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Virginia First-Time Homebuyer Programs

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Buying your first home can be tough. You not only need money to pay for the house itself, but also closing costs, taxes and attorney fees. Plus, you’ll need upfront cash for a down payment. But if Virginia is where you plan to lay your head, you have plenty of resources to help make buying a home more affordable.

The Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) offers programs for first-time homebuyers (and in some cases repeat owners) that can finance your down payment, lower your taxes or give you access to affordable, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages.

Many of the VHDA’s loans can be combined with their Down Payment Assistance Grant or Mortgage Credit Certificate to help you save more money.

Here’s a look at programs in Virginia that can make buying a home a reality for you.

Virginia first-time homebuyer programs

The VHDA works with public-private partners to help first-time homebuyers get mortgages and to fund revitalization projects in apartment communities and neighborhoods. The organization also offers free homebuyer education classes, housing counseling and housing-related help for seniors and people with disabilities.

Eligibility for Virginia assistance

The requirements for the VHDA’s loans vary depending on your situation and the type of funding you’re requesting, but there are specific requirements the programs share in common. Many, but not all, have a first-time buyer requirement, meaning you can’t have owned a home in the past three years. To qualify for a VHDA program, you must also:

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Down Payment Assistance Grant

What is it?

  • Grant for up to 2.5% of the purchase price that can be used toward a down payment.
  • The grant does not need to be repaid.
  • Reduces monthly housing payment.
  • Can be combined with a Mortgage Credit Certificate.

Requirements

  • Must be a first-time homebuyer unless buying in a targeted area.
  • Down payment of 1% required
  • Can only be used with VHDA loans.
  • The eligible VHDA mortgage must be locked in before reserving grant funds.
  • Must have a ratified sales contract before reserving grant funds.

How to apply

If you’re interested in the Down Payment Assistance Program, you’ll need to first find a participating lender.A lender can check that you qualify for the program and handle your application.

Learn more

Closing Cost Assistance Grant

What is it?

  • Grant for up to 2% of the purchase price that can be used toward closing costs.
  • No repayment required.
  • Can be combined with a Mortgage Credit Certificate and other non-VHDA assistance.
  • May be enough to cover all closing costs.

Requirements

  • Must be a first-time homebuyer or buying a home in a targeted area.
  • Must be used with a VHDA Rural Housing Service or Veterans Affairs loan.
  • Funds can’t be used toward a down payment.
  • The eligible VHDA mortgage must be locked in before reserving grant funds.
  • Must have a ratified sales contract before reserving grant funds.

How to apply

To apply for the Closing Cost Assistance Grant, first find a find a participating lender. Your lender will check to see that you qualify for the program and help apply.

Learn more

Mortgage Credit Certificate

What is it?

  • Dollar-for-dollar credit for first-time homebuyers toward federal income tax liability.
  • The credit can be for up to 20% of annual mortgage interest.
  • Good for the life of the mortgage as long as you’re living in the home.
  • May be no cost if issued with a VHDA loan.
  • Can be combined with a VHDA Plus Second Mortgage or Down Payment Assistance Grant.

Requirements

  • Must be a first-time homebuyer unless you’re buying a home in a targeted area.

How to apply

To apply for a Mortgage Credit Certificate, first find an approved MCC lender. You should then fill out the MCC Homebuyer Application and Fact Sheet and give that to your lender. Also, get an MCC commitment from the VHDA before you close.

Learn more

Fannie Mae HFA Preferred with Reduced Mortgage Insurance program

What is it?

Requirements

  • Minimum 640 credit score.
  • Minimum 3% down payment. Can be lower if combined with the VHDA Down Payment Assistance Grant.
  • Maximum 45% debt-to-income ratio.
  • Maximum 3% seller concessions (or 6% if making a down payment of 10% or greater).
  • Must complete a free homebuyer education course.

