First Time Home Buyer Programs by stateFirst Time Home Buyer Programs by state

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First Time Home Buyer Programs by State

First Time Home Buyer Programs by state
First Time Home Buyer Programs by state

Buying your first home is an exciting milestone in life. It represents independence, stability and a chance to put down roots in a community you love. But the process of purchasing real estate for the first time can also be daunting, especially when it comes to securing financing. That’s where first time home buyer programs can help!

What are First Time Home Buyer Programs?

First time home buyer (FTHB) programs are special programs offered by federal, state and local governments, as well as private lenders, to help make buying a home more affordable for qualifying first time purchasers. These programs offer various types of assistance, such as:

  • Down payment assistance – Programs that provide grants, forgivable loans or matching funds to help with your down payment and closing costs. This allows you to buy a home with less money out of pocket.
  • Reduced interest rates – State and local housing agencies partner with lenders to offer below-market interest rates on home loans for first time buyers. This results in lower monthly mortgage payments.
  • Tax credits – Some programs provide federal income tax credits up to $2,000 – $8,000 to help offset the cost of buying your first home. Credits are applied when you file your tax return.
  • Reduced PMI – Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is typically required when you put less than 20% down. Some programs help first time buyers reduce or eliminate PMI.
  • Decreased insurance premiums – Certain state and local programs help first time home buyers receive discounts on homeowners insurance rates.
  • Homebuyer education – Many programs require completing a homebuyer education course. This helps equip you with skills for sustainable homeownership. Some programs then provide a certificate which qualifies you for grants or other perks.

The great news is that every state offers first time home buyer assistance programs to residents! The specifics vary widely, but taking advantage of these opportunities can make financing your first home much more feasible.

Below we will explore FTHB programs available in each state and how to determine if you qualify.

Alabama First Time Home Buyer Programs

The Alabama Housing Finance Authority offers two key programs to support first time buyers in the state:

Step Up Alabama Down Payment Assistance

This statewide program provides a 30 year, fixed rate mortgage along with down payment and closing cost assistance. Qualified borrowers receive a 5% grant based on the loan amount. For example, if you purchase a $100,000 home, you would get $5,000 in down payment help.

To qualify, home buyers must:

  • Be first time buyers who have not owned a home in the past 3 years
  • Meet income limits by county and household size
  • Occupy the home as your full-time primary residence
  • Have a credit score of at least 640
  • Complete a pre-purchase homebuyer education course

Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)

Alabama’s MCC provides an annual federal income tax credit up to $2,000 on your mortgage interest. The credit essentially reduces your tax bill, so your refund is larger. MCC credits can be claimed each year you occupy the home.

To qualify, home buyers must:

  • Be first time buyers who have not owned a home in the past 3 years
  • Purchase a home within certain price limits
  • Occupy the home as your full-time primary residence
  • Meet income limits by county and household size

Combining Step Up with MCC is a great way for first timers to maximize affordability in Alabama. Speak with a lender and request more information on qualification requirements for these programs in your area.

Alaska First Time Home Buyer Programs

The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) provides the following assistance for eligible first time buyers:

AHFC HomeChoice Down Payment Assistance

The HomeChoice program offers a 30 year fixed rate mortgage along with a grant equal to 4% of the loan amount to help with down payment and closing costs. For a $200,000 home purchase, you would receive an $8,000 grant.

To qualify for HomeChoice assistance, buyers must:

  • Be first time buyers who have not owned a home in the past 3 years
  • Meet income and home price limits
  • Occupy the home as your full-time primary residence
  • Have a minimum credit score of 640
  • Contribute at least $1,000 of your own funds

Senior Citizens Housing Development Fund (SCHDF)

SCHDF provides additional grants to help buyers age 55 and over purchase a home. Senior buyers can receive up to $10,000 in down payment assistance and closing costs.

Homebuyer Education

AHFC requires all home buyers using its programs complete an approved homebuyer education course prior to closing. This helps prepare Alaska buyers for informed, sustainable homeownership.

Get in touch with an AHFC loan officer today to find out more about utilizing these programs for your first home purchase.

Arizona First Time Home Buyer Programs

The Arizona Housing Finance Authority offers down payment and closing cost help through two key initiatives:

Homes for Arizonans Homebuyer Assistance

This program offers 30 year fixed rate mortgages paired with 3% or 4% grants for down payments and closing costs. For a $150,000 home, a 3% grant would equal $4,500 in assistance.

To qualify, buyers must:

  • Be first time home buyers
  • Meet income limits by county
  • Have a minimum credit score of 640
  • Contribute at least $1,000 of their own funds

MCC Advantage

MCC Advantage provides qualified first time buyers with a federal income tax credit. You can claim up to $2,000 in credits each year you occupy the home. MCC Advantage works in conjunction with Homes for Arizonans, allowing buyers to combine down payment help and ongoing tax savings.

