first time home buyer advice

There are several home purchaser services and grants available to support you with incentives such as lower down payments and closing costs for the first purchase of the house. We also rounded up some of the best national grants, services, and loans for homebuyers for the first time, which will help you purchase your home without a 20 % down payment.

10 Options for the First Time Homebuyer in 2020

  • FHA Loan
  • USDA Loan
  • VA lending
  • Good Neighbor Next Door
  • Mae Fannie or Mac Freddie
  • Home-Path Ready-Buyer Program of Fannie Mae
  • Energy-efficient Mortgage (EEM)
  • Section 203(k) of the FHA
  • State and local homebuyer services and grants for the first-time
  • Native American Direct Loan

FHA Loan Program

Federal Housing Administration loan guaranteed. Excellent for those with low credit values and no money saved.


USDA Loan Program

100% U.S. loan program assured. Meant for lower-income borrowers in qualifying rural areas through the Department of Agriculture.

V.A. Loan Program

This is a US-sponsored loan. Department of Veterans Affairs does not make military, veteran, and family payments.

Good Neighbor Next Door Buyer Assistance Program

This is a U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) program offering residential assistance to law enforcement officers, firemen, emergency medical technicians, and teachers.Fannie Mae or

Freddie Mac

These are traditional loans sponsored by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac include a 3% reduction. Suitable for the creditworthy.

Home-Path Ready-Buyer Package

This is an offering which provides first-time buyers 3 percent cost help. You must complete a training course and buy a Fannie Mae house.

Energy-efficient Mortgage Program

These loans are sponsored by FHA or V.A. loan programs and allow borrowers to combine cost-efficient upgrades with primary loans.

FHA Loan Program of Section 203(k)

Borrow funds to pay for house renovations and roll over the expense into a primary mortgage FHA loan.

Native American Direct Loan

This VA-backed program offers direct home loans to qualifying American native vets for the purchase, rehabilitation, or development of the federally approved property

FHA Loan

Suitable for: low credit and smaller down payments purchasers.
FHA insured loans usually come with lower down payments and lower credit score standards than most traditional loans. First time home buyers will purchase homes with a minimum credit score of 580 and a lower credit score of 3.5% or 500-579, with a lower credit score of at least 10%. Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay FHA loans for private mortgage insurance or PMI. Your borrowing costs overall could be higher since you pay an initial PMI premium and annual PMI premiums. This policy would not support you, as opposed to homeowners’ insurance. Instead, it covers the lender if you default on the loan.

USDA Loan


Right for: borrowers with lower or moderate incomes buy a house in a rural USDA zone.
The U.S. Agriculture Department or USDA guarantees loans for certain rural households, and borrowers can receive 100% funding. You don’t have to buy a farm or shack with livestock, but you have to buy a property in a USDA-eligible region. USDA loans have earnings caps depending on where you live and are targeted at people receiving lower to moderate incomes. In general, you need a 640 or higher credit score to apply for a simplified USDA loan. If you do not, you may have to include further details on your payment history to receive an acceptance stamp


Good Neighbor Next Door

Good for: teachers, police, firefighters, and emergency medical services. The Next Door Good Neighbor initiative, funded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to 12th-grade teachers, provides housing assistance to law enforcement agents, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and pre-kindergarten staff. Eligible participants in “Revitalization Zones” will earn a 50 % discount on the price of a property. You will search for properties in your State on the website of the program, and you must undertake to spend at least 36 months in your house.

Mae Fannie or Mac Freddie


Best for: good credit but minimal down payment borrowers.
Government-funded companies such as GSEs, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac set borrowing guidelines on loans which they are willing to purchase on the secondary mortgage market from traditional lenders. Both systems require a down payment of at least 3%. Homebuyers will need a minimum loan value of 620 (depending on the lender) and a reasonably unbroken financial and credit history. In certain situations, Fannie Mae supports a debt-to-income ratio of as much as 50%. If you put less than 20 percent down, you’ll need to pay for PMI, but you can cancel it once your loan-to-value ratio falls below 80 percent.

Home-Path Ready-Buyer – Fannie Mae

Best for: First time home buyers who need assistance in settling costs and are ready to purchase a forfeited home.
The Home-Path Ready-Buyer program of Fannie Mae is aimed at first-time buyers who are interested in foreclosed homes owned by Fannie Mae. After a required education online is taken, qualifying borrowers may receive up to 3% cost support to purchase a Home-Path house. The trick is to locate a Home-Path property on your market, which may be a challenge since foreclosures usually reflect a smaller number of listings.

