MagnifyMoneyhttps://www.magnifymoney.com/blogThe Fine Print Blog and NewsThu, 21 Feb 2019 19:14:40 +0000en-CAhourly1https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8Maine First-Time Homebuyer Programshttps://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/mortgage/maine-first-time-homebuyer-programs/Thu, 21 Feb 2019 15:35:50 +0000https://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/?p=105235Do you want to live in a state with gorgeous seaside views and fresh lobster? Maine just might be the right place. Whether you’re new to the state or already call it home, if you need help coming up with a down payment, Maine offers several programs designed to help first-time homebuyers make their homeowning … Continue reading Maine First-Time Homebuyer Programs

The post Maine First-Time Homebuyer Programs appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

]]>

Do you want to live in a state with gorgeous seaside views and fresh lobster? Maine just might be the right place. Whether you’re new to the state or already call it home, if you need help coming up with a down payment, Maine offers several programs designed to help first-time homebuyers make their homeowning dreams a reality.In January of 2019, we researched first-time homebuyer programs in Maine, which included a review of the Maine State Housing Authority website and other state resources. Here’s what first-time homebuyers in Maine need to know.

Maine first-time homebuyer programs

The Maine State Housing Authority administers several federal and statewide programs aimed at providing affordable homeownership for Maine residents.

Their programs provide fixed-rate mortgages and assistance with down payments and closing costs to help put homeownership within reach. Their mortgages also come with payment protection, in the event that buyers face unemployment.

Eligibility for Maine assistance

Homebuyers who wish to take advantage of one of the Maine assistance programs must meet income and purchase-price limitations. Income and purchase-price limits vary, depending on how many people live in your household and the county in which you buy a home. You can find a list of current income and purchase-price limits online.

Eligible properties include new and existing single-family homes, owner-occupied two- to four-unit apartment buildings and condominiums. Manufactured homes located on owned land and built within the last 20 years are also eligible. However, the purchase-price limit for single-wide and double-wide manufactured homes is $150,000.

MaineHousing First Home Loan Program

The MaineHousing First Home Loan Program provides low fixed-interest-rate mortgages with low or no down payments. It can also provide up to $3,500 in assistance with down payments and closing costs.

Features

The First Home Loan Program offers

  • Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages
  • Low or no down payments
  • Up to $3,500 in down payment and closing cost assistance
  • Low fixed interest rates
  • Low- and no-point options
  • The option to finance between $500 and $35,000 for necessary home improvements in the same loan

Eligibility

In order to participate in the program, you must

  • Have a minimum credit score of 640.
  • Take an approved homebuyer education class before closing if you take advantage of the down payment and closing cost assistance option.
  • Contribute at least 1% of the loan toward the purchase price of your home (the cost of the homebuyer education class counts toward this 1%).
  • Be a first-time homebuyer (not have owned a home within the past three years) or a veteran, retired military or on qualified Active Duty.
  • Meet household income limits, which vary by county and household size.

How it works

The First Home Loan Program is available through a network of approved banks, credit unions and mortgage companies. You can begin the application process by contacting one of more than 40 approved lenders. The lender can help you determine how much home you can afford, decide on the right mortgage program and take you through the process of applying for and closing on the loan.

Learn more

MaineHousing Salute ME & Salute Home Again programs

The Salute ME and Salute Home Again programs help qualified active duty, veterans and retired military personnel achieve homeownership by giving them a 0.25% discount on First Home Loan mortgages.

Features

The Salute ME and Salute Home Again programs offer

  • An additional 0.25% discount on 30-year mortgages offered through the First Home Loan Program
  • Low or no down payments
  • Up to $3,500 in down payment and closing cost assistance
  • Low fixed interest rates
  • Low- and no-point options
  • Option to finance between $500 and $35,000 for necessary home improvements in the same loan

Eligibility

In order to participate in the programs, you must

  • Take an approved homebuyer education class prior to closing if you take advantage of the down payment and closing cost assistance option.
  • Have a minimum credit score of 640.
  • Be on active duty or have been honorably discharged from military service, have served on active duty for 180 days or within a war zone.
  • Use your new home as a primary residence.
  • Meet household income and purchase-price limits, which vary by county and household size.

How it works

MaineHousing programs are available through a network of approved banks, credit unions and mortgage companies. You can begin the application process by contacting one of more than 40 approved lenders. The lender can help you determine how much home you can afford, decide on the right mortgage program and take you through the process of applying for and closing on the loan.

MaineHousing Mobile Home Self-Insured Program

The MaineHousing Mobile Home Self-Insured Program allows manufactured/mobile home buyers to get higher loan-to-value (LTV) mortgages and pay a higher interest rate instead of mortgage insurance premiums (MIPs).

Features

The Mobile Home Self-Insured Program offers

  • Up to 30-year loan terms
  • Down payments as low as 5%
  • Up to $3,500 in down payment and closing cost assistance
  • The option that 3% of the purchase price may come from a seller contribution
  • The option to add up to $35,000 to the loan for repairs

Eligibility

In order to participate in the program, you must

  • Be a first-time homebuyer (not have owned a home in the past three years), have only owned an unattached manufactured/mobile home on leased land, or be a veteran.
  • Pay a maximum of 33% of your income toward housing and have a maximum total debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of 41%.
  • Have a minimum credit score of 640.
  • Meet income limits, which vary by county and household size.
  • Have a maximum purchase price of $150,000.
  • Purchase a single-wide or double-wide manufactured home that is less than 20 years of age and is permanently attached per code at the time of closing.
  • Move into the home as your main residence.
  • Not use more than 15% of the home for a trade or business.
  • Contribute a minimum of 3% toward the purchase of the home.

How it works

MaineHousing programs are available through a network of approved banks, credit unions and mortgage companies. You can begin the application process by contacting one of more than 40 approved lenders. The lender can help you determine how much home you can afford, decide on the right mortgage program, and take you through the process of applying for and closing on the loan.

National first-time homebuyer programs

If you want to buy a home in Maine, you’re not limited to first-time homebuyer programs available through the Maine State Housing Authority. There are other federal programs available to help first-time homebuyers across the country. If you’re interested in learning about national programs, start by checking out LendingTree’s guide to first-time homebuyer programs nationwide.

This article contains links to LendingTree, our parent company.  The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.

The post Maine First-Time Homebuyer Programs appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

]]>
Rhode Island First-Time Homebuyer Programshttps://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/mortgage/rhode-island-first-time-homebuyer-programs/Thu, 21 Feb 2019 15:29:51 +0000https://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/?p=105784Buying a new home is a scary prospect — and not just because change can be overwhelming. Figuring out how to afford a down payment, closing costs and monthly mortgage payments can feel like an Olympic gymnastics routine. Luckily, first-time homebuyers in Rhode Island have several programs that can provide assistance. Whether you’re looking to … Continue reading Rhode Island First-Time Homebuyer Programs

The post Rhode Island First-Time Homebuyer Programs appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

]]>

Buying a new home is a scary prospect — and not just because change can be overwhelming. Figuring out how to afford a down payment, closing costs and monthly mortgage payments can feel like an Olympic gymnastics routine. Luckily, first-time homebuyers in Rhode Island have several programs that can provide assistance.

Whether you’re looking to pay less in taxes or you need help covering a down payment, the state’s solutions may be able to help you. We reviewed the state’s offerings to help you pick the best program for you.

Rhode Island first-time homebuyer programs

Rhode Island Housing offers affordable housing programs designed to make living in the state more attractive and affordable — no matter your financial situation. Not sure how to start your homebuying journey? The organization offers first-time homebuyer education for all buyers to help you understand the ins and outs of this complicated process.

But there’s real money available, too. The programs below offer down payment assistance, tax credits and affordable mortgages. They can even help you avoid paying mortgage insurance.

Eligibility for Rhode Island assistance

All of Rhode Island Housing’s first-time homebuyer programs — except for the First Down Program — require purchasing a house that costs no more than $441,176. Your new home can be a one- to four-unit home or a condominium.

And, of course, you must be a first-time homebuyer.

FirstHomes100

What is it?

Rhode Island Housing’s FirstHomes100 program helps first-time homebuyers at any income level afford a new place. The program combines a traditional mortgage with down payment assistance funds so you can finance your home 100%.

The FirstHomes100 program offers first-time homebuyers

  • One hundred percent financing
  • Assistance with down payment or closing costs through low-interest, 15-year loans
  • The ability to forego mortgage insurance in exchange for a slightly higher interest rate.

Requirements

In order to qualify for the FirstHomes100 program, you must

  • Purchase a house that costs no more than $441,176.
  • Buy a one- to four-unit single-family home or a condominium.

How to apply

If your income is less than $93,623 for a one- or two-person household, or less than $107,667 for a household of three or more, you’ll need to work directly with Rhode Island Housing’s Loan Center. Homebuyers with higher incomes can contact any participating lender to begin the loan application process.

Learn more

FirstHomes100+

What is it?

FirstHomes100+ is the sister program of FirstHomes100. It allows first-time homebuyers to not just purchase but also renovate the home of their dreams. Once buyers are approved for a FirstHomes100 mortgage, they’ll work with a consultant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to determine what repairs are needed. Once the final costs are determined, and if they exceed $5,000, the loan will become an all-inclusive FirstHomes100+ loan.

FirstHomes100+ provides buyers with

  • One hundred percent financing to buy and renovate the home of their choice.
  • Assistance with down payment or closing costs through low-interest, 15-year loans.
  • The ability to forego mortgage insurance in exchange for a slightly higher interest rate.

