first-time homebuyer status .
Nearly all DPAs are local or regional. You can find programs with a quick Google search, but the best ways to see whats available in your area are to:
- Reach out to a local housing counselor
- Ask your lender
- Contact your state or local housing authority
If you cant find or qualify for financial aid, you may want to opt for a loan backed by the federal government, which usually has a lower down payment requirement. An FHA loan may only require 3.5% down. A VA loan requires as little as 0% down just watch out for the funding fee, which can top 3% of the loan balance in some circumstances.
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How Does Down Payment Assistance Work
Most programs will require an application so they can determine an applicants eligibility for the program. The applicants household income, credit history and credit score will likely be considered. In addition to an application, some programs may require the applicant to attend training or workshops to learn about the mortgage process and maintaining personal finances while owning a home.
Many of these programs are reserved for first-time home buyers only, and how much assistance you can receive is dependent on the program. Some DPA programs offer a percentage based on the homes sale price, while others cap their down payment and closing cost assistance at a certain dollar amount.
When searching for down payment assistance programs to apply for, be sure to ask these three questions:
Once approved for down payment assistance, you choose a participating lender.
Some down payment assistance programs have established relationships with lenders, so be sure you ask the DPA provider for lenders that participate in their specific program. Lenders will have their own requirements and restrictions when it comes to using down payment assistance programs as well.
You will need to apply and qualify for both the DPA funds and a home loan. Rocket Mortgage® accepts down payment assistance from third-party providers.
What Is Down Payment Assistance
When you buy a home, youll likely need to put money down that is equal to a percentage of your homes final purchase price. This is called your down payment. The amount of the down payment depends on the type of loan you will use to purchase the home and the homes sale price.
Depending on the down payment assistance program you qualify for, you could receive a grant or a low- to no-interest loan to cover your closing costs. This is helpful for those who may not have cash on hand but can afford a mortgage.
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Department Of Veterans Affairs Loans
If youre active duty or a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, or a family member of one, you might qualify for a mortgage backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Theres no limit on how much you can borrow, but there are limits to how much of the loan the VA will guaranteeand that determines whether youll have to make a down payment.
VA loans have no down payment requirement as long as you dont buy a home more expensive than the VA home loan limit and arent subject to PMI, which is unlike other mortgage types. Homes purchased using VA loans must be a primary residence for the service member or spouse. Active-duty personnel can use a VA loan to buy a home for a dependent.
To get a VA loan, qualified applicants can visit a wide variety of local or online lenders. Anyone applying for a VA loan will have to present a Certificate of Eligibility, or COE. Buyers who qualify should sit down with a mortgage officer at an institution that offers VA-backed loans.
There, you can explore the procedures, how much you can borrow and a unique detail called entitlementshow much of the loan the Department of Veterans Affairs will guarantee.
‘we’ll Save 25000 In Deposit Costs’
For first-time buyers Jade Sims, 31, and Michael Farrelly, 32, getting a 95pc mortgage will help them stop renting and secure their footing on the property ladder.
The timing is great for us. It has taken some of the pressure off and given us something to look forward to, Ms Sims said. Its brought our dream of securing our first home that little bit closer.
The engaged couple want to settle down and start a family in a village location close to where they currently live in Marlborough, Wiltshire. They have a budget of around £250,000.
The goal of owning a home seemed to be slipping from reach last year during the pandemic. Mr Farrelly, a bricklayer, had to pause work at various points. We had to dip into our savings throughout the crisis last year and it was really demotivating to see them going down, rather than up as we had originally planned, said Ms Sims, a commercial planning manager.
Their efforts to get on the ladder were also stymied by the hardening market for first-time buyers, with risk-averse lenders pulling low deposit mortgages from the market.
As a result of the new mortgage guarantee scheme, Ms Sims and Mr Farrelly can buy a £250,000 home with a 5pc deposit of £12,500. Without the Government’s programme, they would have needed to save up a further £25,000 for an average first-time buyer deposit of 15pc, to put down £37,500.
