Myths That Down Payment Assistance Is Only For Very Low Cost Homes

Dated: 02/12/2019

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 Ask the questions and educate yourself

Don’t let preconceived ideas about programs throw you off. Down payment programs aren’t just for narrowly defined homebuyers and “targeted” neighborhoods of very inexpensive homes. In fact, homes in any neighborhood may be eligible with sales price limits typically ranging from $200,000 to over $700,000 in high-cost markets. In a report we did with ATTOM Data/RealtyTrac, we found that 87 percent of homes are eligible for one or more programs.

Some homebuyer programs can have income limits of up to 120 percent of the area’s median income (AMI) and higher, which can amount to well over six-figure incomes in countless markets across the country. In addition, some may offer tiered assistance dollars at varying income levels so higher incomes might yield lower assistance amounts, but higher income isn’t an automatic disqualifier. Income limits are almost always based on household size, so limits for a family of five are significantly higher than for a single person. 

 Question: Is it difficult to qualify for homebuyer programs.
Truth: There are many options and opportunities. The only difficult task used to be identifying what programs might be a fit for your situation. Our search tool makes it simple for you to search your options. The key is doing research early in the home buying process as well as reviewing the application criteria.
To qualify for an assistance program, both the homebuyer and the property must meet certain criteria, which vary by program. Standard criteria include property location, type of home, sales price, household income, and homebuyer education certifications. There are often additional benefits, or even entirely separate programs, for educators, protectors, healthcare workers, veterans and households with disabled members.
Homebuyers must also demonstrate that they are financially responsible. Assistance programs have credit score thresholds and cash reserve requirements. Most programs will require a little money down from the homebuyer, as well as homebuyer education, especially for first-time homebuyers, to ensure the long-term homeownership success of each new buyer.

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