Eligibility

To be eligible for FirstHomes100+, first-time buyers must

  • Purchase a house that costs no more than $441,176 and that requires a minimum of $5,000 in renovations.
  • But a one- to four-unit single-family home or a condominium.
  • Complete FHA 203(k) Homebuyer Education before closing.

How it works

Buyers with incomes of less than $93,623 for a one- or two-person household or less than $107,667 for a household with three or more people will work directly with Rhode Island Housing’s Loan Center. If your income is higher, you can contact any participating lender to apply for the program directly through them.

Learn more

FirstHomes Tax Credit

What is it?

The FirstHomes Tax Credit is a federal tax credit for part of the mortgage interest you pay in a given year. A tax credit directly reduces the tax amount you owe. You can claim the tax credit every year, making this program helpful for years to come. Reduce your taxes even further by itemizing and deducting any other mortgage interest you’ve paid.

The FirstHomes Tax Credit offers buyers

  • A mortgage credit certificate for 20% of the total mortgage interest you pay each year.
  • Maximum credit of $2,000 a year.

Requirements

To be eligible for the FirstHomes Tax Credit, buyers must

  • Purchase a house that costs no more than $441,176.
  • Be buying a one- to four-unit home or a condominium.
  • Plan to live in the home as their primary residence.
  • Have income of less than $93,623 for a one- or two-person household, or less than $107,667 for a household of three or more.
  • You don’t have to be a first-time homebuyer if you live in the federally targeted areas of Central Falls, Pawtucket, Providence and Woonsocket.

How to apply

Ready to get started? Get in touch with Rhode Island Housing’s Loan Center or reach out to any of the approved lenders.

Learn more

First Down Program

What is it?

The First Down Program helps first-time homebuyers in the counties most affected by the recent foreclosure crisis. Through this program, buyers receive down payment assistance in the form of a second mortgage. As long as you live in the house full-time for five years, the assistance is forgiven. If you sell, refinance or no longer use the property as your primary residence, you’ll need to repay part of the loan.

The First Down Program offers buyers

  • A forgivable down payment assistance loan of $7,500.

Requirements

To be eligible for this down payment assistance program, first-time buyers must

  • Treat the home as their primary residence.
  • Purchase a home that costs no more than $454,250.
  • Be buying a one-to-four-unit home or condo.
  • Live in Cranston, Pawtucket, Providence, Warwick or Woonsocket counties.
  • Have income of less than $93,623 for a one- or two-person household, or less than $107,667 for a household with three or more people.

How to apply

Funds for this program are limited. Reach out to Rhode Island Housing’s Loan Center or a participating lender to get started.

Learn more

National first-time homebuyer programs

Rhode Island offers several helpful programs for first-time homebuyers, but buyers in the state should consider looking to nationwide programs, too. These programs can help you find an affordable mortgage, down payment and closing cost assistance, and federal tax credits.

LendingTree’s guide to first-time homebuyer programs can help you find the solution that works best for you.

This article contains links to LendingTree, our parent company.  The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.

The post Rhode Island First-Time Homebuyer Programs appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

]]>
Connecticut First-Time Homebuyer Programshttps://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/mortgage/connecticut-first-time-homebuyer-programs/Thu, 21 Feb 2019 15:26:48 +0000https://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/?p=105221Connecticut has something for everyone: proximity to New York City, charming villages, mid-sized cities, beach communities, college towns and historic tourist attractions.If you want to set down roots in the Constitution State, know that there are several programs available for first-time homebuyers. Some programs are also available for first-time homebuyers who want to buy a … Continue reading Connecticut First-Time Homebuyer Programs

The post Connecticut First-Time Homebuyer Programs appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

]]>

Connecticut has something for everyone: proximity to New York City, charming villages, mid-sized cities, beach communities, college towns and historic tourist attractions.If you want to set down roots in the Constitution State, know that there are several programs available for first-time homebuyers. Some programs are also available for first-time homebuyers who want to buy a two- to four-unit building. State and local agencies offer down payment assistance, closing cost help and homebuyer education.

We researched first-time homebuyer programs and their eligibility requirements in January 2019.

Connecticut first-time homebuyer programs

The Connecticut Housing Finance Agency (CHFA) and the Housing Development Fund (HDF) administer different programs designed to help first-time homebuyers finance their purchase. Some programs are limited by household income or have purchase price limits. Others are limited to specific locations.

Eligibility for Connecticut assistance

Homebuyer assistance programs in Connecticut typically require three common elements:

  1. You must be a Connecticut resident.
  2. You must be a first-time homebuyer, which means you have not owned a home in the past three years. An exception may be made if you are buying in an area targeted for economic development.
  3. The home you purchase must be your primary residence, not an investment property or a vacation home.

HFA Advantage and HFA Preferred Loans

The HFA Advantage and HFA Preferred Loans have lower mortgage insurance premiums than standard conventional loans.

Features

  • No upfront mortgage insurance required
  • Lower monthly mortgage insurance costs
  • Mortgage insurance not required when 20% home equity is reached
  • Borrowers who purchase in a targeted area may pay an interest rate that is 0.25% below the standard rate, and unless they plan to apply for down payment assistance, their income eligibility limits are waived.
  • In rare cases, you might be required to pay a Federal Recapture Tax. CHFA may reimburse you for these taxes, which could be incurred if you sell your home for a profit within nine years and your income at that time exceeds Federal Recapture Tax Income.

Eligibility

To be eligible, you must

  • Take a homebuyer education class
  • Meet income restrictions, which vary by location
  • Meet home price limits, which vary by location
  • If you want to buy a two- to four-unit house, you’ll need to apply for the Preferred loan, not the Advantage loan

How it works

To get started, visit the CHFA resource map for the town or city where you want to buy a home.Once you have determined that you are income-eligible and you are aware of the home price limits, you’ll need to contact an approved lender on the CHFA list of approved lenders for Advantage loans and Preferred loans.

You can also sign up for a homebuyer education class, since you’ll need to take that before you complete the homebuying process.

Learn more

CHFA Down Payment Assistance Program loan

The Down Payment Assistance Program loan, available to borrowers who qualify for an HFA Advantage or Preferred loan, is a second mortgage to provide down payment funds for first-time buyers who can afford the monthly payments to buy a home but lack savings for a down payment.

Features

  • Down payment funds in the form of a loan for at least $3,000 up to the minimum down payment required by your loan program, typically 3% or 3.5% of the home price.
  • The mortgage rate is typically the same as your first mortgage.

Eligibility

In order to qualify, you’ll have to

  • Meet the requirements of the CHFA loan program
  • Document your ability to handle the monthly payments to repay both your first and second mortgages.
  • Contribute any savings you have above $10,000, excluding any retirement savings.
  • Pay a $200 application fee.

How it works

You will apply for the down payment assistance loan with the same lender you use to apply for your HFA Advantage or Preferred mortgage. You can also sign up for a homebuyer education class, since you’ll need to take that before you complete the homebuying process.

Learn more

CHFA FHA 203(k) Renovation Mortgage

The CHFA FHA 203(k) Renovation loan program allows you to finance the cost of limited or full renovations of a property you want to buy with a below-market-rate mortgage. The program can also be used to purchase and renovate an abandoned house or a foreclosure.

Features

  • Below-market interest rates.
  • Ability to finance home improvements into your mortgage.
  • Can be used for a single-family home, an FHA-approved condominium and a two- to four-unit building.
  • FHA mortgage insurance is required.
  • Funds for home repairs will be held in a separate account by your lender and disbursed to the contractor. If there are funds left over after the renovation, they will be applied to your principal balance.
  • If you purchase in an area targeted for economic development, your interest rate will be reduced by 0.25% and the income limit will be waived.

Eligibility

  • In addition to meeting the CHFA loan requirements, including home price limits and income limits, the total cost of your finished home must be at or below FHA limits for your area. FHA limits vary by location.
  • You must have a contract for your renovations with a state-licensed general contractor.
  • Renovations up to $35,000 are considered a “limited” FHA 203(k) loan; structural renovations and amounts above $35,000 will be considered a “standard” FHA 203(k) loan.

How it works

To get started, visit the CHFA resource map for the town or city where you want to buy a home.
Once you have determined that you are income-eligible and you are aware of the home price limits, you’ll need to contact an approved lender on the CHFA list for FHA loans. You can also sign up for a homebuyer education class, since you’ll need to take that before you complete the homebuying process.

Learn more

CHFA Military Homeownership Program

The Military Homeownership Program offers low interest loans to members of the military, veterans and eligible surviving partners. Down payment assistance may also be available.

Features

  • Interest rate 0.125% lower than the standard mortgage rate.
  • Down payment assistance is available to qualified borrowers.
  • In some areas, there are exceptions to both the sales price and income limits.
  • Mortgage insurance is required for loans with a down payment of less than 20%.
  • If you purchase a home in a targeted area, the income limits are waived.
  • In rare cases, you might be required to pay a Federal Recapture Tax. CHFA may reimburse you for these taxes, which could be incurred if you sell your home for a profit within nine years and your income at that time exceeds Federal Recapture Tax Income.

Eligibility

  • You must meet requirements of CHFA loans, including income and sales price limits.
  • You must be a veteran; active servicemember; or a surviving spouse, civil union partner or unmarried partner of veterans who died as a result of their military service or a service-related disability.
  • Loan program can be used for a single-family home, an FHA-, VA- or Fannie Mae-approved condo, a two- to four-unit building that has been used as a residence for five years or longer, or for a newly built two-family house if it meets FHA energy-efficiency requirements.

