Buying your first property involves various considerations, processes, and financial planning. Ideally, most buyers spend years saving for the down payment. Since property value increases over time, chasing a moving target can be daunting. However, you can tap into different funding programs to help with home ownership. The following tips can help increase your odds.
1. Understand Appropriate Grant Programs
The government offers different grants to help property buyers start the process sooner. Homeowners may not be required to repay the cash because it contributes towards property ownership. However, it’s essential to understand the different grant programs and maximize the benefits.
A forgivable mortgage is a funding option often released after you satisfy specific conditions like making punctual payments. You use a traditional mortgage to finance a home purchase and make your down payment with the grant. After making on-time payments for five years, the grant is forgiven, and the lien is lifted from the title.
Most local and state governments offer cash grants to property buyers to improve home affordability. The DPA grant can be as high as $50,000, and you can use the money towards a downpayment, closing costs, and rate reductions. The program may require beneficiaries to be low-income earners with good credit scores.
The Down Payment Toward Equity is a property grant awarding up to $25,000 to first homebuyers and people from economically or socially disadvantaged backgrounds. You can use the money to pay real estate taxes, downpayment, closing costs, and discount points.
2. Improve Your Eligibility
While property grant programs are abundant, not all home buyers qualify for the funds. Most programs focus on low and moderate-income earners. However, the income brackets depend on where you want to acquire property.
Typically, most programs consider households whose earnings are in the eighth percentile or higher to be low-income and reserve the grants to individuals in that bracket. Income limits depend on the number of household members with formal income.
On the other hand, your eligibility depends on the cost of your preferred home, but the price restrictions depend on the local real estate market. While you can access funding, most grants require your contribution as a commitment gesture. Mostly, you may be required to contribute at least $1,000 towards the purchase.
Finally, you can only qualify for a grant to buy your primary residence, not a property you intend to rent or use as a vacation home. You may also be required to take a homeowner course before getting the grant.
3. Apply Through the Right Channels
If you need the grant to make a downpayment or cover processing fees, submitting the application through an approved agent financing the purchase is vital. However, if you’re through with the construction and commercial landscaping phase, you can apply directly on the grant portal. Most importantly, the application must be accompanied by all necessary documents. If you’re building a new home, the application must be submitted within one year of completing construction to avoid unnecessary complications.
Home buyers can access financial grants to simplify the buying process. The funds can help you pay closing costs, downpayment, and tax credits. However, it’s essential to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria for a specific program in your locality.