How to apply

To apply for a Fannie Mae HFA Preferred with Reduced Mortgage Insurance, first sign up for a free homebuyer education course. The one-day course is about eight hours long and can be taken online or in person. If you’re buying the house with someone else, they’ll have to take the class, too.

Next, find a participating lender. The lender can pre-qualify you for the loan and fill out all the paperwork.

Learn more

Fannie Mae 97% No Mortgage Insurance program

What is it?

  • 30-year, fixed-rate loan for first-time and repeat homebuyers.
  • Doesn’t require monthly mortgage insurance.
  • Can be used for limited cash-out transactions and purchases.
  • Eligible for the VHDA’s Plus Second Mortgage and Mortgage Credit Certificate.
  • Flexible down payment sources are allowed, including gifts, FNMA Community Seconds, VHDA Down Payment Assistance Grant funds and VHDA Plus Second Mortgage

Requirements

  • Minimum credit score of 660
  • Down payment of 3% required, but may be lower if combined with the Down Payment Assistance Grant.
  • Maximum 45% debt-to-income ratio.
  • Maximum 97% loan-to-value ratio.
  • Maximum seller concessions of 3% (or 6% if making a down payment of 10% or greater).
  • Must complete a homebuyer education course.

How to apply

Your first step in qualifying for a Fannie Mae 97% No Mortgage Insurance loan is to sign up for a free one-day homebuyer education course. The class can be taken online or in person. Any co-borrowers will have to take the class as well.

After that, find a participating lender, who’ll determine whether you’re eligible and help you apply for the loan.

Learn more

VHDA Federal Housing Administration (FHA) program

What is it?

  • A 30-year, fixed-rate FHA loan that offers 100% financing.
  • Insured by the FHA.
  • Down payment of 3.5% or as low as 1% if using the Down Payment Assistance Grant
  • Eligible for the Mortgage Credit Certificate and the VHDA Plus Second Mortgage (if not using the down payment grant).

Requirements

  • Must be a first-time homebuyer unless buying in a targeted area.
  • Minimum credit score of 620.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio of 45%.
  • Must complete a homebuyer education course.

How to apply

You’ll need to take a free, eight-hour homebuyer education course to get started. Next, contact a participating lender, who can tell you whether you qualify for the program and help you fill out the paperwork.

Learn more

VHDA Veterans Affairs (VA) program

What is it?

  • 30-year, fixed-rate VA loan for eligible veterans that offers 100% financing.
  • No down payment for those who qualify.
  • Guaranteed by the VA.
  • Can be combined with the VHDA’s Closing Cost Assistance Grant.
  • Eligible for the Mortgage Credit Certificate.

Requirements

  • Minimum credit score of 620.
  • Must be a first-time homebuyer unless buying in a targeted area.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio of 45%.
  • Must complete a homebuyer education course.

How to apply

To get started, take the free homebuyer education course. You can take the one-day course online or in person. Anyone buying the house with you will have to take the class, too.

Next, search for a participating lender. They’ll work with you to see if you’re eligible and walk you through the lending process.

Learn more

VHDA Rural Housing Service (RHS) program

What is it?

  • Thirty-year, fixed-rate USDA loan
  • Guaranteed by the Department of Agriculture.
  • 100% financing available for eligible rural properties.
  • Low mortgage insurance costs.
  • Eligible for VHDA’s Closing Cost Assistance grant and the Mortgage Credit Certificate

Requirements

  • Home must be located in a rural area, which is generally defined as having a population of 35,000 or less.
  • Maximum 45% debt-to-income ratio.
  • Minimum credit score of 620.
  • Must complete a homebuyer education course

How to apply

To receive a VHDA RHS loan, you and anyone else you’re buying the house with will need to sign up for a free one-day homebuyer education course, which you can take online or in person. The course is about eight hours long.

Find a participating lender next. The lender can pre-qualify you for the loan and guide you through the application and lending process.

Learn more

VHDA Plus Second Mortgage

What is it?

