Vermont First Time Homebuyer Programs

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Updated on Monday, April 1, 2019

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

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

Vermont first-time homebuyer programs

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

Requirements for Vermont assistance

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

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

Advantage program

What is it?

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

Requirements

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

How to apply

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

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

Assist program

What is it?

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

Requirements

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

How to apply

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

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

Mortgage Credit Certificate

What is it?

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

Requirements

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

How to apply

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

Move MCC

What is it?

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

Requirements

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

How to apply

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

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

Move program

What is it?

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

Requirements

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

How to apply

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

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

National assistance

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

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