The way to Get Assist Shopping for Your First Residence

Mom w child

Final Up to date: November 21, 2022


If you happen to’re like many first-time patrons, saving up the chunk of cash you’ll want to purchase a house could be a actual problem.


However in the event you’ve received a superb job, regular earnings, and first rate credit score, and the one factor holding you again is a scarcity of money readily available for the down fee, you may be completely happy to know that each one throughout the nation, native and state businesses provide grants and low-interest loans to assist first-time patrons obtain homeownership.


Often called down fee help applications (DPAs), these sources may present the monetary enhance you’ll want to purchase a house months and even years earlier than you can save the entire cash by yourself.


How do DPAs work?


Managed by state housing finance businesses or metropolis and county governments, these applications give first-time patrons monetary assist to assist pay for a down fee and/or closing prices.  If you happen to qualify, you possibly can obtain assist in a pair other ways:

  • Grants –Free cash chances are you’ll by no means must pay again
  • Loans Usually paid alongside together with your major mortgage or if you promote or refinance the property

Some applications additionally forgive DPA loans after you’ve been in your own home for some time, so that you by no means must pay again the full quantity they lent you. Most often, DPA loans have rates of interest which can be decrease than your primary mortgage, and in some instances, the mortgage is interest-free—so that you pay again solely what you borrowed and never a cent extra.


How a lot are you able to get from a DPA?

That is dependent upon many elements, together with your earnings, the realm the place you wish to purchase, and the kind of applications supplied in your space. We’ll focus on earnings necessities in a minute, however in the event you qualify, you could possibly get wherever from $5,000-$10,000, or much more. Which means you possibly can use your individual cash on different family bills and get into your property that a lot sooner.


Can DPAs prevent cash in the long term?

Sure! Whereas some loans require simply 0-3% down, paying extra upfront can actually repay. Bear in mind, the bigger your down fee is, the smaller your month-to-month funds will probably be, and that makes budgeting the remainder of your life simpler. Since you’re financing much less, a bigger down fee can prevent hundreds of {dollars} over the lifetime of your mortgage. And the earlier you purchase, the earlier you can begin paying off your mortgage and start constructing fairness in your house.


Who’s eligible for a DPA?

The applications are designed to assist the individuals who want it most. Necessities differ from place to put, however in the event you’re making use of for a DPA, chances are you’ll must:

  • Be a first-time homebuyer. In some locations, you possibly can qualify in the event you haven’t owned a house for a sure variety of years.
  • Have a low to reasonable family earnings. Undecided you qualify? Attempt googling the Space Median Earnings (AMI) the place you reside. If you happen to make 50% or much less of that quantity, you’re thought of low earnings, and 50-80% of the AMI is taken into account reasonable earnings.
  • Plan to buy your property inside a particular space. Whereas some DPAs apply to your complete state, others are focused to areas which were hard-hit economically and must be revitalized. When you’ve discovered a DPA in your space, examine your zip code to see if the property you wish to purchase qualifies for help.
  • Use the cash for a house that you will reside in. These applications are for major residences solely; rental properties and trip properties usually don’t qualify.
  • Pay for a part of the down fee your self. The proportion you pay could differ by the kind of mortgage and DPA program, however your mortgage officer might help you determine how a lot you’ll want to provide.
  • Take a brief homebuyer training class. This can put together you for the monetary obligations of proudly owning a house to make sure that you purchase a property you possibly can afford and might proceed to make your funds after you progress in.

 What sort of mortgages work with a DPA?

If you happen to’re contemplating a DPA, one in all our Amerifirst mortgage officers will probably be completely happy to clarify your choices. These applications normally work with the commonest mortgages, together with FHA, VA, USDA Rural Growth, and traditional loans.


How do you apply for a DPA?

We’ve put collectively an inventory of applications in every of the states the place Amerifirst operates. Simply scroll down to seek out your state and comply with the hyperlinks to see what’s accessible in your space. As all the time, if you’d like somebody that can assist you perceive these applications (even earlier than you’re prepared to purchase), attain out to us at Amerifirst. We’re all the time completely happy to assist!



Down Cost Help Applications by State



  • The Step Up program gives a 10-year second mortgage mortgage to cowl your down fee. Some limitations apply, together with an earnings cap, a credit score rating of no less than 640, and utilizing an FHA or standard mortgage from Step Up’s most well-liked listing.
  • Affordable Income Subsidy Grant supplies eligible debtors a grant to assist with closing prices. Your qualifying earnings transformed to an annual foundation can not exceed 80% of the Space Median Earnings for the property location.
  • The Freddie Mac Benefit Mortgage can be utilized for individuals whose earnings is over 80% of AMI however beneath $130,600. 