How it works

To get started, visit the CHFA resource map for the town or city where you want to buy a home.
Once you have determined that you are income-eligible and you are aware of the home price limits, you’ll need to contact a CHFA approved lender. You can also sign up for a homebuyer education class, since you’ll need to take that before you complete the homebuying process.

Learn more

CHFA Teachers Mortgage Assistance Program

The Teachers Mortgage Assistance Program provides lower cost mortgages to teachers who teach and buy a home in a state-designated priority or transitional school district, or to teachers who teach in a subject matter shortage area.

Features

  • Interest rate is 0.125% lower than an already below-market mortgage rate.
  • Down payment assistance is available for a low interest second mortgage of at least $3,000.
  • No asset limits are required.
  • If you purchase a home in a targeted area, the income limits are waived.
  • Mortgage insurance is required for loans with a down payment of less than 20%.
  • In rare cases, you might be required to pay a Federal Recapture Tax. CHFA may reimburse you for these taxes, which could be incurred if you sell your home for a profit within nine years and your income at that time exceeded Federal Recapture Tax Income.

Eligibility

  • Teachers must work and a purchase a home in a state-designated priority or transitional school district or teach in a specific subject matter area.
  • Teachers must also meet requirements of CHFA mortgage programs.
  • The loan program is available for single-family homes, condos approved by FHA or Fannie Mae, and two- to four-unit buildings that have been used as a residence for five years or longer.

How it works

To get started, check to see if you work in a state-designed priority or transitional school district or teach a subject on the state list of priorities. Next, contact a CHFA-approved lender. You can apply for down payment assistance with that same lender. You can also sign up for a homebuyer education class, since you’ll need to take that before you complete the homebuying process

Learn more

CHFA Police Mortgage Program

The Police Mortgage Program is designed to help police officers purchase homes in the areas they serve.

Features

  • Interest rate 0.125% lower than an already below-market mortgage rate.
  • Down payment assistance is available for a low interest second mortgage of at least $3,000.
  • No asset limits are required.
  • If you purchase a home in a targeted area, the income limits are waived.
  • Mortgage insurance is required for loans with a down payment of less than 20%.
  • In rare cases, you might be required to pay a Federal Recapture Tax. CHFA may reimburse you for these taxes, which could be incurred if you sell your home for a profit within nine years and your income at that time exceeds Federal Recapture Tax Income.

Eligibility

  • Municipal police officers must buy a home in the city or town where they work.
  • State police officers must buy a home in a participating city.
  • Police officers must also meet requirements of CHFA mortgage programs.
  • The loan program is available for single-family homes, condos approved by FHA or Fannie Mae, and two-to-four unit buildings that have been used as a residence for five years or longer

How it works

To get started, find out if you work in a participating city or town or want to buy a home there. Next, contact a CHFA-approved lender. You can apply for down payment assistance with that same lender. You can also sign up for a homebuyer education class, since you’ll need to take that before you complete the homebuying process.

Learn more

CHFA Home of Your Own Mortgage Program for Disabled Persons

The Home of Your Own Mortgage program provides special loans for households with disabled residents.

Features

  • Low interest loan.
  • Down payment assistance is available for a low interest second mortgage of at least $3,000.
  • If you purchase a home in a targeted area, the income limits are waived.
  • Mortgage insurance is required for loans with a down payment of less than 20%.
  • In rare cases, you might be required to pay a Federal Recapture Tax. CHFA may reimburse you for these taxes, which could be incurred if you sell your home for a profit within nine years and your income at that time exceeded Federal Recapture Tax Income.

Eligibility

  • You must provide proof of your disability or the disability of a family member who will be living in the household.
  • You must also meet requirements of CHFA mortgage programs.
  • The loan program is available for single-family homes, condos approved by FHA or Fannie Mae, and two- to four-unit buildings that have been used as a residence for five years or longer.

How it works

To get started, visit the CHFA resource map for the town or city where you want to buy a home.
Once you have determined that you are income-eligible and you are aware of the home price limits, you’ll need to contact a lender on the CHFA-approved lender list. You can also sign up for a homebuyer education class, since you’ll need to take that before you complete the homebuying process.

Learn more

CHFA Homeownership for Residents of Public Housing

The Homeownership for Residents of Public Housing program is designed to help people make the transition from subsidized rental housing to homeownership.

Features

  • Low interest loan.
  • Down payment assistance is available.
  • if you purchase a home in a targeted area, the income limits are waived.
  • Mortgage insurance is required for loans with a down payment of less than 20%.
  • In rare cases, you might be required to pay a Federal Recapture Tax. CHFA may reimburse you for these taxes, which could be incurred if you sell your home for a profit within nine years and your income at that time exceeded Federal Recapture Tax Income.

Eligibility

  • You must be receiving rental assistance or live in public housing. You may also qualify if you live in a property that is
    • Managed or financed by CHFA or
    • Managed by a local housing authority or
    • Subsidized by HUD.
  • Minimum credit score, income and employment standards will be required by the lender.
  • You must also meet requirements of CHFA mortgage programs.
  • The loan program is available for single-family homes, condos approved by FHA or Fannie Mae, and two- to four-unit buildings that have been used as a residence for five years or longer.

How it works

To get started, visit the CHFA resource map for the town or city where you want to buy a home.
Once you have determined that you are income-eligible and you are aware of the home price limits, you’ll need to contact a lender on the CHFA-approved lender list. You can also sign up for a homebuyer education class, since you’ll need to take that before you complete the homebuying process.

Learn more

CHFA Mobile Home Mortgage Program

The Mobile Home Mortgage Program, administered by the CHFA-approved lender, Capital for Change, is meant to increase affordability for buyers of single- or double-wide manufactured homes.

Features

  • Below-market interest rate mortgage.
  • Low closing costs.
  • Low mortgage payments.
  • Down payment of 20% required — down payment assistance is not available.

Eligibility

  • In addition to the standard CHFA requirements, including income limits and home price limits, you must be purchasing a manufactured home that will be fixed to a permanent foundation in a state-licensed mobile home park.
  • Your home must be a year-round residence.
  • You must sign a renewable yearly lot lease agreement.

How it works

To start, you’ll need to complete a worksheet that establishes that you meet specific criteria. Then you can contact the approved lender for this program, Capital For Change.

Learn more

HDF SmartMove CT program

The Housing Development Fund’s SmartMove loan program offers low interest loans with low down payment options for first-time homebuyers.

Features

  • Low interest mortgage.
  • Down payment options as low as 1%.
  • Down payment assistance in the form of a loan that must be repaid either monthly or deferred and paid when you transfer, sell or refinance the property.
  • You can borrow as much as 20% of the purchase price for down payment costs, but you must contribute any savings you have above $25,000, other than your retirement funds, toward down payment and closing costs.
  • Generally, borrowers should expect to contribute 1% to 3% of the purchase price.

Eligibility

  • Borrowers must meet income limits of 100% or less of area median income by county, which ranges from $86,900 to $111,200.
  • Home must be within the HDF service area.
  • Borrowers must take a homebuyer education class and have one-on-one homebuyer counseling.

How it works

First, determine if your household income fits within HDF’s income limits, which vary by county. Next, contact an approved lender and look into your homebuyer education options.

Learn more

HDF Live Where You Work (LWYW) program

The Housing Development Fund’s Live Where You Work program is designed to make housing more affordable for first-time buyers and to reduce transportation costs and commute time.

Features

  • A 30-year fixed-rate loan with 0% interest for up to $20,000 for down payment and closing costs.
  • You will be required to pay a $750 loan fee.
  • Can be used with other loan programs, such as HDF’s SmartMove CT loan.

Eligibility

In order to qualify you must

  • Have a household income at or below 80% of area median income, which varies by location and household size, from $36,568 to $142,454.
  • Be buying a home in the same town where you work.
  • Take a homebuyer education class and have one-on-one homebuyer counseling.

How it works

First, be sure you intend to buy a home in the same town where you work. Then determine if your household income meets the program’s limits. Next, contact an approved lender and look into your homebuyer education options.

Learn more

National first-time homebuyer programs

As you can see, Connecticut offers a variety of statewide and local first-time homebuyer programs that may help you buy your first property. Whether or not you qualify for these programs, you may also want to look at national programs that could provide a path to homeownership. Check out LendingTree’s national first-time homebuyer guide.

This article contains links to LendingTree, our parent company.

The post Connecticut First-Time Homebuyer Programs appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

]]>
Alaska First Time Homebuyer Programshttps://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/mortgage/alaska-first-time-homebuyer-programs/Thu, 21 Feb 2019 15:24:23 +0000https://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/?p=105193If the state known as the Last Frontier is where you’d like to buy a home, you’ll have no shortage of programs to help make that possible. Alaska has several programs to make purchasing a home a reality for first-time homebuyers. Statewide, Alaska offers several forms of assistance, including two first-time homebuyer programs that offer … Continue reading Alaska First Time Homebuyer Programs

The post Alaska First Time Homebuyer Programs appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

]]>

If the state known as the Last Frontier is where you’d like to buy a home, you’ll have no shortage of programs to help make that possible. Alaska has several programs to make purchasing a home a reality for first-time homebuyers.

Statewide, Alaska offers several forms of assistance, including two first-time homebuyer programs that offer long-term, low interest loans. If you’re a veteran, you’ll have the option of saving even more.

