The best way to Get Assist Shopping for Your First House

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Final Up to date: November 21, 2022


Should you’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 if you happen to’ve bought job, regular earnings, and first rate credit score, and the one factor holding you again is an absence of money readily available for the down fee, you may be blissful 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.


Often called down fee help packages (DPAs), these assets might present the monetary increase you must purchase a house months and even years earlier than you could possibly save the entire cash by yourself.


How do DPAs work?


Managed by state housing finance businesses or metropolis and county governments, these packages give first-time patrons monetary help to assist pay for a down fee and/or closing prices.  Should you qualify, you may obtain help in a pair alternative ways:

  • Grants –Free cash you might by no means need to pay again
  • Loans Usually paid alongside along with your major mortgage or if you promote or refinance the property

Some packages additionally forgive DPA loans after you’ve been in your own home for some time, so that you by no means need to pay again the entire quantity they lent you. Normally, DPA loans have rates of interest which can be decrease than your fundamental mortgage, and in some instances, 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 will depend on many elements, together with your earnings, the world the place you need to purchase, and the kind of packages provided in your space. We’ll talk about earnings necessities in a minute, however if you happen to qualify, you could possibly get wherever from $5,000-$10,000, or much more. Meaning you may use your personal cash on different family bills and get into your property 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. Bear in mind, the bigger your down fee is, the smaller your month-to-month funds shall be, and that makes budgeting the remainder of your life simpler. Since you’re financing much less, a bigger down fee 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 packages are designed to assist the individuals who want it most. Necessities differ from place to put, however if you happen to’re making use of for a DPA, you might must:

  • Be a first-time homebuyer. In some locations, you may qualify if you happen to haven’t owned a house for a sure variety of years.
  • Have a low to average family earnings. Undecided you qualify? Strive googling the Space Median Revenue (AMI) the place you reside. Should you make 50% or much less of that quantity, you’re thought-about low earnings, and 50-80% of the AMI is taken into account average earnings.
  • Plan to buy your property inside a selected space. Whereas some DPAs apply to the whole state, others are focused to areas which were hard-hit economically and must be revitalized. When you’ve discovered a DPA in your space, test your zip code to see if the property you need to purchase qualifies for help.
  • Use the cash for a house that you’re going to stay in. These packages are for major residences solely; rental properties and trip houses usually don’t qualify.
  • Pay for a part of the down fee your self. The proportion you pay might differ by the kind of mortgage and DPA program, however your mortgage officer will help you determine how a lot you’ll want to provide.
  • Take a brief homebuyer schooling class. It will put together you for the monetary obligations of proudly owning a house to make sure that you purchase a property you may afford and might proceed to make your funds after you progress in.

 What sort of mortgages work with a DPA?

Should you’re contemplating a DPA, one among our Amerifirst mortgage officers shall be blissful to elucidate your choices. These packages normally work with the most typical mortgages, together with FHA, VA, USDA Rural Growth, and standard loans.


How do you apply for a DPA?

We’ve put collectively an inventory of packages in every of the states the place Amerifirst operates. Simply scroll down to search out your state and observe the hyperlinks to see what’s accessible in your space. As all the time, if you would like somebody that can assist you perceive these packages (even earlier than you’re prepared to purchase), attain out to us at Amerifirst. We’re all the time blissful to assist!



Down Fee Help Applications by State



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

See HUD’s record of other packages for Alabama.



  • The House Plus Help Program gives a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage mixed with down fee help (DPA) starting from 0% – 5% relying upon the brand new underlying first mortgage. One homebuyer should full a house purchaser schooling course earlier than closing.
  • The House in 5 Benefit Program helps low and moderate-income people and households purchase a house in Maricopa County. Certified homebuyers obtain as much as 5 % help for down fee 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 earnings cap.
  • The CalHFA Standard program is a 30-year fastened curiosity standard mortgage that provides you the choice to roll in down fee and shutting value help into your mortgage.
  • The CalPLUS Standard program comes with a barely greater 30-year fastened rate of interest, however you may mix it with the MyHome Help program for down fee 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 means of this system.
  • The Forgivable Fairness Builder Mortgage offers first-time homebuyers a head begin with speedy 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 major residence for 5 years.  
  • The GSFA OpenDoors Program gives as much as 7% of the primary mortgage mortgage quantity for proprietor occupied major residences. This system is just not restricted to first time homebuyers.