See HUD’s listing of other applications for Alabama.



  • The Home Plus Assistance Program supplies a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage mixed with down fee help (DPA) starting from 0% – 5% relying upon the brand new underlying first mortgage. One homebuyer should full a house purchaser training course earlier than closing.
  • The Home in Five Advantage Program helps low and moderate-income people and households purchase a house in Maricopa County. Certified homebuyers obtain as much as 5 % help for down fee and shutting prices, plus a mortgage with a aggressive rate of interest.


  • The MyHome Help Program can lend as much as as much as 3.5% of the house’s buy worth or appraised worth to first-time patrons inside an earnings cap.
  • The CalHFA Conventional program is a 30-year fastened curiosity standard mortgage that provides you the choice to roll in down fee and shutting price help into your mortgage.
  • The CalPLUS Conventional program comes with a barely increased 30-year fastened rate of interest, however you possibly can mix it with the MyHome Help program for down fee assist and the CalHFA Zero Curiosity Program (ZIP) for closing prices. The ZIP program doesn’t cost debtors curiosity on the cash it lends by means of this system.
  • The Forgivable Equity Builder Loan provides first-time homebuyers a head begin with fast fairness of their properties with a mortgage of as much as 10% of the acquisition worth of the house. The mortgage is forgivable if the borrower occupies the house as their major residence for 5 years.  
  • The GSFA OpenDoors Program supplies as much as 7% of the primary mortgage mortgage quantity for proprietor occupied major residences. This system shouldn’t be restricted to first time homebuyers.

See HUD’s listing of other applications for California.




The Florida Finance Housing Corporation gives 3 ways to assist:

  • The Florida Help Program gives as much as $10,000 on a second mortgage with no curiosity and no month-to-month funds. Compensation is due solely if you promote or refinance the house.
  • The Florida Homeownership Mortgage Program Second Mortgage gives as much as $10,000 on a second mortgage with 3% curiosity and a 15 yr time period.
  • HFA Most popular and HFA Benefit PLUS Second Mortgage applications provide 3%, 4% or 5% of the full mortgage quantity in a forgivable second mortgage. This second mortgage is forgiven at 20% a yr over its 5-year time period when used with Florida Housing’s standard HFA Most popular for TBA or HFA Benefit for TBA first mortgage merchandise.
  • The Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program makes homeownership inexpensive for eligible frontline neighborhood employees corresponding to regulation enforcement officers, firefighters, educators, healthcare professionals, childcare workers, and lively navy or veterans.

See HUD’s listing of other applications for Florida.


Residence patrons who meet family incomes caps and residential buy costs could qualify for the next assist from Georgia Dream Homeownership Program:

  • First-time patrons can get $7,500 after they contribute $1,000 towards their very own down fee.
  • Residence patrons with a qualifying incapacity or a job in sure occupations can obtain $10,000.

See HUD’s listing of different DPA applications in Georgia.



The Illinois Housing Development Authority gives three applications for down fee help:

  • IHDAccess Forgivable Mortgage gives 4% of the acquisition worth or as much as $6,000 in a no month-to-month fee, forgivable mortgage with no compensation until bought or refinanced earlier than the ten yr interval.
  • IHDAccess Deferred Mortgage gives 5% of the acquisition worth or as much as $7,500 deferred fee mortgage of as much as 30 years.
  • IHDAccess Repayable Mortgage gives 10% of the acquisition worth or as much as $10,000 in a ten yr, zero curiosity repayable mortgage the place month-to-month funds are required.

See HUD’s listing of other applications in Illinois.


The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority supplies two applications that present a proportion of the house’s appraised worth or buy worth.

  • First Place Program gives qualifying first-time homebuyers 6% of the worth of the house.
  • Subsequent Residence (NH) is open to each first-time patrons and people who already personal a house, have a minimal credit score rating of 640-680, and fall inside earnings limits with 3.5% of the house worth.  

See HUD’s listing of different applications in Indiana.



The Kentucky Housing Corporation has two help applications:

  • With Common DPA, you possibly can borrow as much as $10,000 over 10 years with 3.75% curiosity.
  • With Reasonably priced DPA, you possibly can borrow as much as $10,000 over 10 years with 1.0% curiosity in the event you meet earnings limitations.

See HUD’s listing of other help applications in Kentucky.


The  Michigan State Housing Development Authority has one program that gives an interest-free mortgage with no month-to-month funds. It solely falls due if you refinance, end paying down your mortgage, or promote the house:

  • MI Residence Mortgage is for first time patrons and people buying in goal areas who’ve a minimal credit score rating of 640 or 660 and meet sure earnings and residential buy worth limits. It gives $7,500 statewide and $10,000 in sure areas.