Energy-efficient Mortgage (EEM)

Best for: Homebuyers who want to increase their energy efficiency but lack cash in advance to boost.
Making “green” improvements can be expensive, but an energy-efficient mortgage (EEM) loan guaranteed by FHA or V.A. programs is offered for you. An EEM loan helps you upgrade your primary loan to cost-effective energy (think of new isolation, a more effective HVAC system, or double panel windows) without paying down.

FHA Section 203(k)

Right for: homebuyers interested in buying a fixer but who don’t have much cash to make drastic home changes.
In case you have the confidence to take a fixer, but don’t have the extra money to pay for repairs, an FHA loan is worth seeing under Section 203(k). With funding from the FHA, the loan estimates the value of the house after changes are made. You can then borrow money to pay for projects to upgrade your home and roll the expenses into one loan. Improvements must cost more than $5,000, and a minimum down payment of 3.5 percent must be made.
State and local homebuyer services and grants for the first time
Best for: first-time homebuyer who needs payment help or closing costs.
Many states and cities give homebuyers for the first time grants and services to draw new inhabitants. The assistance will be in the form of grants that do not require deferred repayment or low-interest loans. Such services may have income caps. Before purchasing your house, check the website for more details from your house authority or contact a local real estate agent or HUD authorized housing consulting agency for more details about your home buyer loans for the first time in your region.

  • First homebuyer grants and services for California
  • Florida’s first homebuyer subsidies and services
  • Illinois homebuyer grants and services for the first time
  • New York homebuyer grants and services for the first time
  • Pennsylvania homebuyer grants and services for the first time,
  • Texas homebuyer grants and services for the first time.

Native American Direct Loan

The Native American Direct Loan (NADL) offers funds for the acquisition, renovation, or construction of federal trust land for qualifying Native American veterans and spouses. This loan is different from conventional V.A. loans since the VA is the mortgage borrower. NADL does not require an installment payment or PMI, and closing costs are minimal. You can access more than one NADL, not just a single land. Not all countries are qualified, however.

What are the benefits of homebuyer services for the first time buyer?

Homebuyer services, grants, and loans will allow people to become homeowners for the first time. These programs are a type of financial support provided to eligible buyers, typically those who meet certain income limits and have a substantial credit value.

These are some ways in which you will profit from these programs:

  • Subventions: Certain places provide cash for expenses related to your homes, such as down payment or closing costs.
  • Assistance with closing fees: Certain loans limit the cost of closing.
  • Payments deferred: individual loans will not charge interest and will not have to be repaid before the buyer sells the house or pays out the mortgage.
  • Interest savings: Some companies plan to reimburse or subsidize the interest or help lenders apply for loans with lower interest rates.
  • Loan forgiveness: homeowners who stay at home for a while have canceled a part of their mortgage.
  • Down payment assistance: such services allow home purchasers to make a small or no down payment. Not all of these forms of help in your region or your condition will be available. There are also some limitations, such as financial necessities, so study or talk to a realtor to see whether you qualify.

Where to Look For First Homebuyer Services

Before you search into homebuyer services for the first time, it is essential to ensure that you first fulfill the concept of a homebuyer. Many governmental and non-profit initiatives, if you haven’t owned a house over the last three years, consider you the first home buyer. This includes investors who own assets for leasing or investment, regardless of whether your principal residence is or not.
Some government-supported programs, such as an FHA or USDA loan, require the property to comply with specific requirements before certification. State and state government services can have income limitations. For example, if you live in your house for at least five years, Florida Housing will forgive $15,000 in down payments and cost assistance.
Whatever program you are entitled to, buying a home is a big financial decision and should not be taken lightly. This means looking at what you can afford, including maintenance costs. When you find out how much you can pay, talk to a trustworthy lender who is aware of homebuyer services for the first time.

“Lenders with a wide range of experience and experience of homebuyer services in your field will save you tens of thousands of dollars in the longer term,” says Sandra Corzo, President with Appraiser Consultants, LLC.

Tom Stanley

By Tom Stanley

Tom Stanley is a Finance Writer with experience in the fields of mortgage lending, credit advice and banking practices

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