How Down Payment Assistance Can Help You
So, you just found your dream home, and it's within your budget! One thing has you scratching your head though, and that's how are you going to come up with the 10%-20% down payment??? You're worried that if you can’t find the money for the down payment and closing costs, then you'll lose your chance to buy your perfect house.
Don't despair! Many DFW home purchasers are surprised to learn that there are a variety of down payment programs available to them—there are numerous government down payment programs in the that might be able to help. People often make the mistake of automatically assuming they're not going to qualify, or it's just too much work, and not even worth the hassle. This isn't always the case! Lenders want to get more people into homes, and these kinds of programs can help, as long as you meet eligibility requirements.
A savvy lender will always look at the best possible options for any situation, but you don't want to rely solely on that. Many home shoppers don't even consider applying for any kind of down payment assistance, because they don't know to ask.
Here are some tips to help you find a down payment assistance program that's right for you:
- Search for government programs- Depending on your state, county, or community, you might have down payment assistance available to you from one of many government entities. Check with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veteran’s Affairs (VA). Both of these bodies have home loan programs for individuals, and some have a down payment component. You can also find assistance options by consulting with your state on the Department of Housing or Urban Development websites.
- Search for Local Neighborhood Stabilization Programs- Congress established the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) to help rebuild and sustain Texas areas with high rates of abandoned homes and foreclosures. If you need down payment help, searching for a home in an area that’s a part of an NSP might be a great place to start. Also, don't cross high priced home markets off your list just yet. Programs will usually adjust specific benefits and eligibility requirements based on a percentage range of the area’s home prices and median income.
- Special programs for certain buyers- Depending on the community, you may qualify for down payment assistance if you're an educator, healthcare worker, firefighter, police officer, or another type of civic employee. If you're a first-time homebuyer or haven't owned a home in more than three years (re-qualifying you as a first-time buyer), then you could also qualify for down payment help.
- Search online and ask around- Search websites such as Down Payment Resource, which calculates what kind of assistance you might be eligible for receiving based on your community, occupation, and income. You can also search for programs that provide loans, grants, or tax credits, or others that can help you come up with your down payment faster, cover closing costs, and help move you into your perfect home sooner than you would on your own. Also check out your local DFW housing authorities, lenders, not-for-profit organizations, and even your employer. You might be surprised with what kinds of special assistance you uncover. Even as you're searching home listings online, some listing services display a special badge on listings that could qualify for down payment assistance.
- Speak to a knowledgeable lender- Lenders work in finance all day, but they are not all created equally. A good lender will know the basics and 1 or two tricks. A great lender will know a multitude of tricks and programs AND will be very creative in figuring out how to make deals work. In fact, your lender should be your #1 liaison in finding the right financing for your personal situation. If you need a solid recommendation, then let me know, because I work with one of the best lenders in the entire industry.
In closing, it's never a good idea to assume things financially. There are many ways to get deals done, and your lender and real estate professional are your two best allies in ensuring that you get that awesome home for you and your family. Utilize their expertise, so they can work for you- it's what they do!