Alaska first-time homebuyer programs

The Alaska Housing Financing Corporation (AHFC) provides statewide financing and special loans for first-time homebuyers, low- to moderate-income borrowers, veterans, people living in rural areas and more.

Eligibility for Alaska assistance

Depending on the type of loan or assistance you need, different qualifications will apply, but most of AHFC’s single-family home loans require that you

  • Be a credit-qualified Alaska resident
  • Be current on child support payments
  • Occupy the purchased property as an owner within 60 days of closing
  • Have only one AHFC loan for an owner-occupied property
  • Have a down payment of 5% for a single-family home, 10% for a duplex or 20% for a triplex or fourplex
  • For most programs, a first-time homebuyer is anyone who hasn’t owned a primary residence in the last three years.

Tax-Exempt First-Time Homebuyer Program

The Tax Exempt Program (TEP) offers long-term loans with low interest rates for first-time homebuyers who meet certain income and property cost limits.

Features

The TEP program offers

  • Low interest rates for 15- and 30-year mortgages for single-family homes.

Eligibility

To qualify for the program, you must

  • Not have owned a home in the last three years unless the home is in a targeted area census tract or you are an eligible veteran.
  • Meet income limits for non-targeted areas. These are $91,000 to $104,900 for one or two people and $104,650 to $118,335 for three or more people. For targeted areas, income limits are $109,200 to $119,040 for one or two people and $127,400 to $138,880 for three or more people.
  • Buy a home that does not exceed $271,164 for new or existing single-family homes or $347,178 to $571,500 for an existing duplex.
  • Buy either a single-family home, condominium, Common Interest Community unit, duplex or Type I manufactured home.
  • Provide three years’ worth of federal income tax returns.
  • Read the Tax-Exempt First-Time Home Buyer Booklet.

How it works

If you’re interested in applying for a TEP loan, contact an AHFC-approved lender for a prequalification appointment.

Before you meet with a lender, gather the personal information you’ll likely need, including pay stubs from the past 30 days, three years’ worth of tax returns with W2s, checking/savings account statements and a list of your debt. A lender will review your credit history, debt and income and make sure you qualify for the loan. They will then help you fill out a mortgage application.

Learn more

Taxable First-Time Homebuyer Program

The Taxable First-Time Homebuyer Program offers lower interest rates for first-time homebuyers and is aimed at people who either make more money or want to buy a property that’s more expensive than the TEP income and acquisition cost limits allow. This program has no limits on either.

Features

The Taxable First-Time Homebuyer Program offers:

  • Interest rates of 4.5% for a 30-year mortgage and 4% for a 15-year mortgage for a single-family home.

Eligibility

To qualify for the program, you must:

  • Not have owned a home in the last three years, unless the home is in a targeted area census tract or you are an eligible veteran.
  • Buy a single-family home, condominium, Common Interest Community unit, duplex or Type I manufactured home.
  • Live in at least one unit of any duplex you’re intending to buy.
  • Provide three years’ worth of federal income tax returns.

How it works

If you’re interested in applying for a Taxable First-Time Homebuyer Program loan, contact an AHFC-approved lender for an appointment.

When you meet with them, you’ll likely need to show pay stubs from the past 30 days, three years’ worth of tax returns with W2s, checking/savings account statements and a list of your debt. The lender will review your credit history, debt and income, and walk you through the application process.

Learn more

Closing Cost Assistance Program

The Closing Cost Assistance Program offers a 30-year mortgage with funding of up to 4% of the initial principal balance of the loan. Despite the name, the funds can be used toward a down payment, too. There are no income or purchase price limits and no first-time homebuyer requirement.

Features

The Closing Cost Assistance Program offers

  • A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a fluctuating interest rate for a single-family home.
  • Assistance of 3% or 4% of the mortgage cost, to be used for closing costs or a down payment. Percentage depends on your credit qualifications.

Eligibility

To qualify for the program, you must:

How it works

If you’re interested in the Closing Cost Assistance Program, talk to an AHFC-approved lender to see how you can benefit.

They will likely want to see pay stubs from the past 30 days, tax returns and W2s from the past three years, checking/savings account statements and a list of your debt. The lender will review your credit history, debt and income and help you fill out a mortgage application. For more information, call 907-330-8400 or toll-free 888-854-3884.

Learn more

State Veterans Interest Rate Preference

Eligible veterans can combine this reduced-interest-rate program with most AHFC single-family loan programs.

Features

The State Veterans Interest Rate Preference program offers

  • A 1% interest rate reduction on the first $50,000 of the loan amount.
  • If the loan is for more than $50,000, you’ll get a blended interest rate rounded up to the next 0.125%.

Eligibility

To qualify for the program, you must:

  • Be an honorably discharged member of the U.S. Armed Forces who served at least 90 days of active duty. You may also be an honorably discharged member of the Alaska Army or Alaska Air National Guard or a reservist who has served at least five years. A combination of service in the Guard and Reserves may also qualify. Surviving spouses of qualified veterans may be eligible as well.
  • Not be current active duty military.
  • Provide a copy of a DD-214 and VA Certificate of Eligibility or other evidence of an honorable discharge.
  • Not have an income that exceeds State Veteran income limits.

How it works

To apply for a State Veterans Interest Rate Preference, contact an AHFC-approved lender.

When you meet with a lender, bring pay stubs from the past 30 days, three years’ worth of of tax returns with W2s, checking/savings account statements and a list of your debt. The lender will review your qualifications and help you apply for the program.

Learn more

National first-time homebuyer programs

Alaska offers many options for new homebuyers, whether you’re looking to lock in a low interest rate or need help with closing costs or a down payment. And the state’s two first-time homebuyer targeted programs cover a wide range of incomes and home prices.

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

This article contains links to LendingTree, our parent company. The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.

The post Alaska First Time Homebuyer Programs appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

]]>
Indiana First-Time Homebuyer Programshttps://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/mortgage/indiana-first-time-homebuyer-programs/Thu, 21 Feb 2019 15:22:05 +0000https://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/?p=104774Buying your first home can seem overwhelming at times. Not only do you have to find a house you love, but you also have to submit an immense amount of paperwork listing every detail of your financial life. And let’s not forget about the enormous expense involved in buying a home — things like closing … Continue reading Indiana First-Time Homebuyer Programs

The post Indiana First-Time Homebuyer Programs appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

]]>

Buying your first home can seem overwhelming at times. Not only do you have to find a house you love, but you also have to submit an immense amount of paperwork listing every detail of your financial life. And let’s not forget about the enormous expense involved in buying a home — things like closing costs, a down payment, moving expenses and more.

Fortunately, first-time homebuyers in the Hoosier State may qualify for some financial help. The state of Indiana offers an array of programs intended to help qualifying consumers stop renting and transition into homes they can afford.

Some of the state’s programs come with down payment assistance, while others offer tax credits and mortgages with preferential terms. This guide will go over each of the Indiana homebuyer programs available in 2019, how they work and how you can qualify.

Here’s a quick list of everything we’ll cover:

Indiana first-time homebuyer programs

The Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority (IHCDA) aims to help Indiana residents who qualify find affordable housing throughout the state. The agency works with developers, lenders, nonprofit organizations and investors to create new opportunities and bolster existing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Hoosiers.

The IHCDA’s stated mission is “to provide housing opportunities, promote self-sufficiency, and strengthen communities.” It accomplishes this goal through several different programs, each of which is explained in depth below.

Eligibility for Indiana assistance

Qualifying for one of Indiana’s first-time homebuyer programs starts with making sure your income falls within limits set by the state’s programs. These income limits vary by county and by household size.

Also note that you are typically required to pay a “loan reservation fee,” which is normally $100, and that loan programs offered are for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.

Individual programs also list more requirements that dictate which Indiana residents may be eligible.

Affordable Home (AH)

The Affordable Home (AH) program aims to help Indiana homeowners secure affordable mortgages in the state’s targeted areas. This loan is eligible for FHA financing, and you’ll have to pay a $100 reservation fee to get started. Please note that loans in this program must fall under acquisition limits — maximum loan amounts — that vary by county.

Features

  • Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgage that uses funds from the Federal Housing Authority (FHA).
  • Does not offer assistance with closing costs.

Eligibility

  • Must be a first-time homebuyer or someone who has not owned a home in three years.
  • If you have owned a home within the last three years, you may be able to use this loan if you are an eligible veteran or buying in a targeted area.
  • Must meet income guidelines based on household size and county.
  • Property can be one to four units.
  • Must plan to live in the home as a principal residence.
  • Must have a credit score of 660 or higher.

How it works

The IHCDA offers a list of participating lenders that cooperate with agency guidelines. The lender will work with you to determine eligibility for the AH program and help you move through the mortgage process.

Learn more

Helping to Own (H2O)

The H2O program works as a down payment assistance grant that uses FHA financing and is combined with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. This program works for homes whose prices fall within acquisition cost limits, which vary by county.

Features

  • Down payment assistance grant that does not need to be repaid, up to 3.5% of the purchase price or appraised value (whichever is lower).
  • Thirty-year fixed-rate FHA mortgage.

Eligibility

  • Minimum credit score of 660 required.
  • Must pay a reservation fee of $100.
  • Must be a first-time homeowner who hasn’t owned a home in three years unless you’re an eligible veteran or purchasing in a targeted area.
  • Must plan to live in the home as a principal residence.
  • Purchase price of the home cannot exceed fair market value.
  • Must meet income guidelines based on household size and county.
  • Price of home must be below acquisition limits, which vary by county.