  • Eliminates the need for a down payment for first-time homebuyers by combining a VHDA mortgage with a second VHDA mortgage that covers the down payment cost.
  • First mortgage is a 30-year, fixed-rate loan with no prepayment penalty.
  • Borrowers with credit scores of 680 and above can finance some of their closing costs, too.
  • Can be combined with down payment assistance programs from other organizations.
  • Eligible for the Mortgage Credit Certificate.

Requirements

  • First mortgages must be a VHDA FHA, VHDA Fannie Mae No Mortgage Insurance or VHDA Fannie Mae Reduced Mortgage Insurance loan.
  • Depending on your credit score and the type of first mortgage, the second mortgage can only be for 3% to 5% of the purchase price.
  • At closing, borrowers must have 1% of the purchase price in reserves or available funds.
  • Minimum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 90% on the first mortgage.

How to apply

Your first step in applying for a VHDA Plus Second Mortgage, is to find a participating lender. Your lender will see if you qualify and start the application process if you do.

Learn more

National assistance

Virginia offers many options for new homebuyers, whether you want help with down payment or closing costs, or are looking to save on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan.

But you’re not limited to state programs. You can also extend your search to national programs. To learn more, check out LendingTree’s guide to national first-time homebuyer programs.

This article contains links to LendingTree, our parent company.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas |

Jennifer Thomas is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Jennifer here

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Vermont First Time Homebuyer Programs

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Vermont may be small, but it’s mighty when it comes to programs aimed at helping people buy a home. The nonprofit Vermont Housing Finance Agency offers several types of homebuying assistance. Some programs are specifically targeted at first-time homebuyers. Others benefit new and existing homeowners alike. The programs include several fixed-rate mortgages, as well as down payment assistance and mortgage tax credits.

This guide will go over the Vermont programs that can help you become a homeowner.

Vermont first-time homebuyer programs

The Vermont Housing Financing Agency (VHFA) offers several statewide programs aimed at helping low- and moderate-income Vermont residents. The VHFA partners with other organizations to provide access to affordable housing, address homelessness and to support people with disabilities in the state. The VHFA also partners with lenders who can offer low-cost mortgage financing.

Requirements for Vermont assistance

You don’t have to live in Vermont right now to take advantage of its homebuying programs, but the home you buy will have to be in Vermont and it will have to be your primary residence.
Other requirements for all VHFA programs include:

  • First-time homebuyers must take a pre-purchase buyer education class.
  • The property must become your primary residence within 60 days of closing.
  • The home cannot be on more than 15 acres of land.
  • If buying a two-unit property, it must be existing and have been occupied as a residence for the past five years.
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Advantage program

What is it?

  • A low down payment loan
  • Can be paired with VHFA Assist down payment loan
  • Offers lower monthly mortgage insurance payments (if your down payment is less than 20% and mortgage insurance is required)
  • Offers up to $825 savings on Vermont Property Transfer Tax at closing

Requirements

  • Open to existing homeowners and first-time homebuyers.
  • Must not exceed income limits of $100,000 for two owners or $125,000 for three or more owners.
  • Maximum home purchase price is $350,000 for a one- or two-unit property.

How to apply

If you’re interested in the Advantage program, first find a VHFA participating lender. Your lender will discuss the program with you and pre-qualify you for the loan.

Early on, you should also talk to your lender about the required education classes for first-time homebuyers.

Learn more

Assist program

What is it?

  • Down payment or closing cost assistance of up to $5,000.
  • A no-interest loan with no monthly payments.
  • You repay the loan when you sell the home, or when you refinance or pay off the mortgage.

Requirements

  • Open to first-time homebuyers who have never owned a home and have less than $30,000 in non-retirement, liquid assets.
  • Only available to people with a VHFA first mortgage.

How to apply

If you’re interested in the Assist program, first find a VHFA participating lender. Your lender will discuss the program with you and help you start the application process if you qualify.

Early on, you should also talk to your lender about the required education classes for first-time homebuyers.

Learn more

Mortgage Credit Certificate

What is it?

