Before you begin looking for a grant, it is important that you have secured a mortgage lender and that you have a good idea of what kind of home you can afford. A first time homebuyer grant will not pay for your entire home and, for many of these programs, you will need to have your lender help you apply. There are also programs that offer down payment assistance. Only after you find a first time home buyers loan for your mortgage can you even begin applying for government grants.
Once you have completed these first initial steps of the home buying process, you can then begin to seek grant funding to help you purchase your new home.
How to Get a Grant for First Time Home Buyers:
- The first step is to visit this page on the HUD website. It will link you to local goverment grants for first time home buyers within your state.
- Once you are on this page, find and select your state.
- Under "Buying a Home," choose the "Assistance Programs" link.
- There will be two separate categories: Regional/Statewide programs and City/Town programs.
- You will need to read through each available program to decide which is right for you. Each program will have different qualifications for first time home buyer, so it is best to look at the qualifications first to see if you will meet the criteria.
- Once you have decided which of these programs you qualify for, you can then choose the program which will give you the most financial assistance.
- Note any stipulations on each program. For instance, one program in California, which gives out up to $10,000, requires the grant to be repaid if and when the buyer resells the home.
- Once you have decided on a particular home buyer's program that you want to apply for, find out when each round of funding begins. It is common for such programs to run out of funding months ahead of schedule. Therefore, it is important to get your application in early, preferably sending it so that it arrives on the first day. Remember, hundreds of others will also be sending in their applications at this time, so it is important not to delay.
- You may be able to obtain a downloadable application on the program's website or you may be directed to visit a local office to get an application. It is important to fill out the entire application and send in any supporting documents. For example, if the program has income requirements, you may want to send in a copy of your most recent pay stub and/or a copy of your last W2. Additionally, some programs will have you apply directly through your lender. It is important to know these specific requirements so that you are not late with your application.
Most of these programs with grants for first time home buyers help with down payment and closing costs, however, some may also give money towards the purchase of the home or give a fixed amount that can be used as needed during the home buying process. This will depend on the type of program and where the funding is originating from. There is a lot of federal aid for first time home buyers if you just do the research.