How it works

Applications for this program must be completed through a participating lender. Once you meet with an IHCDA lender, they can determine your eligibility and advise you on beginning your mortgage application.

Learn more

Honor Our Vets (HOV)

The Honor Our Vets (HOV) program aims to help eligible veterans afford homeownership by combining the benefits of a VA loan with $5,000 in incentives that can be used toward relocation, a down payment or closing costs.

Features

  • Thirty-year fixed-rate VA mortgage
  • Receive $5,000 in funding for closing costs, a down payment or relocation expenses
  • 100% financing available

Eligibility

  • Loans must meet VA and IHCDA guidelines.
  • Must be an eligible servicemember, veteran or surviving spouse.
  • Must plan to live in the home as a principal residence.
  • Must meet income guidelines based on household size and county.
  • Can be a single-family home or a multi-family home with up to four units.
  • Purchase price cannot exceed fair market value.
  • Must pay a reservation fee of $100.

How it works

Once again, the IHCDA suggests starting the process by contacting an IHCDA-approved lender. Upon locating a lender you want to work with, you will be able to determine eligibility and move forward through the process.

Learn more

Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)

The Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) works as a tax credit that varies depending on the cost of your home. The goal of this credit is to make homeownership more affordable and provide funding consumers can use toward their monthly mortgage payment. The maximum tax credit is $2,000, and it can be claimed each year as long as it doesn’t exceed your federal income tax liability after taking credits and deductions into account.

Features

  • Thirty-year fixed rate mortgage
  • A federal tax credit of between 20% and 35% of the annual interest paid and accrued on the mortgage, depending on your mortgage amount.
  • Compatible with conventional financing, FHA loans,USDA loans or VA loans.

Eligibility

  • Must pay $500 reservation fee.
  • Must be a first-time homebuyer (someone who hasn’t owned a home in the last three years), unless you’re purchasing in a targeted area or you’re an eligible veteran.
  • Must meet income guidelines based on household size and county.
  • Home price must be below acquisition costs set by county.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • Property must be in Indiana and a single- or multi-family home with up to four units.
  • No more than 10% of the residence can be used for business purposes.
  • Must reside in the home as a principal residence.
  • Property can only be one parcel.

How it works

Start the process by reaching out to an IHCDA-approved lender that works with the MCC program in the state of Indiana. Once you locate a lender, they’ll work with you through the approval and loan process.

Learn more

My Home (MH)

My Home (MH) is a loan program that helps consumers qualify for affordable fixed-rate home loans. This program doesn’t offer down payment assistance, so it’s best for consumers who can fund their own closing costs.

Features

  • Thirty-year fixed rate mortgage
  • Eligible for conventional financing

Eligibility

  • Can be either a first-time or repeat homebuyer.
  • Must meet income guidelines based on household size and on the county of the home.
  • Property can be one- or multi-unit with up to four dwellings.
  • Must be the buyer’s principal residence.
  • Purchase price of the property cannot exceed fair market value.
  • Minimum credit score of 640 with loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of 95% or less.
  • Credit score requirements vary for LTVs over 95%.
  • Must pay a reservation fee of $100.

How it works

You’ll need to speak with an IHCDA-approved lender to determine eligibility for the My Home program. The lender will walk you through eligibility and help you apply for the program.

Learn more

My Home with Mortgage Credit Certificate (MH/MCC)

The My Home with Mortgage Credit Certificate program (MH/MCC) combines the features of both programs. You’ll get access to a 30-year home loan with a fixed interest rate along with a federal tax benefit that varies based on the price of your home.

Features

  • Thirty-year fixed rate mortgage
  • Federal tax benefit of 20% to 35% of the annual interest paid on the mortgage amount (up to $2,000). Percentage amount depends on the size of your mortgage.
  • Eligible with conventional financing.

Eligibility

  • Must be a first-time homebuyer.
  • Must meet income guidelines based on the county of the home and household size.
  • Property can be one- or multi-unit with up to four dwellings.
  • Must be the buyer’s principal residence.
  • Purchase price of property cannot exceed fair market value.
  • Minimum credit score of 640 with LTV of 95% or less.
  • Credit score requirements vary for LTVs over 95%.
  • Must pay a reservation fee of $100.

How it works

Speaking with an IHCDA-approved lender is key if you hope to apply for the MH/MCC. The lender will help determine whether you qualify for the program and walk you through the process.

Learn more

Next Home (NH)

The Next Home (NH) program provides down payment assistance that you can pair with a conventional mortgage or an FHA home loan. The down payment assistance cannot exceed 3.5% of the purchase price for FHA loans, or 3% of the purchase price for conventional loans.

Features

  • Thirty-year fixed rate mortgage
  • Minimum credit score of 660 for FHA or 640 for conventional
  • Can be used with conventional or FHA financing
  • Down payment assistance of up to 3.5% for FHA loans, and up to 3% for conventional loans

Eligibility

  • Does not require that you be a first-time homebuyer.
  • Credit score of 660 for FHA loan or 640 for conventional loan.
  • Must meet income guidelines based on county and household size.
  • Home may be single- or multi-family with up to four units.
  • Must live in the home as your primary residence.
  • Purchase price of property cannot exceed fair market value.
  • Down payment assistance can be used for closing costs, down payment or prepaid expenses.
  • Must pay reservation fee of $100

How it works

Contact a participating IHCDA-approved lender to determine eligibility and begin the process. Note that the IHCDA itself does not process home loans.

Learn more

Next Home with Mortgage Credit Certificate (NH/MCC)

The NH/MCC Program allows you to pair a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with a federal tax credit that varies based on your mortgage amount. This program combines the features of Next Home with the MCC for those who qualify.

Features

  • Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgage
  • Down payment assistance of up to 3.5% for FHA loans, or 3% for conventional loans
  • Federal tax benefit of 20% to 35% of the annual interest paid (up to $2,000)
  • Eligible for FHA or conventional financing

Eligibility

  • Must be first-time homebuyer unless purchasing in a targeted area.
  • Minimum credit score of 660 for FHA and 640 for conventional loans.
  • Must pay a reservation fee of $100.
  • Must fall within income limits based on household size and county where home resides.
  • Home price must be less than acquisition limit, which varies by county.
  • Must live in home as primary residence.

How it works

Since this program combines two different IHCDA programs, you’ll need to work with an IHCDA lender that is knowledgeable about the program guidelines and rules for both. Speak with an IHCDA-approved lender to begin the process.

Learn more

National first-time homebuyer programs

If you plan to buy a home in Indiana, these first-time homebuyer programs for Hoosiers can provide some financial help. However, it’s important to note that many national programs also exist. Check out LendingTree’s guide to national first-time homebuyer programs to learn more about all the programs that might be available to you.

This article contains links to LendingTree, our parent company.

The post Indiana First-Time Homebuyer Programs appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

]]>
West Virginia First Time Homebuyer Programshttps://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/mortgage/west-virginia-first-time-homebuyer-programs/Thu, 21 Feb 2019 15:17:11 +0000https://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/?p=104851Looking to buy a home in West Virginia? If it’s your first time, the financial commitment can be daunting. You’ve got to come up with a down payment and closing costs upfront, plus make monthly mortgage payments.Fortunately, a variety of resources can help you transition into homeownership. If you’re a prospective first-timer in the state … Continue reading West Virginia First Time Homebuyer Programs

The post West Virginia First Time Homebuyer Programs appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

]]>
Looking to buy a home in West Virginia? If it’s your first time, the financial commitment can be daunting. You’ve got to come up with a down payment and closing costs upfront, plus make monthly mortgage payments.Fortunately, a variety of resources can help you transition into homeownership. If you’re a prospective first-timer in the state of West Virginia, keep reading to find out what financial aid you may qualify for.

West Virginia first-time homebuyer programs

From comprehensive state-run funds to county-specific programs, there are a few ways to get the support you need to become a first-time homeowner. Funding comes from a number of different sources. The first is the West Virginia Housing Development Fund (WVHDF), which offers two programs that include affordable mortgage packages and the potential for down payment assistance. There are also several county-specific agencies worth looking into.

Here we’ll dive into eligibility requirements as well as what kind of help you can expect to receive from these organizations.

WVHDF Homeownership Program

Offered by the West Virginia Housing Development Fund, this program helps make homeownership more affordable for West Virginia residents.

Features

The Homeownership Program offers

  • Up to 100% financing on the purchase price of a home.
  • Down payment assistance of up to $7,500 for loans with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 90% or higher, or up to $10,000 in assistance for loans with an LTV of less than 90%. Your LTV is the amount of the loan you’re seeking divided by the value of the property.
  • Permanent financing for newly constructed homes.

Eligibility

In order to qualify for this program, you must

  • Meet certain income limits.
  • Purchase a home within the purchase price limits.
  • Not have had an ownership interest in your principal residence during any time in the three years before the loan closure date if you want to buy a home in one of the following counties: Barbour, Berkeley, Boone, Brooke, Cabell, Greenbrier, Hancock, Harrison, Jefferson, Kanawha, Marion, Marshall, Mason Mercer, Monongalia, Morgan, Ohio, Putnam, Raleigh and Wood.Note: This requirement does not apply if you are an eligible veteran under the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008.
  • Purchase one of the following home types in the state of West Virginia: a single-family home or townhome (in a planned unit development or otherwise), a condo or a new multi-sectional manufactured home.
  • Purchase a property on no more than five acres.
  • Meet all homebuyer education and counseling requirements, as applicable.