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How The Government Of Canada Incentives Works For First
1. Learn About the Program
- Start looking for a home.
2 . Determine Your Eligibility
3. Choose Your Incentive and Apply
- Review the details and select the incentive that is right for you.
- Read, print and sign the application documents in the resources section and take them to your lender.
- Application submissions will be completed by your lender.
- Notify your solicitor.
- Early payout options in full are available at any point in the duration of the 25 years.
- Learn more about fair market value and how this will help you calculate repayment.
- Calculate the fair market value of your home and multiply it by the percentage of the Incentive you received.
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Work With A Real Estate Agent
Work with a real estate agent or REALTOR® to find the perfect property. Agents and REALTORS® are local professionals who are experts in the home-buying process and your local market.
A real estate professional can help by:
- Showing you properties in your area that fit your needs and price range
- Attending showings with you to learn more about your priorities as a homeowner
- Helping you decide how much to offer for a property
- Submitting an offer letter on your behalf
- Helping you negotiate with the seller or the sellers agent after you submit an offer
- Attending the closing with you to make sure that everything is in order with your sale
Remember that only a buyers agent will work on your behalf. Dont rely on the sellers agent to represent your best interests. Always choose a qualified REALTOR® or real estate agent to help you buy a home.
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Va Loans Exist To Help Veterans Finance Their Homes
The Department of Veterans Affairs manages the VA loan program. As you might have guessed, only US veterans can apply for this program.
Purchase loans and Native American Direct Loan are two types of VA-backed loans. To qualify for a NADL, however, youll need to be not only a veteran, but be Native American and looking to buy or build a home on federal trust land.
The great thing about VA loans is that the VA is 100% financing, says Dierenfeld. It really levels the playing field for anyone interested in purchasing who may not have 10%20% to put down on a home.
Thats right, no down payment, as long as the homes sale price isnt higher than its appraised value. Other perks, according to the VA: no private mortgage insurance or mortgage insurance premiums required, fewer closing costs, and no penalty fee for paying the mortgage off early.
Get Your Credit Mortgage
Regardless of which type of mortgage loan you end up getting, it’s crucial to learn if you need to make some improvements at least three to six months before you apply. Check your to get an idea of where you stand and also view areas you may need to address.
Also, consider using Experian Boost®ø to potentially help increase your credit score. The program connects to your bank account and gives you credit for your on-time utility, phone and certain video streaming payments.
Improving your credit for a mortgage can take some time, but the sooner you begin the process, the easier it will be to stop potentially damaging activities and make the changes you need to qualify for a mortgage loan.
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Help To Buy Equity Loan
The latest version of the Help to Buy equity loan scheme is available to first time buyers who have a deposit of 5% to put down.Rather than taking out a mortgage for the remaining 95% of the property value, the Government lends you 20% of the property price, and so you only need a mortgage for the remaining 75%.If youre buying a property in London, the Government will lend you up to 40% of the property price. Once your 5% deposit is factored in, that means you only need a mortgage for 55% of the property value.Regional CapNorth East £186,100 Northern Ireland: www.nihe.gov.uk/index/advice/buying_a_home.htmThe current scheme will finish in March 2023 and there are currently no plans to introduce a further equity loan scheme after this date.
State And Local First
States have different programs for first-time homebuyers with a range of services. It’s a good idea to research options in your state before deciding on a particular type of loan, to take advantage of the best programs for you.
Quick tip: Use Personal Finance Insider’s guide to first-time homebuyer programs to see what help is available in your state.
You may be able to secure funding assistance for your down payment, closing costs, and other costs based on your location. Some states also provide tax credits for borrowers at low-to-moderate income levels.
The program specifics vary by state and region, but here are a couple of examples of the kind of help that’s available:
- The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency offers forgivable $8,000 down payment assistance to qualifying first-time homebuyers and military veterans. Staying in the home is beneficial, too: this loan is forgiven at 20% per year from years 11-15, and fully forgiven after 15 years.
