North Carolina First-Time Homebuyer Programs

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With its seaside views, rolling hillscapes and bustling cities, North Carolina is a great place to look for a home. If you’re considering buying your first home in the Tar Heel State, there’s good news. The state of North Carolina offers many financial assistance programs. Below is a guide to North Carolina’s 2019 first-time homebuyer programs.

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North Carolina first-time homebuyer programs

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) is responsible for running several programs for first-time homebuyers. They include down payment assistance, low interest mortgages, tax credits and opportunities for military veterans and first-time homebuyers to achieve their goal of homeownership. In addition to the NCHFA, the Center for Homeownership offers courses to help borrowers make smart choices during the homebuying process.

NC Home Advantage Mortgage

What is it?

  • Competitive fixed-interest mortgage financing paired with down payment assistance
  • Down payment assistance of up to 5% of the loan for FHA, USDA and VA mortgages
  • Up to 100% mortgage financing on FHA, USDA and VA loans
  • Down payment assistance of up to 3% for a conventional mortgage with a 97% loan-to-value ratio (LTV). Your LTV is the amount of the mortgage divided by the value of the home.
  • Can be combined with the NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment program
  • First-time homebuyers and military veterans may be able to combine with NC Home Advantage Tax Credit programs
  • Down payment assistance does not need to be repaid unless you sell, refinance or transfer your home within 15 years. Assistance is forgiven in stages, with complete forgiveness at year 15.

Requirements

  • You must be a legal resident of the United States and buying a home in North Carolina
  • You must live at the property as your primary residence within 60 days of closing
  • Your credit score must be 640 or higher
  • Your income must not be higher than $87,500
  • Property may be:
    • A single-family home, condominium or townhouse
    • A new manufactured home for borrowers with credit scores of 660 or higher if you take out a VA, FHA or USDA mortgage
    • A duplex, exclusively for FHA loans

How to apply

To participate in the NC Home Advantage Mortgage program and to learn more about your options as a first-time homebuyer in North Carolina, search for a participating lender in your area. They’ll determine if you’re eligible and guide you through the lending process.

Learn more

NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment program

What is it?

  • Down payment assistance of up to $8,000 for first-time homebuyers and military veterans who have qualified for the NC Home Advantage Mortgage program
  • Down payment loan acts as a 0% deferred second mortgage
  • The loan does not need to be repaid unless you sell, refinance or transfer your home before 15 years. Assistance is forgiven 20% a year from years 11 to 15, with complete forgiveness at year 15.

Requirements

  • You must be a first-time buyer, military veteran or not have owned a home in the last three years
  • You may also be eligible if you are buying in a targeted area
  • You must be a legal resident of the United States
  • Your income cannot exceed income limits, which vary by county and household size
  • Your credit score must be 640 or higher
  • You must live at the property as your primary residence within 60 days of closing
  • Property may be:
    • A single-family home, condominium or townhouse
    • A new manufactured home if you have a credit score of 660 or higher

How to apply

Qualifying first-time homebuyers may be able to combine the NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment program with other programs offered through the NCHFA. Find a participating lender in your area to learn more about this program and others in North Carolina.

Learn more

NC Home Advantage Tax Credit

What is it?

The NC Home Advantage Tax Credit directly lowers the amount of tax you owe every year. You can combine it with other NCHFA programs, such as the NC Home Advantage Mortgage program and the NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment program.

  • Claim up to 30% of the loan interest you pay each year on an existing home
  • Claim up to 50% of the loan interest you pay each year on a newly constructed home
  • Maximum tax credit is $2,000 per year
  • You can still claim other mortgage interest deductions for the remainder of the mortgage interest you pay per year
  • You can reap program rewards immediately:
    • Once you’ve signed up for the NC Home Advantage Tax Credit, you can revise your W-4 with your employer
    • This will lower the federal tax amount withheld from each paycheck
    • You can then use those funds to put more toward your mortgage payments each month

Requirements

  • You must be a first-time homebuyer or military veteran, or be buying in a targeted area
  • You must be a legal resident of the United States
  • You must apply and be approved for this program before you purchase a home. Apply at the same time as your mortgage application
  • Income limits vary by county and household size
  • You must occupy the property as your primary residence within 60 days of closing
  • The loan must be approved by the NCHFA before closing
  • The property may be single-family home, condominium, townhouse, or new or used manufactured home

How to apply

Find a participating lender in your area to learn more about buying a home in North Carolina using NCHFA programs. You’ll work with the lender through the application and buying process.

Learn more

Homebuyer Education

The Center for Homeownership offers education resources for those looking to buy a home in North Carolina.

What is it?

The NC Home Advantage Tax Credit directly lowers the amount of tax you owe every year. You can combine it with other NCHFA programs, such as the NC Home Advantage Mortgage program and the NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment program.

  • Homebuyer education in the form of workshops, online resources and financial counseling
  • Connects participants with homebuying professionals in their communities, including realtors, loan officers, home inspectors, title companies, insurance agents and more
  • Offers continuing assistance after you’ve bought a home. Includes resources and courses on home maintenance, as well as continuing financial counseling

Requirements

  • There are no eligibility requirements to take part in Center for Homeownership workshops or to access online resources

How to participate

To register for a workshop, schedule an appointment or learn more about the homebuying process, explore the Center for Homeownership resources.

National first-time homebuyer assistance

The state of North Carolina isn’t the only financial resource for first-time homebuyers. Be sure to learn more about federal homebuying programs, including FHA loans, VA loans, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac products and others. Start with LendingTree’s guide to national first-time homebuying programs to learn more. (LendingTree is the parent company of MagnifyMoney.)

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Anne Bouleanu
Anne Bouleanu |

Anne Bouleanu is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Anne here

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