New Mexico First-Time Homebuyer Programs

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Updated on Monday, April 1, 2019

Do you want to buy your first home in New Mexico? With the state offering down payment loans and subsidized mortgages, you may be able to buy a house there sooner than you think. These are the most important first-time homebuyer programs for New Mexico’s residents.

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New Mexico first-time homebuyer programs

New Mexico’s first-time homebuyer programs are administered through the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (NMMFA). This is a quasi-governmental agency that was chartered by the New Mexico state government.

Eligibility for New Mexico assistance

New Mexico’s first-time homebuyer programs are designed for people with low and moderate incomes. Specific income restrictions vary by county and family size. In addition to meeting income requirements, you need at least a credit score of 620 to participate. All of New Mexico’s programs require that the potential homeowner buy a single-family home that they will use as a primary residence.

FIRSTHome Program

What it is

The FIRSTHome loan is a 30-year fixed-interest-rate mortgage that can be combined with New Mexico’s closing cost and down payment loans.

  • No origination fees
  • Competitive interest rates (currently 4.75% to 4.85%)
  • Lower upfront cash requirements (only a $500 contribution is required from the buyer’s own funds)
  • Can be originated as Federal Housing Administration (FHA), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Fannie Mae MyCommunity™ and HFA Preferred™ loans and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 184 Indian Housing program.
  • Can be combined with down payment assistance.
  • Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages only

Requirements

  • Minimum credit score of 620
  • Minimum $500 contribution from personal funds
  • First-time homebuyers only
  • Must earn income below program requirements ($79,179 for a two-person household in Santa Fe, for example)
  • Must occupy the home as a primary residence
  • Single-family homes only
  • Home price must fall below limits ($271,165 in all counties except in Santa Fe [$338,824] and Los Alamos [$350,471])
  • Must complete a homebuyer education course.

How to apply

Only certain lenders can originate FIRSTHome loans. To find a participating lender in your area, use the search tool on the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority’s website. The search tool will give you contact information, so you can reach out to the lenders. When you reach out, be sure to ask about New Mexico’s FIRSTHome mortgage and down payment assistance options.

FIRSTDown Program

What it is

The FirstDown Program offers a down payment loan with a 6% interest rate. First-time homebuyers who meet the income restrictions can borrow up to $8,000 to cover closing costs and down payment requirements.

  • Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgage
  • Six-percent interest rate
  • Lender may charge a $100 origination fee
  • Up to $8,000 loan amount

Requirements

  • Minimum credit score of 620
  • The buyer must contribute at least $500 of their own funds toward home purchase
  • Single-family homes only
  • Must meet income restrictions (which vary by household size and residential area. For example, a two-person household in Santa Fe county must earn less than $79,197.)
  • First-time homebuyers only
  • Must take out a FIRSTHome mortgage
  • Must complete a homebuyer education course
  • Home must be less than price limits ($271,165 in most parts of the state)

How to apply

To take out a FirstDown loan, you need to have a FIRSTHome mortgage. To find a lender that issues FIRSTHome loans, use the search tool on the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority’s website. When you speak to the lender, be sure to mention that you’re interested in a FirstHome mortgage and a FirstDown loan.

HOMENow Down Payment Assistance Program

What it is

The HOMENow loan is a forgivable down payment loan with no interest. Eligible borrowers don’t have to make any payments on this loan, which covers up to 8% of the purchase price of a home (up to $8,000). After 10 years, the loan is forgiven.

  • A loan for up to 8% of the purchase price (or $8,000)
  • The lender may charge a $100 origination fee
  • Zero-percent interest rate
  • Forgivable after 10 years
  • No monthly payments

Requirements

  • Minimum credit score of 620
  • Must be a first-time homebuyer
  • The buyer must contribute at least $500 of their own funds toward home purchase
  • Must earn less than 80% of area median income (for example, $44,400 for a-two person family in Santa Fe)
  • Must be used in conjunction with a FIRSTHome mortgage
  • Single-unit homes only
  • The home must be below price limits (for example, $322,525 for an existing home in Santa Fe County)

How to apply

People who qualify for the HomeNow loan must take it out in conjunction with New Mexico’s FIRSTHome mortgage. To find a lender that issues FIRSTHome loans, use the search tool on the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority’s website. When you speak to a lender, be sure to ask about the HOMENow mortgage.

National first-time homebuyer programs

New Mexico’s first-time homebuyer programs have strict income and property-value limits, so not all first-time buyers will qualify for them. However, homebuyers in New Mexico aren’t limited to just the state programs. Homebuyers can also consider some of the federal first-time homebuyer programs. These programs help New Mexico residents with limited savings or fair credit scores buy their first house.

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