In addition to state programs, individual counties and cities in Arizona may offer local first time buyer assistance. Reach out to lenders to ask about what combination of state and local programs you may be eligible for.

Arkansas First Time Home Buyer Programs

Two great options are available to first timers in Arkansas:

Arkansas Dream Down Payment Initiative

This statewide program offers 30 year fixed rate mortgages combined with either 3% or 4% down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a forgivable second lien. Borrowers must qualify based on income limits and occupy the home as their primary residence.

MCC Partnership

The MCC provides qualifying buyers with an annual federal tax credit up to $2,000 based on mortgage interest paid. Participants get to claim the credit each year they live in the home. MCC can be combined with the Dream program for added savings.

Ask your lender for details on eligibility and how to apply for these Arkansas programs when purchasing your first home.

California First Time Home Buyer Programs

California offers several initiatives to help first time purchasers:

CalHFA Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program

CalHFA’s MCC provides federal tax credits up to $2,000 annually that reduce your income tax bill. You can claim credits each year you occupy the home. The amount of credit depends on your income and home loan amount. MCC can be combined with other CalHFA loan programs.

My Home Assistance Program

This down payment assistance option offers deferred payment subordinate loans equal to 3% or 4% of the purchase price. For a $250,000 home, you could receive $7,500 or $10,000 in assistance. The deferred loan is due once you sell, refinance or no longer occupy the property as your primary residence.

School Staff Down Payment Assistance Program

Qualifying teachers, school employees and staff members can receive up to $7,500 in down payment help through this program. The assistance is offered in participating counties as deferred subordinate loans.

Check if you meet the eligibility requirements for these programs based on your income, home purchase price and location. Your lender can guide you through the application process.

Colorado First Time Home Buyer Programs

The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) provides the following options:

CHFA Advantage Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)

The MCC offers federal tax credits up to $2,000 annually that reduce your tax bill. First time buyers can claim credits for each year they occupy the home. The MCC can be used alongside other CHFA loans.

CHFA SmartStep

SmartStep is a second mortgage that provides 3% of the purchase price in down payment and closing cost assistance. For a $200,000 home, you’d receive $6,000 through this program. SmartStep features a 30-year term and no required monthly payments.

MetroDownpayment Assistance (MDA)

MDA offers qualifying buyers in the Denver metro area 3% down payment and closing cost help up to $7,500. Participants also benefit from homebuyer education and foreclosure prevention support.

Discuss how you can leverage CHFA’s first time buyer tools with a participating lender today.

Connecticut First Time Home Buyer Programs

Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) provides the following assistance options:

Downpayment Assistance Program

This statewide program offers first time buyers a second mortgage

for down payment and closing costs of up to 5% of the purchase price or appraised value, whichever is less. For a $250,000 home, you could receive up to $12,500 in assistance. The second mortgage has a 0% interest rate and no monthly payments. It is forgiven after 5 years if you continue to occupy the home as your primary residence.

Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)

Connecticut’s MCC provides an annual federal income tax credit up to $2,000 based on your mortgage interest paid. First time buyers claim the credit each year they live in the home. The MCC can be used in conjunction with the Downpayment Assistance Program for added savings.

To qualify for these CHFA programs, buyers must meet income limits, purchase price restrictions and other eligibility criteria. Your lender will guide you through the application process to determine if you can benefit as a first time Connecticut home buyer.

Delaware First Time Home Buyer Programs

The Delaware State Housing Authority offers two key programs:

Second Mortgage Assistance Loan (SMAL)

SMAL provides a deferred payment second mortgage equal to 3% or 4% of the sales price to help with down payment and closing costs. For a $150,000 home, you could receive either $4,500 or $6,000 in assistance. The second mortgage has a 30-year term with no required monthly payments.

Delaware First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit

Qualified first time buyers are eligible for an income tax credit up to $5,000. The credit amount depends on the purchase price and county where you buy. Participants claim the full credit amount when filing their income tax return for the year they purchased the home.

Connect with a participating DSHA lender to go over requirements and see if you qualify for these Delaware first time buyer incentives.

Florida First Time Home Buyer Programs

Florida Housing Finance Corporation offers these programs:

Florida Assist

This down payment and closing cost assistance option features a 10-year deferred subordinate mortgage. You can borrow up to 5% of the purchase price. For a $200,000 home, that equates to $10,000 in help. The loan is interest-free and forgivable after 10 years if you satisfy occupancy requirements.

Homeownership Pool (HOP)

The HOP program provides 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages paired with down payment and closing cost assistance through participating lenders. HOP is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Homebuyer Loan Program

This program offers 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at below market interest rates. It does not include down payment assistance, but the lower rates help first time buyers.

Ask your lender to see if you meet the eligibility requirements to utilize Florida’s first time home buyer tools.

