Methods to Get Assist Shopping for Your First Dwelling

Mom w child

Final Up to date: November 21, 2022


For those who’re like many first-time patrons, saving up the chunk of cash you’ll want to purchase a house generally is a actual problem.


However in the event you’ve acquired a very good job, regular earnings, and respectable credit score, and the one factor holding you again is an absence of money available for the down fee, you may be glad to know that each one throughout the nation, native and state companies provide grants and low-interest loans to assist first-time patrons obtain homeownership.


Referred to as down fee help applications (DPAs), these sources might present the monetary increase you must purchase a house months and even years earlier than you might save the entire cash by yourself.


How do DPAs work?


Managed by state housing finance companies or metropolis and county governments, these applications give first-time patrons monetary support to assist pay for a down fee and/or closing prices.  For those who qualify, you possibly can obtain support in a pair alternative ways:

  • Grants –Free cash chances are you’ll by no means must pay again
  • Loans Usually paid alongside together with your major mortgage or whenever 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 overall quantity they lent you. Normally, DPA loans have rates of interest which are decrease than your important mortgage, and in some circumstances, 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 will depend on many components, together with your earnings, the realm the place you need to purchase, and the kind of applications supplied in your space. We’ll talk about earnings necessities in a minute, however in the event you qualify, you could possibly get anyplace 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 private home 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. Keep in mind, the bigger your down fee is, the smaller your month-to-month funds shall be, and that makes budgeting the remainder of your life simpler. Since you’re financing much less, a bigger down fee can prevent 1000’s 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 fluctuate from place to put, however in the event you’re making use of for a DPA, chances are you’ll have to:

  • 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 average family earnings. Undecided you qualify? Strive googling the Space Median Revenue (AMI) the place you reside. For those who make 50% or much less of that quantity, you’re thought of low earnings, and 50-80% of the AMI is taken into account average earnings.
  • Plan to buy your private home inside a selected space. Whereas some DPAs apply to your entire state, others are focused to areas which were hard-hit economically and must be revitalized. When you’ve discovered a DPA in your space, verify your zip code to see if the property you need to purchase qualifies for help.
  • Use the cash for a house that you will dwell in. These applications are for major residences solely; rental properties and trip houses sometimes don’t qualify.
  • Pay for a part of the down fee your self. The share you pay might fluctuate 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. It will put together you for the monetary duties 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?

For those who’re contemplating a DPA, certainly one of our Amerifirst mortgage officers shall be glad to clarify your choices. These applications normally work with the most typical 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 search out your state and observe the hyperlinks to see what’s out there in your space. As at all times, if you’d like somebody that will help you perceive these applications (even earlier than you’re prepared to purchase), attain out to us at Amerifirst. We’re at all times glad 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 not less than 640, and utilizing an FHA or standard mortgage from Step Up’s most well-liked checklist.
  • Affordable Income Subsidy Grant gives eligible debtors a grant to assist with closing prices. Your qualifying earnings transformed to an annual foundation can’t exceed 80% of the Space Median Revenue 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 checklist of different applications for Alabama.



  • The Home Plus Assistance Program gives 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 mounted 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 greater 30-year mounted 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 via this system.
  • The Forgivable Equity Builder Loan provides first-time homebuyers a head begin with fast fairness of their houses 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 gives 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 checklist of different 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. Reimbursement is due solely whenever 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 12 months time period.
  • HFA Most popular and HFA Benefit PLUS Second Mortgage applications provide 3%, 4% or 5% of the overall mortgage quantity in a forgivable second mortgage. This second mortgage is forgiven at 20% a 12 months 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 reasonably priced for eligible frontline neighborhood staff corresponding to legislation enforcement officers, firefighters, educators, healthcare professionals, childcare workers, and energetic army or veterans.

See HUD’s checklist of different applications for Florida.


Dwelling patrons who meet family incomes caps and residential buy costs might qualify for the next support from Georgia Dream Homeownership Program:

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

See HUD’s checklist 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 12 months 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 12 months, zero curiosity repayable mortgage the place month-to-month funds are required.

See HUD’s checklist of different applications in Illinois.


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

  • First Place Program gives qualifying first-time homebuyers 6% of the value of the house.
  • Subsequent Dwelling (NH) is open to each first-time patrons and those that 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 checklist 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 checklist of different help applications in Kentucky.


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

  • MI Dwelling 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 similar charge 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 checklist 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 the direction of their down fee with the Community Partners Loan Pool program. This program is a zero % curiosity, deferred second mortgage. This program will be mixed with NC 1st Dwelling Benefit Down fee or NC Dwelling Benefit Tax Credit score, or different down fee help loans or grants.  
  • The NC Home Advantage Mortgage gives loans of as much as 3% of your opening mortgage steadiness. The loans begin to be forgiven in 12 months 11 of your mortgage and are totally forgiven by 12 months 15 however have to be repaid in full in the event you promote, switch or refinance earlier than 12 months 11.
  • The company additionally gives an $8,000 down fee help possibility for first-time patrons and army veterans who meet extra standards.

See HUD’s checklist 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 have to be repaid in full in the event you promote, switch or refinance earlier than then.

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


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

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


Tennessee Housing Development Agency has three down fee help applications:

  • Nice Selection Plus Deferred Choice gives $6,000 within the type of a forgivable second mortgage mortgage on your private home. The mortgage has a 0% rate of interest and the funds are deferred till the tip of the 30 12 months time period.
  • Nice Selection Plus Amortizing Choice gives 6% of the gross sales worth within the type of a second mortgage mortgage on your private home, that’s paid in month-to-month funds over 30 years at an rate of interest that’s the similar as the primary mortgage charge.
  • The Homeownership for the Courageous program gives a 1/2-percent discount on THDA’s Nice Selection first mortgage mortgage for energetic and retired members of the army.

See HUD’s checklist 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 aren’t any month-to-month funds.
  • The Simple Shut program gives as much as 6% of the acquisition worth for a ten 12 months second mortgage. The rate of interest is identical 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 checklist of different help applications in Wisconsin.


Learn our weblog: Utilizing reward funds on your down fee


Different first-time homebuyer sources

At Amerifirst, we have 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 certainly one of 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 supposed as an commercial or a dedication to lend. The applications listed are supplied via the aforementioned authorities companies and should finish with out discover at their discretion.


Alabama, Georgia, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania would not have State Applications out there