How it works

Your first step in applying for WVHDF’s Homeownership Program is to contact the organization’s loan origination department at 1-800-933-8511, or get in touch via the online contact form. They can give you more information, tell you if you’re eligible and help you get started with your loan.

Learn more

WVHDF Movin’ Up Program

Also offered by the WVHDF, this program is for moderate-income homebuyers who need financial help buying a new home. The program can be used by first-time homebuyers as well as previous homeowners.

Features

The Movin’ Up program offers

  • Down payment assistance of up to $5,000 for loans with an LTV ratio of 90% or higher, or up to $8,000 in assistance for loans with an LTV ratio of less than 90%
  • Permanent financing for newly constructed homes

Eligibility

In order to qualify for this program, you must

  • Meet an income limit of $113,760 for a one- or two-person household, or $132,720 for a household of three or more.
  • Purchase one of the following home types in the state of West Virginia: a single-family home or townhome (in a planned unit development or otherwise), a condo or a new multi-sectional manufactured home.
  • Meet all homebuyer education and counseling requirements, as applicable.

How it works

To start, you’ll want to contact the WVHDF’s loan origination department at 1-800-933-8511, or get in touch using the online contact form. You can ask them whether you qualify, and they can help you apply for the program if you do.

Learn more

Regional programs for first-time homebuyers in West Virginia

In addition to statewide programs, there are also several city- and county-specific programs available to West Virginia residents. Some of these departments update their online information more regularly than others, and it’s always recommended to contact your local housing department directly for the most up-to-date information on eligibility requirements and fund availability.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the following cities offer various forms funding for first-time homebuyers:

    • Charleston- First-time homebuyers in Charleston may qualify for one or more of the aid programs available through the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG).

Learn more

  • Huntington- First time homebuyers in Cabell or Wayne Counties may qualify for assistance through the Cabell-Huntington-Wayne Housing Consortium. More information can be found on their application form.
  • Martinsburg- First-time homebuyers of Martinsburg or other cities within the state’s Eastern Panhandle region may be eligible for funding through the Homebuyer Assistance Program (HAP). Additional funding for Martinsburg residents may be available through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). You’ll find more information on both of these programs on the city’s Community Development page.
  • Parkersburg- First-time homebuyers of Parkersburg and other cities in Wood County may qualify for aid through the Single-Family Housing Opportunity (SHOP) and Down Payment Assistance Program (DPAP).

    Learn more

National first-time homebuyer programs

In addition to the state- and county-specific programs offered in West Virginia, there are also several chapters of Habitat for Humanity (HFH) scattered throughout the state. If you’re interested, you should contact your nearest HFH office to learn more.

If you’re struggling to secure safe or sanitary housing, the state chapter of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Department may be able to help. Its Section 502 Direct Loan Program helps low- to very-low-income residents obtain safe housing in eligible rural areas.

For more information on other nationwide programs available to first-time homebuyers, see LendingTree’s comprehensive national first-time homebuyer guide.

This article contains links to LendingTree, our parent company.  The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing

The post West Virginia First Time Homebuyer Programs appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

]]>
Georgia First-Time Homebuyer Programshttps://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/mortgage/georgia-first-time-homebuyer-programs/Thu, 21 Feb 2019 15:10:38 +0000https://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/?p=104850If you’re looking to purchase your first home, you may have already encountered some of the challenges new buyers frequently face. These range from saving up a down payment to qualifying for financing to coming up with funds for closing costs. Fortunately, in Georgia, there is a handful of state-specific programs that address these and … Continue reading Georgia First-Time Homebuyer Programs

The post Georgia First-Time Homebuyer Programs appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

]]>

If you’re looking to purchase your first home, you may have already encountered some of the challenges new buyers frequently face. These range from saving up a down payment to qualifying for financing to coming up with funds for closing costs.

Fortunately, in Georgia, there is a handful of state-specific programs that address these and other needs. In this guide, we’ll highlight Georgia programs available to first-time homebuyers.
We’ll cover everything you need to know including eligibility requirements and how to get started.

Georgia first-time homebuyer programs

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) offers four programs within the state. These programs aim to meet the needs of low- to moderate-income homebuyers. Because of that, they have both income and purchase price restrictions. DCA partners with area lenders who originate the loans.

Eligibility for Georgia assistance

To qualify for any of the state’s programs, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Your household income must be within program limits, which range between $64,000 and $87,500, depending on family size and county.
  • The purchase price cannot exceed $200,000 or $250,000, depending on the county.
  • Your total liquid assets may not exceed $20,000 or 20% of the purchase price (whichever is greater).
  • You must attend an approved homebuyer education course, workshop or individual counseling sessions.
  • The property must be your principal residence.
  • Additional criteria may apply, depending on program.

Georgia Dream Homeownership Program

The Georgia Dream Homeownership Program offers residents affordable mortgage rates and down payment assistance options.

Features

  • Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages (FHA, VA, USDA or conventional)
  • Up to $5,000 in down payment assistance, if eligible
  • Low interest rates

Eligibility

  • Open to first-time homebuyers, borrowers who have not owned property in the past three years or buyers purchasing a home in a targeted area (specific areas designated to be in economic distress).
  • Must put down at least $1,000 if receiving down payment assistance.
  • Subject to additional lender requirements.

How it works

To apply for a Georgia Dream Homeownership loan, find an approved lender on the list of participating lenders or by calling 1-800-359-HOME (4663).

The lender will help you determine your eligibility first and then can assist you in getting the application process started.

Learn more

Georgia Dream Homeownership Program – Protectors, Educators and Nurses Loan (PEN)

Used in conjunction with the main Georgia Dream Homeownership Program, the PEN Loan provides down payment assistance in the form of a second mortgage to borrowers in specific occupations.

Features

  • Up to $7,500 down payment assistance
  • Zero-interest, deferred-payment second mortgage, payable when the property is sold, refinanced or is no longer your primary residence

Eligibility

  • First mortgage must be a Georgia Dream Homeownership loan. (Eligibility requirements for the first loan apply.)
  • Borrower’s employment position must qualify as a protector, educator or health care worker.

How it works

To be eligible for the PEN loan, you must also be pursuing a first mortgage under the Georgia Dream Homeownership Program. To apply, find a lender in your area on the list of participating lenders or by calling 1-800-359-HOME (4663).

Learn more

Georgia Dream Homeownership Program – Consumer Homeownership & Independence Choices for Everyone Loan (CHOICE)

The CHOICE loan is another down payment assistance option. It’s available for buyers who have a disability or have a disabled dependent living with them.

Features

  • Up to $7,500 down payment assistance
  • Zero-interest, deferred-payment, second mortgage payable when the property is sold, refinanced or is no longer your primary residence

Eligibility

  • First mortgage must be a Georgia Dream Homeownership loan. (Eligibility requirements for the first loan apply.)
  • You or a family member living with you must have a disability.

How it works

To qualify for a CHOICE loan, you must also be pursuing a first mortgage under the Georgia Dream Homeownership Program. To apply, contact a Georgia Dream participating lender in your area online or by calling 1-800-359-HOME (4663).

Learn more

Georgia Dream Hardest Hit Fund Down Payment Assistance Program (DPA)

Georgia is one of 18 states considered by the government to be the hardest hit by the economic crisis. As such, it has access to federal funds to help retain and stimulate homeownership. With this program, buyers in specific counties can receive a forgivable second mortgage to help with down payment and closing costs while also getting a Georgia Dream first loan.

Features

  • Up to $15,000 toward a down payment and closing cost assistance
  • Zero-interest second mortgage with no monthly payment and forgivable after five years

Eligibility

  • Must be a first-time homebuyer.
  • First mortgage must be a Georgia Dream Homeownership loan: FHA, VA, USDA or conventional loan with an 80% loan-to-value ratio or less. (Eligibility requirements for the first loan apply.)
  • Must have a minimum credit score of 640.
  • Must reside in one of the following counties: Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Muscogee, Douglas, Chatham, or Bibb.
  • Must contribute a minimum of $1,000.
  • Property must be an existing home. (New construction is not eligible.)
  • Must meet Dodd-Frank Certification. (Borrowers cannot have been convicted within the last 10 years of felony larceny, theft, fraud, or forgery; money laundering; or tax evasion.)

How it works

To qualify for the Georgia Dream Hardest Hit Fund DPA, you’ll need to also apply for a first mortgage through the Georgia Dream Homeownership Program. Find a lender on the list of participating lenders in your area or by calling 1-800-359-HOME (4663) to check your eligibility and get started with your application.

Learn more

National first-time homebuyer programs

In addition to Georgia-specific programs, first-time homebuyers can pursue federal programs aimed at new buyers. Options include loans insured by the FHA, VA or USDA, as well as tax incentives. Additionally, Habitat for Humanity may offer assistance in your area.

Review LendingTree’s guide to first-time homebuyer programs for details on national programs that can help you take one step closer to homeownership.

This article contains links to LendingTree, our parent company. The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.

The post Georgia First-Time Homebuyer Programs appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

]]>
Michigan First-Time Homebuyer Programshttps://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/mortgage/michigan-first-time-homebuyer-programs/Thu, 21 Feb 2019 15:08:50 +0000https://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/?p=104859Michigan is a stunning state full of forests, scenic trails, golf courses and parks. If you plan to buy your first home in “the Mitten State,” know that there are several programs that can help you out. Two of the programs are for first-time homebuyers with low to moderate incomes who may not be able … Continue reading Michigan First-Time Homebuyer Programs

The post Michigan First-Time Homebuyer Programs appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

]]>

Michigan is a stunning state full of forests, scenic trails, golf courses and parks. If you plan to buy your first home in “the Mitten State,” know that there are several programs that can help you out. Two of the programs are for first-time homebuyers with low to moderate incomes who may not be able to afford typical monthly mortgage payments otherwise.

