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First-Time Home Buyers

First-time homebuyer programs and grants can help make your goal of homeownership a reality.

Buying a home for the first time?

The steps to buying a house for the first time might seem complicated—particularly if you’re a home buyer trying to purchase real estate with no prior experience. Between down payments, credit scores, mortgage rates (both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate), property taxes, interest rates, and closing the deal, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. There’s so much at stake with a first home!

Still, if you familiarize yourself with what it takes to buy your first home beforehand, it can help you navigate the real estate market with ease. So let’s get started!

Benefits of a First-time home buyer program

  • low- or no-down-payment loans
  • Grants or forgivable loans that typically don't require repayment
  • Gifted money
  • Lower interest rates
  • More flexibility

First-time home buyers can leverage a variety of assistance programs

There are plenty of programs earmarked for first-time homeowners, both nationally and at a state level. The Florida Housing Finance Corporation, known simply as Florida Housing, offers several down payment and closing cost assistance programs to help you buy your first home. We help first-time homebuyers prepare for the programs and grants that help make thier goal of homeownership a reality.  If you are interested please fill out the form or call us today! 

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac set borrowing guidelines for conventional loan programs. With a 3 percent minimum down payment, these programs are an affordable option for borrowers with a strong credit score and a lower down payment: 

  • Conventional 97 mortgage – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both back the Conventional 97 program, which only requires 3 percent down, but a minimum credit score of 620. Like most conventional low-down payment mortgage programs, the borrower is also required to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI), an additional cost with their monthly mortgage payment.
  • HomeReady mortgage – Fannie Mae’s HomeReady mortgage program also requires just 3 percent down (with PMI, although it might be less expensive), and offers more flexible underwriting.
  • Home Possible mortgage – Freddie Mac’s Home Possible mortgage program is similar to the HomeReady mortgage, with a 3 percent minimum down payment.
  • HomeOne mortgage – This Freddie Mac mortgage also allows for just 3 percent down with PMI, but is available only to first-time homebuyers and comes with some special criteria.

Government loans are mortgages backed by a government agency, either the Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs or Department of Agriculture.

  • FHA, VA and USDA loans
  • Energy-efficient mortgage (EEM)
  • Good Neighbor Next Door
  • HomePath Ready Buyer
  • Native American Direct Loan (NADL)

Many states and municipalities offer first-time homebuyer grants (which don’t have to be repaid) and low-interest mortgage programs

Down payment or first-time homebuyer grants are essentially free money that help you cover your down payment or closing costs. Grants are usually awarded to low- or moderate-income borrowers, typically defined as earning no more than 80 percent of the area median income (AMI).

Employer-sponsored programs
Employer-assisted housing (EAH) programs help employees with housing needs, usually in neighborhoods near the workplace. This assistance can come in many forms, such as a forgivable loan coupled with required homeownership education. EAH programs are often limited to certain occupations, and there could be other restrictions, such as a first-time homebuyer or specific tenure requirement, or income limits.

Nonprofit programs
Nonprofit programs can offer exceptional value to first-time homebuyers seeking an affordable mortgage.

30-year FHA Fixed-Rate Loan: An interest rate of 4.25% (5.269% APR) is for the cost of 2.00 Point(s) ($4,070.00) paid at closing. On a $203,500 mortgage, you would make monthly payments of $1,133.41. Monthly payment does not include taxes and insurance premiums. The actual payment amount will be greater. Payment assumes a loan-to-value (LTV) of 74.91%. Payment includes a one-time upfront mortgage insurance premium at 1.75% of the base loan amount and a monthly mortgage insurance premium (MIP) calculated at 0.8% of the base loan amount. For mortgages with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 74.91%, the 0.8% monthly MIP will be paid for the first 11 years of the mortgage term. Thereafter, the monthly loan payment will consist of equal monthly principal and interest payments until the end of the loan.

25-year FHA Fixed-Rate Loan: An interest rate of 4.25% (5.406% APR) is for the cost of 2.125 Point(s) ($4,324.38) paid at closing. On a $203,500 mortgage, you would make monthly payments of $1,234.38. Monthly payment does not include taxes and insurance premiums. The actual payment amount will be greater. Payment assumes a loan-to-value (LTV) of 74.91%. Payment includes a one-time upfront mortgage insurance premium at 1.75% of the base loan amount and a monthly mortgage insurance premium (MIP) calculated at 0.8% of the base loan amount. For mortgages with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 74.91%, the 0.8% monthly MIP will be paid for the first 11 years of the mortgage term. Thereafter, the monthly loan payment will consist of equal monthly principal and interest payments until the end of the loan. 15-year FHA

Fixed-Rate Loan: An interest rate of 4.125% (5.353% APR) is for
the cost of 2.00 Point(s) ($4,070.00) paid at closing. On a $203,500 mortgage, you would make monthly payments of $1,591.37. Monthly payment does not include taxes and insurance premiums. The actual payment amount will be greater. Payment assumes a loan-to-value (LTV) of 74.91%. Payment includes a one-time upfront mortgage insurance premium at 1.75% of the base loan amount and a monthly mortgage insurance premium (MIP) calculated at 0.45% of the base loan amount. For mortgages with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 74.91%, the
0.45% monthly MIP will be paid for the first 11 years of the mortgage term. Thereafter, the monthly loan payment will consist of equal monthly principal and interest payments until the end of the loan.

The information contained on the content on this website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Reliable Mortgage Professionals. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Reliable Mortage Professionals, its officers, parent, or affiliates.

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