Discover different applications in Michigan on HUD’s web site.


The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency gives three help applications for eligible debtors:

  • With the Month-to-month Cost Mortgage, you possibly can borrow as much as $17,000 on the identical price of your first mortgage and pay it down over 10 years.
  • The Deferred Cost Mortgage lets first-time patrons borrow as much as $12,500 interest-free, with no funds till you repay, refinance, or promote the house.
  • The Deferred Cost Mortgage Plus lets first-time patrons borrow as much as $15,000 interest-free, with no funds till you repay, refinance, or promote the house.

See HUD’s listing of different homeownership help applications in Minnesota.


  • The Home is Possible program for first-time homebuyers gives curiosity free help for as much as 4% of the mortgage quantity. A homebuyer training course is required, however the quantity is forgivable after three years.



  • Certified dwelling patrons in North Carolina could possibly obtain as much as $50,000 in direction of their down fee with the Community Partners Loan Pool program. This program is a zero % curiosity, deferred second mortgage. This program could be mixed with NC 1st Residence Benefit Down fee or NC Residence Benefit Tax Credit score, or different down fee help loans or grants.  
  • The NC Home Advantage Mortgage supplies loans of as much as 3% of your opening mortgage stability. The loans begin to be forgiven in yr 11 of your mortgage and are absolutely forgiven by yr 15 however should be repaid in full in the event you promote, switch or refinance earlier than yr 11.
  • The company additionally supplies an $8,000 down fee help choice for first-time patrons and navy veterans who meet extra standards.

See HUD’s listing of different homeownership help applications in North Carolina.


  • The Ohio Housing Finance Agency gives a mortgage that gives both 2.5% or 5.0% of the house’s buy worth for patrons with a credit score rating of 640 or higher and sure earnings and buy worth limits. The mortgage is forgiven after seven years however should be repaid in full in the event you promote, switch or refinance earlier than then.

See HUD’s listing of different help applications in Ohio.


  • PA Housing Finance Agency gives the HOMEstead program, which supplies as much as $10,000 to certified debtors inside sure earnings and buy worth limits. This zero-interest mortgage is forgiven at a price of 20% annually over 5 years, however should be repaid in full in the event you promote, switch or refinance earlier than then.

See HUD’s listing of different help applications in Pennsylvania.



  • SC Housing has a first-time purchaser program for low-to-moderate earnings households and people who’re buying a house for the primary time. It could pay all or a part of your required down fee in the event you use a taking part lender.

See HUD’s listing of different help applications in South Carolina.


Tennessee Housing Development Agency has three down fee help applications:

  • Nice Alternative Plus Deferred Choice supplies $6,000 within the type of a forgivable second mortgage mortgage on your property. The mortgage has a 0% rate of interest and the funds are deferred till the tip of the 30 yr time period.
  • Nice Alternative Plus Amortizing Choice supplies 6% of the gross sales worth within the type of a second mortgage mortgage on your property, that’s paid in month-to-month funds over 30 years at an rate of interest that’s the identical as the primary mortgage price.
  • The Homeownership for the Courageous program gives a 1/2-percent discount on THDA’s Nice Alternative first mortgage mortgage for lively and retired members of the navy.

See HUD’s listing of different help applications in Tennessee.



  • The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority gives the Capital Entry Benefit program, an interest-free mortgage for as much as $3,050 or 3.5% of the acquisition worth towards your down fee and shutting prices. The mortgage solely falls due solely after you repay, refinance, or transfer, and there are not any month-to-month funds.
  • The Straightforward Shut program gives as much as 6% of the acquisition worth for a ten yr second mortgage. The rate of interest is similar as the primary dwelling.
  • Housing Resources, Inc. has an inventory of different sources for Wisconsin homebuyers, together with grants and/or forgiveable loans for buying a house in sure areas.

See HUD’s listing of different help applications in Wisconsin.


Learn our weblog: Utilizing present funds in your down fee


Different first-time homebuyer sources

At Amerifirst, we have got a number of nice sources for first-time homebuyers. Wish to study extra? Go to our First Time Homebuyer webpage or click on the button beneath to attach with one in all our skilled mortgage officers. Chances are you’ll be nearer than you assume!


Let's Talk!


Not all debtors will qualify. The above info is for informational functions solely and isn’t meant as an commercial or a dedication to lend. The applications listed are supplied by means of the aforementioned authorities businesses and will finish with out discover at their discretion.


Alabama, Georgia, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania should not have State Applications accessible