  • A tax credit of up to $2,000 each year to reduce your federal tax bill
  • Credit amount is up to 30% of mortgage interest paid annually
  • Can be used for the entire length of the mortgage term
  • Can be paired with other products offered by your lender

Requirements

  • No first-time homebuyer requirements except in Addison, Bennington, Chittenden, Grand Isle and Windsor counties, where you must not have owned a home in the previous three years.
  • Must meet income limits that range from $79,500 to $110,000, based on property location and number of owners.
  • Property must meet purchase price limits that range from $270,000 to $350,000, depending on county and number of units.

How to apply

If you’re interested in the Mortgage Credit Certificate, your first step should be to contact a VHFA participating lender. Your lender will walk you through the process and help you apply.

Learn more

Move MCC

What is it?

  • A VHFA first mortgage combined with a tax credit of up to a $2,000 a year to reduce your federal tax bill.
  • Credit amount is up to 30% of mortgage interest paid annually and can be used for the entire length of the mortgage term.
  • Mortgage has a low down payment requirement.
  • Lower monthly mortgage insurance payments (if your down payment is less than 20%).
  • Can be paired with a VHFA Assist down payment assistance loan.
  • Up to $825 savings on Vermont’s Property Transfer Tax at closing.

Requirements

  • No first-time homebuyer requirements except in Addison, Bennington, Chittenden, Grand Isle and Windsor counties, where you must not have owned a home in the previous three years.
  • Must meet income limits that range from $79,500 to $110,000, based on property location and number of owners.
  • Property must meet purchase price limits that range from $270,000 to $350,000, depending on county and number of units.

How to apply

If you’re interested in the Move Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC), first find a VHFA participating lender. Your lender will discuss the program with you and start the application process if you qualify.

Early on, you should also talk to your lender about the required education classes for first-time homebuyers.

Learn more

Move program

What is it?

  • Offers the lowest interest rate of all VHFA’s loans. Check here for current rates (rates may vary by lender and your individual situation).
  • Offers low down payment and lower monthly mortgage insurance payments (in cases where your down payment is less than 20% and mortgage insurance is required).
  • Can be paired with a VHFA Assist down payment assistance loan.
  • Up to $825 savings on Vermont’s Property Transfer Tax at closing.

Requirements

  • No first-time homebuyer requirements except in Addison, Bennington, Chittenden, Grand Isle and Windsor counties, where you must not have owned a home in the previous three years.
  • Must meet income limits that range from $79,500 to $110,000, based on property location and number of owners.
  • Property must meet purchase price limits that range from $270,000 to $350,000, depending on county and number of units.

How to apply

If you’re interested in the Move program, first find a VHFA participating lender. Your lender will discuss the program with you and start the application process if you qualify.

Early on, you should also talk to your lender about the required education classes for first-time homebuyers.

Learn more

National assistance

Vermont offers numerous homebuyer programs, with some targeted specifically at first-time homebuyers. But you’re not limited to programs in your state. There are several nationwide programs that offer help for new homebuyers. To learn more about them, check out LendingTree’s guide to national first-time homebuyer programs.

This article contains links to LendingTree, our parent company.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas |

Jennifer Thomas is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Jennifer here

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Arizona First Time Homebuyer Programs

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Coming up with money for a down payment or closing costs can be a big obstacle to buying a home. If you’re looking to buy a home in Arizona, though, there are two down payment assistance programs that are packaged with 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. You don’t have to be a first-time homebuyer to participate in either program, but they’re both useful for potential homeowners looking to buy in the Grand Canyon state. The popular Home Plus Home Loan Program offers up to 5% down payment help. The Pathway to Purchase Down Payment Assistance program, meanwhile, is targeted at homes in very specific areas in 12 cities and offers up to 10% assistance.

Here’s a look at the Arizona programs that can make purchasing a home a reality for first-time homebuyers.

