Purchasing a home is a monumental feat for many people. No matter who you are, deciding to buy a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make.
But if you’re trying to make ends meet with a low income, it can feel as though becoming a homeowner isn’t an option at all.
For one thing, the initial payment required to purchase a home can put a barrier between low-income buyers and homeownership. Closing costs, transfer taxes, and other real estate fees can also act as obstacles.
Assuming you’re able to afford the initial costs, the increased and ongoing financial responsibilities of homeownership can make owning a home even less feasible. From increased utility costs to the insurance premiums you’ll be responsible for, barriers to homeownership aren’t limited solely to up-front costs.
The dream of owning a home should be accessible to everyone, and most states — and the federal government — agree. That’s why so many programs exist to help first-time and low-income home buyers remove common barriers to homeownership.
Best New Hampshire Loans and Grants for Low-Income Home Buyers
In the state of New Hampshire, there are a number of mortgage programs designed to help first-time and low-income home buyers attain homeownership.
In order to qualify for any of the following programs you can’t make more than $126,700 per year. In some situations, other conditions have to be met, as well, so be sure to check with your real estate agent and with program representatives to make sure you qualify.
Funds for Down Payment and Closing Costs (Home Flex Plus and Home Preferred Plus)
This program offers up to 3% of the loan amount in the form of cash funds that you can use for closing costs and down payments. The cash assistance portion is delivered as a second mortgage that is fully forgiven after four years assuming that no repayment has occurred. You have to be creditworthy and you’ll also have to complete home buyer education in order to qualify, but if you do, this option can be a great opportunity for low-income buyers.
Low or No Private Mortgage Insurance Options (Home Preferred and Home Preferred, No MI)
This option is designed to help home buyers by providing a conventional mortgage that has discounted mortgage insurance options. In many cases, no mortgage insurance is required (No MI). If you do have to pay for the insurance, you can usually obtain lower monthly payments than you would otherwise be able to get from other government agencies or conventional loan programs.
This mortgage option is good for home buyers who just need a lower monthly payment to attain homeownership and who have at least some funds available for a down payment and closing costs. Like many of the other available programs, you’ll have to be considered creditworthy and will have to complete a home buyer education course.
Purchase and Rehabilitation Programs
There are a few other programs that reside in the purchase and rehabilitation sector. One of the easiest ways to afford a home is to purchase a foreclosure or a fixer-upper. However, purchasing a foreclosure or fixer-upper can be cost prohibitive in and of itself depending on the costs of repairs.
This mortgage option allows borrowers to combine up to a $35,000 purchase rehabilitation loan into the mortgage financing they already have at the same low rate as your mortgage. This option can usually be combined with other programs and can help you afford things like energy-efficient upgrades, safety improvements, and other necessary repairs.
This option has a one-time closing on your loan, and since it can be combined with cash for down payments and closing costs provided through other programs it can be a great benefit to those who face renovation costs for their new home.
Again, you’ll have to go through a purchase and rehabilitation training program, but the good news is that it’s entirely online.
Learn More: Everything You Need to Know About Low-Income Home Loans
Best Federal Mortgage Options for Low-Income Buyers
There are many federally funded options for first-time and low-income homebuyers. If you can’t find a state-specific program in New Hampshire that can adequately address your needs, you might be able to find help through one of the various federal mortgage options for low-income buyers.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the VA are just two of many federal branches and programs that offer assistance to home buyers in a number of ways. While some have lengthy qualifications or are only offered to certain populations, others are more accessible and can apply to a variety of home buyers.
It’s worth noting that the minimum FICO score for 3.5% down payment loans is 580, and the minimum FICO score for 10% down payment loans is 500. There are also many eligibility requirements that you have to meet which vary depending on the loan or mortgage option in question.
Finally, many loan limits and restrictions differ by location, so you’ll want to discuss your options with both your real estate agent and participating lenders.
Learn More: The Complete Guide to FHA Loans By State
Best Private Lender Programs in New Hampshire for Low-Income Home Buyers
Finally, outside of state and federal programs, there are also private lending options that might be beneficial to New Hampshire residents hoping to purchase a home.
Freddie Mac’s HomeOne Mortgage
First-time home buyers make up almost half of the housing purchases in the nation. It’s important to meet the needs of these buyers, and Freddie Mac understands that. In response to the many barriers that often stand between the average home buyer and homeownership, Freddie Mac created HomeOne.
This program offers a conventional mortgage with a 3% down payment, no geographic restrictions, and is designed for low-income and moderate-income home buyers. Eligibility varies by location and situation, so be sure to consult with your real estate agent to determine if this option is available to you and if it’s a good fit.
Fannie Mae’s HomeReady Mortgage
As with Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae’s HomeReady Mortgage program offers a 3% down payment option, and you can cancel your mortgage insurance once the equity in your home reaches 20%. You can also enjoy immediate appraisal orders from lenders, the absence of geographic restrictions, and flexible funding options.
Ideally, borrowers have a credit score that is at or over 620, are a first-time or low-income repeat home buyer, and have limited cash available for a down payment. Borrowers with credis scores over 680, may qualify for even more favorable pricing options.
Learn More: 7 Easiest Mortgage Lenders for First-Time Home Buyers
Home Buyer Rebates in New Hampshire
First-time home buyers who are currently evaluating their financing options should connect with a top-rated, local real estate agent for guidance. An experienced agent can help guide you through the process both in terms of choosing a lender and a mortgage type and with the home buying process as a whole.
Agents can help you uncover cost savings by utilizing their expertise in areas such as timing the market, evaluating properties, benefiting from their professional network, and relying on their knowledge of the market you’re interested in.
Clever Partner Agents can offer an additional cost savings opportunity in the form of a rebate. Clever’s Home Buyer Rebate program can provide Clever buyers who spend $150,000 or more with a $1,000 rebate to help cover closing costs.
Reach out to Clever today and get your no-obligation consultation to take the first step toward attaining the dream of homeownership.