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Sometimes it feels like I'm a bit of a broken record when it comes to info for first time homebuyers, but this piece is just too important not to share again! And again, and again... So tell your friends, your family, your coworkers, your dog - you don't have to have a big down payment (or any down payment!) to buy a house. Unlike most online marketing, this is not too good to be true. There are several ways to get into a home with limited cash out of pocket, but for this post I'd like to focus on an agency that is a great resource for all NC homebuyers.


I'm talking, of course, about the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency. A self-supporting public agency, the NCHFA does some fantastic work with building/rehabbing rental apartments and homes, providing rent subsidies, and financing affordable home mortgages, including down payment assistance to not only first time homebuyers but anyone purchasing a home in NC.


NCHFA offers two different down payment assistance programs designed to fit the needs of most homebuyers. The 1st Home Advantage Program offers first time homebuyers $8,000 toward down payment and closing costs. The down payment assistance is a 15 year deferred/forgiven lien on the property. It is deferred for the first 10 years and then is forgiven by 20% at the end of years 11 through 15. So, if you stay in the house without refinancing the loan for 15 years you will never have to pay back the funds. Repayment of the down payment assistance is required when the house is sold, no longer owner occupied, or refinanced before the lien is forgiven. This is offered at a 0% interest rate, so even if you sell the home and pay back the funds, you will not pay more than the original $8,000.


The Home Advantage Mortgage Program offers all homebuyers (not just first time) down payment assistance of 3% or 5% of the purchase price. Homebuyers can get 3% down on conventional loans while the 5% option is available for VA and FHA financing. The Home Advantage program follows the same deferral/forgiveness guidelines as the 1st Home Advantage program, so if you plan to stay in the home for the long run this program is phenomenal.


With both of these options there are eligibility guidelines that borrowers must meet. These guidelines include minimum credit score, maximum income (varies by program and location), and they are only available for owner occupied primary residences. If you would like more information or to discuss whether you would be eligible for these programs please reach out! The NCHFA website is also an incredible resource and I highly encourage all prospective homebuyers to check it out.

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