In a recent survey, Bankrate asked potential homebuyers to list the top challenges they had encountered. It was discovered that 36% of those surveyed indicated saving for a down payment is one of their biggest obstacles to purchasing a home.
If you feel the same way, the good news is there are many down payment assistance programs available that can help you achieve your homeownership goals. The key is knowing where to seek and what alternatives are available. Here are some details that might be useful to you.
You are still eligible even if you have already bought a home.
There are several assumptions about down payment assistance programs. For starters, many people believe there’s only assistance available for first-time homebuyers. While first-time buyers have many options to explore, repeat buyers have some, too. According to the latest Homeownership Program Index from downpaymentresource.com:
“It is a common misconception that homebuyer assistance is only available to first-time homebuyers, however, 38% of homebuyer assistance programs in Q1 2022 did not have a first-time homebuyer requirement.”
That means repeat buyers could qualify for over one-third of the assistance programs available. And if you’re a repeat buyer, you may still be able to take advantage of some first-time homebuyer programs, depending on your personal situation. That’s because downpaymentresource.com also notes many of the first-time homebuyer programs use the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s definition of a first-time homebuyer. Under their definition, you could qualify as a first-time buyer if you’re:
- Someone who hasn’t owned a primary residence in 3 years.
- A single parent who’s only ever owned a home with a former spouse.
That means no matter where you are in your homeownership journey, there could be an option available for you.
You May Be Eligible for Programs Based on Your Location or Profession
In addition to broader options available for repeat and first-time homebuyers, there are other types of down payment assistance programs that you could qualify for based on your location. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR):
“Many local governments and non-profit organizations offer down-payment assistance grants and loans, targeted to area borrowers and often with specific borrower requirements.”
Plus, there are programs and special benefits for individuals working in certain professions or with unique statuses, including teachers, doctors and nurses, and veterans.
Ultimately, that means there are many federal, state, and local programs available for you to explore. The most effective method to do that is to connect with a local real estate professional and your lender to learn more about what’s available in your area.
Down payment assistance programs have helped many homebuyers achieve their dreams, and if you meet their requirements, they could also assist you. Connect with a local real estate advisor and trusted lender today to begin exploring your options.