New Hampshire First-Time Homebuyer Programs

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Updated on Monday, April 1, 2019

The Granite State has plenty to offer. Alongside mountains, valleys and colorful autumn scenes, New Hampshire also boasts great financial assistance options for those looking for a home for the first time.

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Whether you’re looking for a home in Manchester or searching for tranquility among the rolling hillscapes, you should know that the New Hampshire state government has plenty to offer first-time homebuyers. Here’s a guide to New Hampshire’s first-time homebuyer programs in 2019.

New Hampshire first-time homebuyer programs

All of New Hampshire’s state-run homebuying financial assistance programs are run by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA). These programs offer a variety of assistance options, including down payment assistance, a tax credit program and assistance specifically for residents buying a manufactured home, among others.

Requirements for New Hampshire assistance

In order to qualify for any of the following programs run by the NHHFA, you’ll need to have a maximum income of $126,700, although some programs may have lower limits than this state limit.

Home Flex

New Hampshire’s Home Flex program provides low- and middle-income borrowers with low-interest fixed-rate mortgages to help them achieve their goal of homeownership.

What is it?

  • A 30-year fixed-interest-rate mortgage for FHA, USDA-RD and VA loans
  • Offers flexible underwriting
  • The property can be:
    • Single-unit home or condominium
    • Manufactured home on its own land and attached to the property
    • Two- to four-unit homes
  • Non-occupant co-borrowers permitted
  • Non-borrower title holders allowed if permitted by mortgage insurer

Requirements

  • Minimum credit score of 620
  • Maximum income limit is $116,300
  • Borrower must be buying a home that will be their primary residence
  • Property requirements:
    • Property must be occupied by the owner
    • Property may be a single-unit home or condominium
    • Manufactured homes are eligible
    • Two- to four-unit homes are eligible
      • Must be owner-occupied
      • To receive financing for a two- to four-unit property, borrowers must complete a homebuyer and landlord education course
    • Unless otherwise specified by mortgage insurer, there is no acreage requirement, except when combined with Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program, in which case the property may not exceed five acres
      • When combined with MCC, property must be a single-unit home
  • Loan cannot be closed in a trust
  • Debt-to-income ratio above 50% may be allowed if your credit score is 680 or above

How to apply

To find out whether you qualify for the Home Flex program, get in touch with a one of New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority’s participating lenders. If you are eligible, they’ll help you apply for the program.

Home Flex Plus

In addition to a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the Home Flex Plus program offers homebuyers cash assistance of 2% or 3% of the total base loan amount to help pay for closing costs, a down payment and prepaid escrows.

What is it?

  • A 30-year fixed-interest rate mortgage
  • A government-backed loan
    • FHA, RD, VA loans
  • Has no purchase price limits
  • Properties available for financing:
    • Single-unit homes and condominiums
      • Condos must be approved by FHA, VA or RD
    • Manufactured homes must be on their own land and attached to the property
    • Two- to four-unit homes
      • Must be owner-occupied
      • Borrowers must complete a homebuyer and landlord education course when financing a two- to four-unit home
  • Non-occupant co-borrowers permitted
  • Non-borrower title holders allowed if permitted by mortgage insurer
  • Cash assistance second mortgage
    • No interest
    • No payments
    • Loan forgiveness after four years unless you sell or refinance the loan, or file for bankruptcy.

Requirements

  • Minimum credit score of 620
  • Maximum income allowed is $116,300
  • Property requirements:
    • Property must be occupied by the borrower as their primary residence
    • Property may be single-unit home or condominium
    • Manufactured homes are also eligible
    • Two- to four-unit homes are eligible
      • Must be owner occupied
      • To receive financing for a two- to four-unit property, borrowers must complete a homebuyer and landlord education course
    • Unless otherwise specified by mortgage insurer, there is no acreage requirement, except when combined with Mortgage Credit Certificate program, in which case the property may not exceed five acres
      • When combined with MCC, property must be a single-unit home
  • Loan cannot be closed in a trust
  • Debt-to-income ratio above 50% may be allowed if your credit score is at least 680
  • Homebuyer education course required
    • At least one borrower must complete class online or in person
    • To receive financing for a two- to four-unit property, borrowers must complete a homebuyer and landlord education course
  • If a gift is used to pay for part of the home, you must present gift letter and verification
  • Borrower must request cash assistance by 12 p.m. two or more days before closing period

How to apply

Your first step should be to get in touch with one of New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority’s participating lenders. From there, you can find out whether you qualify for the Home Flex Plus program, and apply for the funding.

Home Flex RD Purchase Rehab

If you’re in the market for a fixer-upper, the Home Flex RD Purchase Rehab program may be right for you. This program allows homebuyers to qualify for up to $35,000 in additional financing to pay for upgrades and improvements on a home.

What is it?