See HUD’s record of other packages for California.




The Florida Finance Housing Company 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 if 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 popular and HFA Benefit PLUS Second Mortgage packages provide 3%, 4% or 5% of the entire 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 popular for TBA or HFA Benefit for TBA first mortgage merchandise.
  • The Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program makes homeownership reasonably priced for eligible frontline neighborhood employees reminiscent of legislation enforcement officers, firefighters, educators, healthcare professionals, childcare staff, and energetic navy or veterans.

See HUD’s record of other packages for Florida.


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

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

See HUD’s record of different DPA packages in Georgia.



The Illinois Housing Growth Authority gives three packages for down fee help:

  • IHDAccess Forgivable Mortgage gives 4% of the acquisition worth or as much as $6,000 in a no month-to-month fee, 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 fee 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 record of other packages in Illinois.


The Indiana Housing and Neighborhood Growth Authority gives two packages that present a share of the house’s appraised worth or buy worth.

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

See HUD’s record of different packages in Indiana.



The Kentucky Housing Company has two help packages:

  • With Common DPA, you may borrow as much as $10,000 over 10 years with 3.75% curiosity.
  • With Inexpensive DPA, you may borrow as much as $10,000 over 10 years with 1.0% curiosity if you happen to meet earnings limitations.

See HUD’s record of other help packages in Kentucky.


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

  • MI House 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 earnings and residential buy worth limits. It gives $7,500 statewide and $10,000 in sure areas.

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


The Minnesota Housing Finance Company gives three help packages for eligible debtors:

  • With the Month-to-month Fee Mortgage, you may borrow as much as $17,000 on the identical charge 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 record of different homeownership help packages in Minnesota.


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



  • Certified house patrons in North Carolina could possibly obtain as much as $50,000 in the direction of their down fee with the Neighborhood Companions Mortgage Pool program. This program is a zero % curiosity, deferred second mortgage. This program could be mixed with NC 1st House Benefit Down fee or NC House Benefit Tax Credit score, or different down fee help loans or grants.  
  • The NC House Benefit 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 totally forgiven by yr 15 however should be repaid in full if you happen to promote, switch or refinance earlier than yr 11.
  • The company additionally gives an $8,000 down fee help possibility for first-time patrons and navy veterans who meet extra standards.

See HUD’s record of different homeownership help packages in North Carolina.


  • The Ohio Housing Finance Company 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 earnings and buy worth limits. The mortgage is forgiven after seven years however should be repaid in full if you happen to promote, switch or refinance earlier than then.

See HUD’s record of different help packages in Ohio.


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

See HUD’s record of different help packages in Pennsylvania.



  • SC Housing has a first-time purchaser program for low-to-moderate earnings households and people who’re buying a house for the primary time. It might pay all or a part of your required down fee if you happen to use a collaborating lender.

See HUD’s record of different help packages in South Carolina.


Tennessee Housing Growth Company has three down fee help packages:

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

See HUD’s record of different help packages in Tennessee.



  • The Wisconsin Housing and Financial Growth 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 fee 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 Straightforward 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 house.
  • Housing Sources, Inc. has an inventory of different assets for Wisconsin homebuyers, together with grants and/or forgiveable loans for buying a house in sure areas.

See HUD’s record of different help packages in Wisconsin.


Learn our weblog: Utilizing present funds in your down fee


Different first-time homebuyer assets

At Amerifirst, we have a lot of nice assets for first-time homebuyers. Wish to study extra? Go to our First Time Homebuyer webpage or click on the button beneath to attach with one among our skilled mortgage officers. You might be nearer than you suppose!


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


Alabama, Georgia, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania wouldn’t have State Applications accessible


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