- The Indiana Homeownership Opportunities Program provides assistance with down payments and closing costs. You must be a first-time buyer at or below 80% of the area’s median income, put at least $1,000 towards the home purchase, complete an approved homebuyer counseling course, and not allow housing debt above 35% of gross household income.
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The Bottom Line: A Federal Government Loan May Help You Reach Your Homeownership Goals
Government-backed loans often allow borrowers with lower credit to get the financing they need. Especially if youre a first-time home buyer, a government home loan can give you the chance to become a homeowner.
Get started today with Rocket Mortgage and see what government home loans you may qualify for. You can also give one of our Home Loan Experts a call at 326-6018.
Take the first step toward the right mortgage.
Apply online for expert recommendations with real interest rates and payments.
Work With A Local Real Estate Agent
A local licensed real estate agent can help you find the right home for you and craft a winning offer. Find someone that is familiar with the type of home you want to buy and has experience in the neighborhoods youre considering living in. Having a professional on your team that understands the local market can give you a leg up on the competition, which is vital in todays competitive real estate market.
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What You Need To Know
- There are three main government mortgage loan programs: Federal Housing Administration loans, Department of Veterans Affairs loans and U.S. Department of Agriculture loans
- You can get a federal home loan through approved private lenders like banks, credit unions and online lenders
- FHA loans have easier qualification requirements than traditional real estate mortgages, especially for low-income borrowers, including lower credit score and down payment requirements
How Do Government
A government-backed mortgage is a loan insured by one of three federal government agencies: the Federal Housing Administration , the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Department of Veterans Affairs .
For each loan type, the backing agency insures the loan amount, protecting the lender in the event a borrower can’t repay the debt. The arrangement significantly reduces the risk to lenders and may make it easier for them to offer lower interest rates or low or even no down payment requirements.
Unlike some other government loans, which you apply for directly with the federal government, government-backed mortgage loans are offered by private lenders. Not all lenders offer each type of loan, though, so you may need to do some research if you’re looking for a specific type of mortgage loan.
Government-backed mortgage loans are different from conventional loansthe most popular type of mortgage loanin a few ways:
Depending on your situation, it may be a good idea to consider multiple types of mortgage loans to ensure you find the best fit for your needs.
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How Does It Work
The ONE Mortgage has four features that make buying a home truly affordable:
- 3 percent minimum down-payment
- No Private Mortgage Insurance
- Extra assistance that lowers your monthly payments
With these features, ONE Mortgage can lower your monthly payments by hundreds of dollars every month compared to other 30-year mortgages. Use our ONE Mortgage calculator to see how ONE can boost your buying power.
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Help To Buy: Mortgage Guarantee Scheme
Announced in the 2021 Budget, the mortgage guarantee scheme offers lenders the option to purchase a guarantee on mortgages where a borrower has a deposit of only 5%.
The guarantee compensates mortgage lenders for a portion of net losses suffered in the event of repossession. The guarantee applies to 80% of the purchase value of the guaranteed property, covering 95% of these net losses. The lender therefore retains a 5% risk in the portion of losses covered by the guarantee. This ensures that the lender retains some risk in every loan they arrange.
Homebuy Wales supports households by providing an equity loan to help buy an existing property.
The scheme helps people who couldnt otherwise afford to buy a property.
Homebuy isnt available in all areas. And where it is available, the scheme will be subject to local residency and employment eligibility criteria.
Find out more about the Homebuy scheme at gov.walesOpens in a new window
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Get Help With Your Home Purchase
Buying your first home can be challenging, especially when it comes to getting approved for a mortgage and coming up with the down payment.
Thankfully, Uncle Sam has first-time home buyer government programs that can make it easier to get into your new home.
Dig deeper and find out about various loan options, state-run mortgage programs, down payment assistance, and other resources available to eligible buyers.
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