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4 Programs First-Time Home Buyers Should Know About

Saving up for your first house? These federal and state programs may help you become a homeowner sooner than you think!

Few purchases will demand bigger – or longer – monthly payments than a house. That ramps up stress levels. And when you’re buying your first home, stress soars even higher. Fortunately, there are a lot of programs that first-time (and in some cases, repeat) homebuyers can use to help with the financial burden. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most popular options.

Buying a Home? These 4 State and Federal Programs Can Help!

Realistically, not everyone has the credit score, financial history, and 20% down payment preferred with conventional loans. That’s why there are several state and federal programs designed to make buying a home more accessible and affordable. Other options (like private mortgage insurance) can also help buyers reduce that hefty down payment requirement, but they’re outside of the focus of this article.

So, what non-traditional loan options are available to first-time homebuyers?

  1. FHA Loans are loans that are provided by mortgage lenders and insured by the Federal Housing Administration. These loans are great for first-time home buyers who can’t manage a large down payment and want to keep closing costs low. Learn more about FHA loans here.

  2. USDA Loans are insured by the USDA but provided by a mortgage lender. To be approved for a USDA loan, you must be a US citizen or qualified resident and be unable to get a conventional loan without private mortgage insurance. While these loans come with requirements for location and home price (which are based on local home values), they also offer zero-dollar down payments. Learn more about USDA loans here

  3. VA Loans are available to current and former members of the armed forces. They are guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Unlike most loans, there’s no minimum credit score and no down payment required. However, these loans also come with some health and safety standards for the house and property. Learn more about VA loans here

  4. State Programs. Many states – including Michigan, Florida, and Ohio – also offer programs to help with down payments and loans. For example, Michigan offers first-time and repeat home buyers down payment assistance up to $7,500 ($10,000 in some parts of the state). The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) also offers first-time home buyers guaranteed loans (similar to the FHA and USDA loans discussed above) with less stringent financial standards. Florida and Ohio have similar programs.

Don’t Forget to Shop for a Mortgage!

When you’re shopping for your first home, you should also shop around for the right mortgage lender. As you can see, there are several non-traditional home loans and assistance programs available to the first-time home buyer. Make sure the mortgage lender you choose is aware of these options and will help you get the best deal. And feel free to contact Mortgage 1-Jackson at 517-315-4626 or if you have any questions!


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