Down Payment Assistance Programs Can Help Pave the Way to Homeownership
If you want to buy a house, your down payment doesn't have to be a huge obstacle. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), saving for a down payment is the most difficult step for 38% of first-time homebuyers. But, in reality, you may not need to put down as much as you think:
According to NAR data, the median down payment has not exceeded 20% since 2005. Indeed, the current median down payment for all homebuyers is only 15%. It's even lower for first-time homebuyers, who pay 8%. However, just because that is the median does not imply that you must put that much down. Some qualified buyers put even less money down.
There are loan types, such as FHA loans, with down payments as low as 3.5%, as well as VA and USDA loans with no down payment requirements for qualified applicants. But let's take a look at another useful resource that might be able to assist you with your down payment: down payment assistance programs.
First-time and repeat purchasers are frequently eligible.
According to Down Payment Resource, there are thousands of programs available for first-time homebuyers, with 75% of them providing down payment assistance.
And not only first-time homebuyers are eligible. That means that no matter where you are in the home-buying process, there may be a solution for you. As Down Payment Resource points out:
“You don’t have to be a first-time buyer. Over 39% of all [homeownership] programs are for repeat homebuyers who have owned a home in the last 3 years.”
A trusted real estate professional is the best place to begin your search for more information. They'll be able to provide more details about what's available, such as additional programs for specific professions or communities.
Additional Resources for Down Payment Assistance
Here are a few down payment assistance programs that are assisting many of today's buyers in realizing their dream of becoming homeowners:
- The Teacher Next Door program is intended to assist teachers, first responders, health care providers, government employees, active-duty military personnel, and veterans in meeting their down payment goals.
- Fannie Mae offers down payment assistance to qualified first-time homebuyers in majority-Latino neighborhoods.
- Freddie Mac also offers options tailored to homebuyers with low credit scores and limited funds for a down payment.
- The 3By30 program outlines concrete strategies for adding 3 million new Black homeowners by 2030. These programs provide valuable resources to potential buyers, making it easier for them to secure down payments and realize their homeownership dreams.
- Down Payment Resource highlights 42 U.S. homebuyer assistance programs in 14 states for Native Americans, easing the path to homeownership by providing assistance with down payments and other associated costs.
Even if you do not qualify for these programs, there are numerous other federal, state, and local options to consider. And, as you explore what's available, a real estate professional can help you find the ones that meet your needs.
The dream of owning a home may be closer than you think, especially if you know where to look for assistance. Let's talk about your options to learn more.