Georgia First Time Home Buyer Programs

The Georgia Dream Homeownership Program offers eligible first timers two main perks:

Down Payment Assistance (DPA)

The DPA provides a deferred second mortgage that can be used for down payment and closing costs. You can borrow up to 5% of the loan amount. With a $175,000 first mortgage, you could get up to $8,750 in DPA. The second mortgage is due only if you sell, refinance or no longer occupy the home as your primary residence.

Georgia Dream Second Mortgage

This program provides a low, fixed interest rate second mortgage up to $5,000. The funds can be put toward down payment and closing costs. Having a second mortgage at a low rate further reduces your housing costs.

You must meet credit, income, home price and location requirements to qualify for these Georgia Dream options. Connect with a participating lender to start the eligibility assessment and application process.

Hawaii First Time Home Buyer Programs

The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC) offers first time buyers two main programs:

Hula Mae Down Payment Loan

Hula Mae provides eligible buyers with a deferred second mortgage up to 5% of the purchase price or appraised value to assist with down payment and closing costs. For a $450,000 home, you could access up to $22,500. The deferred loan is forgivable after 10 years of occupying the home as your primary residence.

Mortgage Credit Certificate

Hawaii’s MCC provides qualified first time buyers with an annual federal income tax credit based on mortgage interest paid. You can claim a credit up to $2,000 each year you live in the home. Credits help reduce your overall tax bill. The MCC can be used in conjunction with the Hula Mae second mortgage.

Talk to your lender about specific requirements to take advantage of these programs when you buy a home in Hawaii.

Idaho First Time Home Buyer Programs

The Idaho Housing and Finance Association offers the Home Partnership Foundation down payment assistance program to qualifying first time buyers.

Under this program, you can receive a grant equal to 3% of the mortgage amount to put toward down payment and closing costs. To receive the full 3%, you must contribute at least 1% of your own funds.

For example, if you get a mortgage for $150,000, you could be eligible for a $4,500 grant ($150,000 x 3%) by contributing at least $1,500 of your own money. The grant would go toward your down payment and closing costs.

To qualify, home buyers must meet requirements pertaining to income limits, purchase price caps, homebuyer education and minimum credit scores. The program is available for qualifying buyers across Idaho.

Discuss the specifics with your lender to see if you’re eligible for the down payment grant.

Illinois First Time Home Buyer Programs

Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) offers the following assistance:

IHDA Down Payment Assistance

This program provides first time buyers with a 30-year second mortgage equal to 5% of the purchase price or appraised value to help cover down payment and closing costs. With a $175,000 home, you could receive up to $8,750 in assistance.

The loan is forgiven if you occupy the home as your primary residence over a 5-year period. The interest rate on the second mortgage is below market rate.

Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credit

First time buyers may claim a credit up to $750 on their state income taxes for buying a home in Illinois. The credit amount depends on the purchase price. You claim the full credit amount when filing taxes for the year you purchased the home.

Visit IHDA’s website to determine if you meet eligibility requirements based on your income, purchase price and home location.

Indiana First Time Home Buyer Programs

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) offers the following two programs:

First Home Ownership Program

This down payment assistance program provides first time buyers with a subordinate lien equal to 5% of the home’s purchase price or appraised value. For a $130,000 home, you could qualify for up to $6,500 in assistance.

The 0% interest lien is forgiven if you satisfy occupancy requirements over a 5-year period. Note that there are household income caps to qualify.

Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)

Indiana’s MCC provides an annual federal income tax credit up to $2,000 based on your mortgage interest. The credit directly reduces your tax bill. First time buyers claim the MCC credit each year you occupy the home.

IHCDA participating lenders can guide buyers through the application process to take advantage of these incentives when purchasing a first home in Indiana.

Iowa First Time Home Buyer Programs

Iowa Finance Authority offers the FirstHome program with the following options:

FirstHome Plus

This program provides buyers with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage along with 3% or 4% of the loan amount as down payment/closing cost assistance. For a $175,000 mortgage, you could receive $5,250 or $7,000 in help.

FirstHome Advantage

FirstHome Advantage offers buyers a reduced mortgage interest rate along with access to down payment assistance. The rate discount allows you to save on monthly payments, while the down payment component helps lower upfront costs.

First Home Affordable

This option provides a below market interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. It does not include down payment assistance, but the lower rate helps increase affordability.

Discuss your specific financial situation and goals with a participating FirstHome lender to determine which option might be best for you.

Kansas First Time Home Buyer Programs

First Time Home Buyer Programs by state
First Time Home Buyer Programs by state

The Kansas Housing Resources Corporation offers two key programs:

Kansas Homeownership Opportunities Program

This program provides first mortgage financing at below market interest rates. No down payment help is included, but the lower rates help first time buyers.

Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program

Kansas’ MCC program issues federal tax credits up to $2,000 annually based on your mortgage interest. The credits effectively lower your income tax bill each year. To qualify, buyers must meet income and purchase price requirements.

Additionally, certain cities and counties in Kansas have local funds to assist first time purchasers. Ask potential lenders to see if you may qualify for any combined state and local assistance.

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