What is a First Time Home Buyer Program in the US and Its Benefits?

In the US, if you’ve never owned a property before, you’re entitled to qualify for a first-time home buyer loan with a comparatively low monthly mortgage interest rate and lesser down payment requirement, apart from qualifying for special grants. On the contrary, a borrower can also avail of down payment assistance (DPA) and closing cost assistance (CCA). Such financial assistance is provided by the respective state and the federal government. A majority of lenders like accredited private banks offer special loans and incentives to first-time home buyers in almost all the 50-plus odd states.

The Key Features of the First-Time Homebuyer Program

Generally speaking, a first-time homebuyer is an individual who is buying a principal residence for the first time. Let’s get into the specifics of it.

  • As per federal laws, a ‘first-time’ homebuyer is a person who has not owned a property or home for the last 3 years.
  • A person who has never owned a principal residence, even if his/her spouse was a homeowner.
  • A single parent who previously owned a property with his/her ex-spouse.
  • An owner of a property that is NOT in compliance with the local and state building codes.
  • In this type of mortgage home loan USA, a majority of homebuyers qualify for financial assistance, grants, incentives, subsidies, and monetary help through different government-backed or sponsored programs.
  • There are some lenders and banks that offer special benefits and loan terms to all first-time buyers.
  • In this case, a homebuyer is usually able to withdraw from his/her retirement funds or savings, without having to incur a 10% early-withdrawal penalty, as imposed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The maximum amount limit on a penalty-free basis is $10,000 USD.

Learning About a First-Time Homebuyer Program in Arizona

All salaried and fixed-income group people find it increasingly difficult to buy a home, which is an expensive affair. But, there are federally assisted programs, grants, and incentives that help individuals get past their monetary woes and own property.

Here in Arizona too, the situation is no different from the rest of the US. In fact, one can take the help of specialist mortgage brokers like AIMortgage.net that can guide you through the entire process, and even help find an A+ certified lender in your region that offers ‘special’ mortgage home loans on flexible repayment terms, low-interest rates and minimum down payment, apart from the choice of fixed & variable monthly mortgage rates.

Popular Special Homebuyer Loans and Assistance in Arizona

The HOME+PLUS program, as offered by the Arizona Industrial Development Authority, offers all first time property buyers a 30 year fixed-rate mortgage, along with down payment assistance (DPA) of up to 5% of the principal loan amount. This particular HOME+PLUS program is available for both first-time buyers, as well as who have owned a property before. FYI, as per the statistics presented by the Arizona Department of Housing, more than 35,000 home buyers have benefitted from this program.

Another big advantage of one such program is that your first mortgage loan can be a VA, FHA, or USDA loan, with reduced mortgage insurance, thus helping you to have low monthly payouts. Therefore, when you’re applying for first time home buyer programs Arizona, Colorado, or any other state, always consult with your mortgage broker, regarding this particular aspect.

The HOME+PLUS Down-Payment Assistance in Arizona

It is a NO-payment second mortgage home loan in AZ that is forgivable after 3 years unless you sell your property (principal residence) or refinance the first mortgage loan. This DPA or loan does NOT require a separate application when you’re partnering with a certified bank or federally approved mortgage lender, as you’re definitely considered for down payment assistance.

Eligibility Criteria and Qualification Requirements for HOME+PLUS

  • A minimum credit score of 640, and if you’re buying a manufactured home, it is 680.
  • A borrower must have a 45-50% debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, depending on the type of mortgage loan.
  • An individual whose annual/yearly income is below $122,100 USD.
  • A borrower must have successfully completed a homebuyer education course, as conducted by the respective department.

Property Qualification Criteria

  • It MUST be in Arizona State.
  • It must be a single family or double family residence, townhome, condominium or manufactured home, which has a foundation in the ground.
  • It must be a primary house or residence.

Other Assistance Programs in Arizona

In fact, there are quite a few other government-sponsored homebuyer assistance programs in this state, which help all first-time property buyers realize their dream of owning a home. It can be a ‘Home in Five Advantage’ program that is assisted by The Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority (MCIDA) and Phoenix IDA. It is beneficial for all families with a low-to-moderate income that cannot afford a home in Maricopa County by themselves. Then, one can go for ‘Home in Five Advantage BOOST’ program for low-income neighborhood designated areas, Tucson Pima County HOME Down Payment Assistance program and Mortgage Credit Assistance (MCC).

Final Thoughts

As a borrower, you can always consult with a premier mortgage consultant in Arizona that can easily assist you in choosing the right lender that offers such federally-backed grants and home-buying assistance programs in this state. And, if you’re eligible, you can always think of a quick and easy loan approval process, provided you’re with a professional mortgage brokerage firm who can guide you in a step-by-step manner.