There is also a forgivable loan that is available in 61 zip codes across 10 Michigan counties with high rates of foreclosures, short sales and bank-owned properties. A federal tax credit for first-time homeowners in Michigan is available as well.

In February 2019, we researched first-time homebuyer programs in Michigan to make it easier for you to turn your dream of homeownership into a reality. We’ll go over them in this guide.

Michigan first-time homebuyer programs

First-time homebuyer programs in Michigan are available through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). MSHDA’s mission is to provide housing to citizens throughout the state through socially conscious lending programs.

In addition to being a resource for first-time homebuyers, MSHDA helps homeowners in need by providing foreclosure prevention counseling. The organization also offers home improvement loans for homeowners with qualified incomes.

MI Home Loan

The MI Home Loan program offers 30-year fixed-rate mortgages from experienced participating lenders. Interest rates are lower than those of other programs. Intended for first-time homebuyers with low to moderate incomes, the MI Home Loan program also provides down payment assistance of up to $7,500.

Features

The MI Home Loan offers

  • Up to $7,500 in cash assistance for a down payment, closing costs and prepaid expenses.
  • Competitive interest rate.
  • Choice of a 30-year conventional, FHA, VA, or USDA Rural Development (RD) mortgage.

Eligibility

In order to participate in this program, every adult member of the household must co-apply (except for adult children who are verified full-time students). Applicants must

  • Be a first-time homebuyer who has not owned a home in the previous three years. Or be a repeat homebuyer in a targeted area.
  • Have a minimum credit score of 640, or 660 for a multiple-section manufactured home.
  • Purchase a home that is $224,500 or less.
  • Purchase a home as a principal residence that is a single-family unit, condominium or multiple-section manufactured home with a maximum of two acres.
  • Be within the household income limits, which are based on family size and the location of the home.
  • Complete a homebuyer education class.

How it works

If you’re interested in applying for the MI Home Hoan, you must contact one of the participating lenders throughout the state to begin the process. Once you get in touch with a lender, you can expect to work directly with them to determine whether or not you are eligible. If you meet the eligibility requirements, the lender will help you through the application process.

Learn more

MI Home Loan Flex

The MI Home Loan Flex is a bit more flexible than the standard MI Home Loan. While income requirements are the same, they do not apply to every adult in the household. Only the applicant’s income is used. In addition, collections and judgements do not necessarily have to have been paid off.

Features

The MI Home Loan Flex program offers

  • Four percent of the purchase price (up to $7,500) in cash assistance for a down payment, closing costs and prepaid expenses.
  • Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgage with a competitive interest rate.
  • Option of a conventional, FHA, VA or RD loan.

Eligibility

In order to participate in this program, you must

  • Be a homebuyer in the state of Michigan.
  • Have a minimum credit score of 660.
  • Purchase a home that is $224,500 or less and is a principal residence that is a single-family unit, multi-section manufactured home or condominium.
  • Be within the household income limits, which are based on family size and the location of the home.
  • Complete a homebuyer education class.

How it works

To apply for the MI Home Loan Flex, you must reach out to one of the participating lenders. You can expect to work directly with them to determine whether you qualify for this program and receive guidance throughout the application process if you do.

Learn more

Step Forward Down Payment Assistance (DPA)

The Step Forward DPA loan is a forgivable loan that is available in 61 zip codes across 10 Michigan counties. It was launched in October 2018 to promote homeownership in areas with high rates of foreclosures, short sales and bank-owned properties.

The program has $20 million in funds that are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to help with down payments. While no monthly payments are required with this program, the loan must be repaid before the home is sold, refinanced or completely paid off.

Features

The Step Forward DPA loan

  • Is a forgivable loan for $15,000 that is to be used with the MI Home Loan program.
  • Can be used for a down payment, closing costs or prepaids/escrows. Any remaining balance must be used toward the principal balance of the MI Home Loan.
  • Has a 0% interest rate.
  • Is forgiven at a rate of 20% per year and is fully discharged after the fifth year if you still own the home and live in it as your primary residence.
  • Has no monthly payment requirements.

Eligibility

In order to participate in this program, you must

  • Be a homebuyer in the state of Michigan and utilize the MI Home Loan.
  • Have a minimum credit score of 640, or 660 for a manufactured home.
  • Purchase a home that is $224,500 or less.
  • Be within the household income limits, which are based on family size and location.
  • Complete a homebuyer education class.

How it works

To apply for the Step Forward DPA loan, you must reach out to one of the participating lenders. They’ll help you determine whether you’re eligible and walk you through the application process if you are.

Learn more

Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)

First-time homebuyers in Michigan may file for the Mortgage Credit Certificate, or MCC. The MCC gives you the opportunity to claim 20% of your annual mortgage interest as a tax credit. This can be paired with an MI Home Loan and help significantly offset your federal tax liability.

Features

The MCC offers

  • A 20% tax credit every year for the life of the original mortgage, which may be up to 30 years.

Eligibility

In order to participate in this program, you must

  • Be a first-time homebuyer in the state of Michigan or a repeat homebuyer in a targeted area.
  • Purchase a home that is $224,500 or less.
  • Be within the household income limits, which are based on family size and location.

How it works

To apply for the MCC, you must contact one of the MCC lenders. They’ll help you determine eligibility and guide you through the process of applying for this tax credit in the event you are eligible.

Learn more

National first-time homebuyer programs

If your goal is to buy a home in Michigan, understand that you’re not limited to first-time homebuyer programs in the state. There are also several national first-time homebuyer programs that you may benefit from. For more information about these national programs, check out LendingTree’s guide to first-time homebuyer programs.

This article contains links to LendingTree, our parent company.  The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.

The post Michigan First-Time Homebuyer Programs appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

]]>
Idaho First-Time Homebuyer Programshttps://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/mortgage/idaho-first-time-homebuyer-programs/Thu, 21 Feb 2019 15:03:11 +0000https://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/?p=105075If you’re planning to buy property in Idaho, you’re not alone. The state’s charms like Boise’s urban pleasures and outdoor adventures in the breathtaking state and national parks draw in first-time buyers of all stripes wishing to put down roots in the Gem State. Idaho offers several programs to help first-time homebuyers realize their dreams … Continue reading Idaho First-Time Homebuyer Programs

The post Idaho First-Time Homebuyer Programs appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

]]>

If you’re planning to buy property in Idaho, you’re not alone. The state’s charms like Boise’s urban pleasures and outdoor adventures in the breathtaking state and national parks draw in first-time buyers of all stripes wishing to put down roots in the Gem State.

Idaho offers several programs to help first-time homebuyers realize their dreams — even if they’re short on cash for a down payment.

Idaho first-time homebuyer programs

The Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA) administers the state’s affordable housing resources. The association is a self-supporting corporation that does not use any state funds for its operations. Its stated mission is to provide funding for affordable housing opportunities when most economically feasible and where the opportunities are most needed.

Eligibility for Idaho assistance

For the programs listed below, borrowers must be Idaho residents with income that does not exceed $110,000 for all counties except Blaine County, where income must not exceed $120,000. You’ll need a credit score of at least 620 for most programs, though some may require a higher credit score. Homebuyer education courses are required on some loans if both borrowers are first-time homebuyers.

Idaho Housing Home Loans

Idaho Housing Home Loans are available for single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums and manufactured housing.

Features

The Idaho Housing Home Loan program offers

  • Interest rates as low as 4.5% for conventional loans
  • Low or no mortgage insurance
  • Tax credits of up to $2,000 annually

Eligibility

In order to participate in the program, you must:

  • Make less than $90,000 annually
  • Have a credit score of at least 620

How it works

The first step is to contact a participating lender. From there, your lender will determine your eligibility for the program as well as the amount for which you qualify. As part of this process, your lender will take into consideration factors such as your credit history and annual household income.

Learn more

IHFA Second Mortgage

The IHFA Second Mortgage Program can be combined with other loan products if you have a credit score of at least 680 or with the First Loan program if you have a minimum credit score of 640.

Features

The Second Mortgage program offers

  • Down payment and closing cost assistance
  • A fixed interest rate of 5% over 10 years
  • Low monthly payments

Eligibility

In order to participate in the program, you must

  • Meet credit and income requirements
  • Take the Finally Home!® Homebuyer Education class if both borrowers are first-time homebuyers
  • Contribute at least 0.5% of the sales price from your own funds to the purchase of the home

How it works

Your first step in the process is to contact a participating lender. From there, your chosen lender will use income, credit and other financial information to figure out if you qualify for the program or for another Idaho Housing program.

Learn more

IHFA Forgivable Grant

The Forgivable Grant has no first-time homebuyer requirement and can be used for refinance loans as well as traditional mortgages.

Features

  • No first-time homebuyer requirement
  • Down payment and closing cost assistance
  • Up to 3.5% of the sales price is forgivable over seven years

Eligibility

  • First-time or repeat homebuyer
  • Refinances are eligible
  • You must contribute at least 0.5% of the sales price from your own funds
  • Finally Home!® Homebuyer Education class required if both borrowers are first-time homebuyers

How it works

Your first step will be to contact a participating lender. After this point, your lender will be able to advise you if you qualify for this or another Idaho Housing program. Your financial information such as credit reports, debt picture and annual household income are all factors in this decision.

