What About Down Payment Assistance?

This question is one I’m asked all the time – “What about down payment assistance programs?” 

Many people, especially first-time homebuyers, don’t know what programs are available to them as they begin their home search.  Sometimes people don’t realize that they’ll need a down payment, or they don’t know how much they’ll need.  But with the Next Home program made available through Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), you don’t have to have a down payment if you qualify for certain income guidelines and you are purchasing a home within their limits.  For example, in Hancock County, a 1-2 person family can earn $66,000 and purchase up to $250,200.  But in Marion County, a 1-2 person family can earn up to $79,200 and purchase a home for $305,800 or less.  Click here for more information on these limits.

The income and purchase limits vary by county, but Next Home can give you up to 4% down payment assistance with an FHA loan, and 3% down for a conventional loan.  This assistance comes in the form of a second loan – with no interest and no payments – which is forgiven after two years of owning your home.  You cannot refinance or sell within those two years, but most people don’t anyway.  If you do, the loan only has to be repaid when you refinance or sell.  Because of this, this is not a program that can be used by “flippers” or investors.  However, it is an excellent program for owner-occupants that either don’t have a down payment or wish to keep the money they have for repairs or updates to the home.

Additionally, there is another special offer available for a short time from Fannie Mae for REO (Real Estate Owned – which means the property is owned by a bank or the government) properties in their FirstLook program.  FirstLook allows a 20-day period for owner-occupants to make offers on REO homes before investors are allowed to make an offer.  This allows owner-occupants to pick up some of these below-market-value properties.  Any FirstLook property that you make an offer on through March 31st, 2014 can receive 3.5% of the final sales price toward closing costs from Fannie Mae.  If you are prepared to pay the closing costs already, Fannie Mae will also allow the money to be used to pay down points and reduce your interest rate for the life of your loan, thereby saving you a larger amount of money over time.

Both of these programs are great opportunities to save on your next home – for more information, contact me today and I would be glad to connect you with a mortgage professional that is experienced in helping homebuyers find the best value for their mortgage, and is available to help you with any questions you might have. Call me anytime at (317) 413-6264!

By Kali Cooper,