  • Up to $35,000 in additional funding for home repairs and upgrades
  • Offers a 30-year loan term
  • Low interest rates, in line with Home Flex and Home Flex Plus loans
  • No cash investment required

Requirements

  • Must meet New Hampshire Housing and RD requirements:
    • Minimum credit score of 620 required
    • Maximum income allowed is $116,300
  • Property requirements:
    • Must be single-family residence
    • Must serve as primary residence
    • Five acre maximum
    • Condo repairs eligible, but only for interior work
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio is 50%
  • Repair requirements:
    • Maximum of $35,000 for rehabilitations
    • Construction must start within 30 days of closing and finish within 180 days of closing
  • Preapproval:
    • Repair and rehabilitation projects must be preapproved
    • Must be approved before closing period
    • Allow for at least 48-hour turnaround time
  • Fees:
    • Either $350 or 1.5% of total rehab, whichever is higher
    • Title update and inspection fees required
  • Appraisal requirements:
    • Property photos required of the interiors and exteriors
    • Appraiser required to report repair costs
    • Appraisal must be standard FHA limited 203k
  • Eligible repairs and/or replacements:
    • Roofs, downspouts, gutters
    • Floors
    • Existing HVAC systems
    • Electrical systems
    • Plumbing systems
    • Well repair and replacements
    • Septic system repairs
    • Painting interiors or exteriors
    • Remodeling: Minor projects that do not include structural repairs
    • Basements remodels and refinishes
      • Projects must not be structural repairs
      • Waterproofing
    • Weatherization, including doors, storm windows, weather stripping, insulation
    • Repairs to stoves and refrigerators only permitted if these appliances are not in the property
    • Improvements for disability access
    • Exterior wall re-siding
    • Decks, porches and patios
    • Window and door replacements
  • Repairs must be complete within 60 days of closing period
  • Homebuyer education class required if combining with Home Flex Plus program

How to apply

Start the process by finding a participating lender. They’ll determine your eligibility for the RD Purchase Rehab program and help you apply.

Home Start Homebuyer Tax Credit (MCC)

The Home Start Homebuyer Tax Credit program is a Mortgage Credit Certificate program available to help first-time homebuyers save money for the term of their mortgage. The program decreases your tax liability, which can free up funds to help make buying a home more attainable.

What is it?

  • A federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers
  • The credit applies yearly throughout the entire loan term. You can use it to reduce your tax withholdings, which increases the income that can be applied to mortgage payments. Or, you can claim it as a credit on your tax return.
  • Save up to a maximum of $2,000 per year for the entire loan term
  • Credit is based on a percentage of the mortgage interest you pay each year
  • May be combined with other New Hampshire Housing mortgage programs, including Home Flex, Home Flex Plus and Home Preferred No MI

Requirements

  • Must be a first-time homebuyer, not have owned a home in the previous three years or be buying a home in a targeted area
  • Property requirements:
    • Borrower must live in the home as a primary residence
    • Property must be a single-family home
    • Purchase price cannot exceed purchase price maximums, which vary by county
    • MCC is only available as long as borrower lives in the home
    • Property may not exceed five acres in size
  • Must qualify for a new mortgage. The tax credit is not permitted to be used for existing loans
  • Income must not exceed income limits, which vary by county and household size
  • Must complete a homebuyer education course
  • MCC rates vary by mortgage size:
    • Loans under $130,000: 50% of the mortgage interest you pay per year
    • $130,001 to $160,000: 40% of the mortgage interest you pay per year
    • $160,001 to $200,000: 35% of the mortgage interest you pay per year
    • $200,000 or more: 25% of the mortgage interest you pay per year

How to apply

To learn more about the Home Start Homebuyer Tax Credit program, first contact one of New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority’s participating lenders. They’ll walk you through the application process.

Home Preferred No MI

If you’re looking to buy a home but don’t have much saved for a down payment and closing costs, the Home Preferred No MI program may be right for you. This program offers a 30-year mortgage that does not require mortgage insurance coverage.

What is it?

  • A 30-year loan term
  • Up to 97% loan-to-value ratio allowed
  • May be combined with Mortgage Credit Certificate program

Requirements

  • Your income must not exceed $116,300. Non-occupant co-borrower income will be included as part of total household income.
  • Credit score requirements:
    • One-unit: 680 minimum
    • Two-unit: 700 minimum
  • Property requirements:
    • Home must serve as borrower’s primary residence
    • One- to two-unit homes only
    • Condos required to be Fannie Mae eligible
    • Manufactured homes are not eligible
  • Loan-to-value ratio (LTV):
    • One-unit home: 97% maximum LTV
    • Two-unit home: 95% maximum LTV
  • Debt-to-income ratio must not exceed 50%
  • Homebuyer education course required. If purchasing a two-unit home, additional landlord education course required
  • Non-borrower title holders only permitted if allowed by mortgage insurer
  • Gifts permitted: Borrower must present gift letter and documentation proving transfer of gift funds from a permitted source
  • Loans not permitted to be closed in a trust

How to apply

To learn more about the Home Preferred No MI program, get in touch with one of New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority’s participating lenders.

Home Preferred Manufactured Housing Financing in ROCs

This program is designed to help homebuyers finance homes in Resident-Owned Communities (ROCs). Rather than being operated by landlords, ROCs are communities that are cooperatively owned and operated by those who live on the properties.

What is it?

  • A conventional mortgage at low rates
  • As little as 5% down payment required
  • Flexible mortgage insurance requirements

Requirements

  • The program is limited to ROCs that are approved by Fannie Mae
  • Property must serve as the borrower’s primary residence
  • Maximum income allowed is $126,700
  • Homebuyer education course required

How to apply

To get started, contact one of New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority’s participating lenders. They can determine if you’re eligible and help you apply.

National assistance

In addition to New Hampshire’s financial assistance programs, the federal government offers several financing programs for first-time homebuyers. Such programs include FHA loans, VA loans and more. Learn more about these and other federal programs by reading through LendingTree’s guide to national first-time homebuyer programs. (LendingTree is the parent company of MagnifyMoney.)

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