Learn more

Homebuyer Tax Credit

The Homebuyer Tax Credit can be used in conjunction with other Idaho Housing home loan products. The tax credit directly reduces your income tax due.

Features

  • Provides an annual tax credit of up to $2,000, based on a percentage of the total mortgage interest paid each year.
  • Unused tax credit may be carried forward for up to three years.

Eligibility

  • Owner occupancy required
  • First-time homebuyer requirements may apply
  • Idaho Housing’s First Loan program household income limits apply
  • Borrower fee of $300 required

How it works

Based on a the assumption of a 35% tax credit on a $150,000 mortgage at 4% interest, your amount of mortgage interest paid will decrease yearly, going from $5,952 the first year to $5,844 the second year, then $5,732 the third year, then $5,615 the fourth year and $5,495 the fifth. That said, the tax credit is for the entire life of the loan. Your mileage may vary, so make sure to check with your lender for specifics.

Learn more

National first-time homebuyer programs

Besides these Idaho state programs, nationwide programs are also at the ready and may help you buy your first home. To learn more, visit LendingTree’s guide to national first-time homebuyer programs.

This article contains links to LendingTree, our parent company.  The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.

The post Idaho First-Time Homebuyer Programs appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

]]>
Buying a Car on Craigslist: What to Watch Out Forhttps://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/auto-loan/buying-a-car-on-craigslist/Thu, 21 Feb 2019 14:48:18 +0000https://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/?p=106098Few of us consider buying a used car as a fun experience. It can mean countless hours visiting car dealers or combing through used car ads from private sellers on websites like Craigslist. Buying a car on Craigslist isn’t a bad thing — you’ll typically get a lower price from a private seller than you … Continue reading Buying a Car on Craigslist: What to Watch Out For

The post Buying a Car on Craigslist: What to Watch Out For appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

]]>
Buying car on Craigslist
Getty Images

Few of us consider buying a used car as a fun experience. It can mean countless hours visiting car dealers or combing through used car ads from private sellers on websites like Craigslist. Buying a car on Craigslist isn’t a bad thing — you’ll typically get a lower price from a private seller than you would at the dealer. But you also have to be on your toes for possible scams. Here’s what you need to know when looking to buy a used car on Craigslist.

Things to be wary of in Craigslist used car ads

As you look for vehicles, it’s important to understand that Craigslist is simply a place for private sellers and car dealers to list vehicles. There are no guarantees that you’ll be dealing with reputable people, and Craigslist doesn’t offer buyer protections. You could check the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker, which tracks all types of scams, including those involving auto sales. Here are a few red flags that should warn you away from a seller:

You can’t get a vehicle history report. When answering a car dealer ad, it’s important to find out if you can pull a vehicle history report, according to Justin Osburn, a consultant with the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) — Carfax is one popular website offering such reports.

“The dealer should email it to you,” Osburn said. “And if you’re working with a private seller, they should provide you with a vehicle identification number (VIN). If they won’t give you this number, it’s a red flag.” For more, check out our used car checklist.

There aren’t any available pictures. “If there aren’t images, what are they hiding?” said Geoff Cudd, whose years of experience buying cars led him to found the education website Find the Best Car Price. He warns that a lack of pictures — or the use of only stock images — could mean problems down the road.

Too-good-to-be-true pricing. Osburn noted that sometimes used car dealers list a price that seems very low, and when you show up, you find out that it’s just the down payment. “We all have a sense [when] something’s off,” he said. “Pay attention to that.”

Dealer invoice or MSRP. According to Cudd, these phrases relate to buying a new car — so if you’re in the market for a used car, listings that include these terms probably aren’t going to fit the bill.

Seller asks to be paid by wire transfer. When a seller asks to be paid by wire transfer, that should set off alarm bells — especially if they want a portion of the money before they’ll meet you. They could easily take the money and leave you with nothing.

While combing through Craigslist, focus on listings with authentic images, and specific details about the car. You want to verify as much as possible ahead of time.

Tips for communicating with a Craigslist car seller

“You really don’t know what you’re getting with a private seller on Craigslist,” Cudd said. “You want to make sure you’re clear in your communication.” He also recommended starting out by using the seller’s preferred method of communication. Here are some of his other tips for communicating with a Craigslist car seller:

Communicate in writing when possible. Messages via email can be a good way to make sure that you understand what you’re getting. It’s easy to forget things or misunderstand what a seller says. However, when you communicate over email, you can refer back to information and terms.

Be polite and ask questions. Whether you’re on the phone or communicating over email, it’s important to be polite and ask questions. Keep communication professional and don’t be afraid to ask questions — you want to get all the information possible before making a transaction.

Find out why they want to sell the car. One of the best things you can do is ask why they want to sell the car. The answer can be instructive — and may even throw up a red flag.

Be sure to follow up quickly as needed. A truly good deal can be gone fast on Craigslist, so if you find something that looks promising, call or email as soon as possible.

Researching a car for sale on Craigslist

When you research a car for sale on Craigslist, you need to do more of the legwork. At a dealership, you have the ability to ask for a vehicle history report and see the cars immediately. When buying a new car, you have the posted price to start from. But with a private seller on Craigslist, you may or may not know the asking price or the vehicle’s history right away.

As you research a car on Craigslist, there some things to pay special attention to, according to Osburn:

Ask for the VIN and pull a vehicle history report on your own. For a fee, you can check out a car’s history through the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System or sites like Carfax or AutoCheck. “It’s worth getting this information so you’re aware of any problems,” said Osburn. “You might even be able to see service records and find out how well the car has been taken care of.”

Check for a “branded” or “salvage” car title. At a dealership, you can be fairly certain you’re working with a clean title. However, when you buy from a private seller, that might not be the case. Osburn advised to watch out for a “branded” or “salvage” title, words that indicate a car might have been totaled, or written off, in the past. “These cars should be worth less because of this situation and some sellers will try to hide that.”

Have the seller show you the title. Another problem, according to Osburn, is that some buyers don’t register the cars they bought. “It might have been a cash deal and the seller didn’t bother to go through the hassle of registration,” he points out. “However, you can’t register the car with the state if you don’t get the sign off of the person on the title.” Make sure the name on the title matches the name of the person selling the car.

Take the car to a mechanic. If you’re buying from a dealer that sells “certified pre-owned” or has some other guarantee, it might not be as important to take the car to a mechanic. However, when you work with a private seller, it’s vital to have the car checked out before you hand over your money. “Many mechanics will review the major components for a small price,” said Osburn. “They’re invested in doing a good job and maybe earning your service, and they can help you be reasonably confident you’re not getting a lemon.”

Research the price. Whether you buy from a dealer or a private seller, get an idea of the value of the car ahead of time. Use a website like Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book to enter car details and see what price range you can expect. This will help you decide how to proceed when you negotiate a final purchase price.

It’s also important to remember that sometimes used-car dealers post listings on Craigslist, points out Osburn. “Most dealers identify themselves in the ad,” he said. “Do a quick Google search to find reviews. You can find out a lot by the reviews and experiences of others.”

How to close the deal on a Craigslist car

Now that you’ve done your research, you know which car you want and you’re ready to complete a deal, it’s important to make sure you’re safe. You don’t want to get scammed — so as Cudd suggested, on the day of the deal, you should take the following precautions:

Don’t tell the seller you’re bringing cash. While robbery is rare, Cudd noted, the reality is that you don’t want to advertise that you’re showing up with thousands in cash. “You can also bring a cashier’s check, or use a service like Escrow.com to help you protect your money.”

Bring a friend. Rather than meeting someone alone, it’s a good idea to bring someone with you — especially if you’re a woman. “You’re more likely to be physically safe with a friend for backup,” said Cudd. “Plus the seller is less likely to try to pull one over on you when there’s another set of eyes.”

Meet in a public location during daylight hours. A public location offers you visibility, as does meeting in daylight. Additionally, you can see the car clearly during the day. You’ll want to go over the car carefully before handing over the cash.

Go for a test drive. See how the car drives on local roads and highways. You can also use this time to take the car to a mechanic for an inspection.

Get a bill of sale. Don’t just hand over the money and drive away — you’ll want proper paperwork for the state you’re in. “You can find sample bills of sale online,” said Cudd. “Bring one that can be filled out, just in case the seller isn’t prepared.”

Cudd also suggests asking to see a driver’s license so you can verify that the name on the title matches the name of the seller.

“Don’t be afraid to walk away if you don’t feel comfortable,” said Cudd. “If things aren’t going the way you planned, or if you think you might be getting scammed, just leave.”

Alternatives to buying a car on Craigslist

Your choices aren’t limited to a dealership or to buying a car on Craigslist, though. You can also find good used cars by looking on Facebook’s local marketplace. In many places, it’s still possible to see cars with posted “for sale” signs parked around town.

There are also many websites that specialize in used cars. Cars.com, Autotrader, TrueCar, and eBay Motors are all good places to start, Cudd suggested. Most of these sites offer listings that include some sort of payment and buyer protection that can help you avoid scams.

The bottom line

“For the most part, Craigslist can be a fine place to locate a used car to buy,” said Osburn. “Just be careful.”

Anytime you look for a car, it’s a good idea to shop around and compare prices — as well as used auto loan options.

The post Buying a Car on Craigslist: What to Watch Out For appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

]]>