Arizona first-time homebuyer programs

The Arizona Industrial Development Authority, or AZIDA, offers the Home Plus program through the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH). The ADOH partners with several for-profit and nonprofit organizations to offer housing-related assistance, including consumer protection, affordable housing advocacy and eviction and foreclosure help.

The ADOH is also home to the Arizona Home Foreclosure Prevention Funding Corporation, which is its partner on offering the Pathway to Purchase program.

Requirements for Arizona assistance

For the Home Plus and Path to Purchase programs, you must make the home you’re buying your permanent residence within 60 days after closing. Each borrower must also take a homebuyer education class.

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Home Plus Home Loan Program

The Home Plus Home Loan Program combines a 30-year fixed mortgage with the ability to receive up to 5% of the loan’s principal balance as a deferred, no-interest second mortgage.The second mortgage only has to be repaid if you sell the home or refinance or pay off the first mortgage before the end of three years.

What is it?

The program offers

  • Down payment assistance that can also be used for closing costs or a combination of the two.
  • Reduced mortgage insurance on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conventional loans.
  • Additional 1% down payment help for military borrowers who are not eligible for a VA loan

Requirements

To qualify for the program, you must

  • Have a minimum credit score of 640. Some loans or terms will require a score of 660 or 680
  • Not exceed income limit of $99,170 a year.
  • Buy a home with a purchase price that doesn’t exceed $396,680.
  • Have a maximum debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of 45% or 50%, depending on the type of loan.
  • Buy a property that is either a single-family home, a duplex (one unit must be occupied by the borrower), a condominium, or a Fannie Mae-eligible and approved Planned Unit Development.
  • Purchase mortgage insurance if your down payment is less than 20%.

How to apply

If you’re interested in the Home Plus loan program, your first step is getting in touch with an approved, participating lender. Your lender will determine if you qualify for the program and sign you up for the program.

It’s a good idea to seek out a loan officer who is knowledgeable in down payment assistance programs, in particular the Home Plus program. Each lender may have different requirements, so you might want to get several offers for comparison.

Pathway to Purchase Down Payment Assistance Program

This program is a partnership between the Arizona Department of Housing and the Arizona Home Foreclosure Prevention Funding Corporation to provide down payment help to people buying homes in 26 targeted ZIP codes in 12 Arizona cities. The areas are those that were hardest hit by foreclosures.

What is it?

The program offers

  • A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with down payment assistance in the form of a second mortgage worth up to 10% of the purchase price, or a maximum of $20,000, whichever is less.
  • The down payment assistance loan is a five-year forgivable loan with a 0% interest rate and no required monthly payments.
  • The assistance can be used for a down payment, closing costs or a combination of the two.

Requirements

To qualify for the program, you must

  • Buy a home in one of 26 designated ZIP codes in 12 cities: Sierra Vista, Glendale, Phoenix, Bullhead City, Kingman, Green Valley, Sahuarita, Tucson, Vail, Casa Grande, Rio Rico or Yuma.
  • Qualify for a Freddie Mac HFA Advantage mortgage
  • Have a minimum credit score of 640.
  • Have a maximum DTI of 45%
  • Have an income that doesn’t exceed $92,984
  • Buy a home with a purchase price of no more than $371,936
  • Buy an existing single-family home, condominium or townhome.

How to apply

Your first step should be to get in touch with an approved, participating lender to find out if you qualify for the Pathway to Purchase program. If you do, the lender will help you apply.

Ask for a loan officer who knows about the Pathway to Purchase program. Each lender may have different requirements, so reach out to several to compare offers.

National assistance

Arizona offers two good options for new or existing homeowners who need help with money for a down payment or closing costs. Even better is that both secondary loans are deferred, no-payment loans that are completely forgiven over a set period.

However, you’re not limited solely to programs in Arizona. There are several country-wide programs that offer help for new homebuyers. To learn more, check out LendingTree’s guide to national first-time homebuyer programs.

This article contains links to LendingTree, our parent company.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas |

Jennifer Thomas is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Jennifer here

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