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How to Find Down Payment Assistance Programs

How to Find Down Payment Assistance Programs

Home Payment Assitance Programs

You just found your dream home in Portland, and it’s within your budget! One thing has you scratching your head though, how are you going to come up with the 20% down payment? You’re worried that if you can’t find the money for the deposit, you’ll lose your chance to buy your perfect house.

Don’t worry just yet. Many Portland metro area homebuyers are surprised to learn that there are a variety of down payment assistance programs available to them—there are more than 2,200 down payment assistance programs in the US that might be able to help.

A lot of home shoppers don’t even consider applying for any kind of down payment assistance program. People might automatically assume they’re not going to qualify, or it’s just too much work, and not even worth the hassle. This isn’t always the case! Lenders want to get more people into homes, and these kinds of programs can help, as long as you meet eligibility requirements.

Here are some tips to help you find a down payment assistance program that’s right for you:

1) Search for government home payment assistance programs 

Depending on your state, county, or community, you might have down payment assistance available to you from one of many government entities. Check with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veteran’s Affairs (VA). Both of these bodies have home loan programs for individuals, and some have a down payment component. You can also find assistance options by consulting with your state on the Department of Housing or Urban Development websites.

2) Search for Local Neighborhood Stabilization Programs

Congress established the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) to help rebuild and sustain Portland metro area areas with high rates of abandoned homes and foreclosures. If you need down payment help, searching for a home in an area that’s a part of an NSP might be a great place to start.

Also, don’t cross high priced home markets off your list just yet. Programs will usually adjust specific benefits and eligibility requirements based on a percentage range of the area’s home prices and median income.

3) Special home payment assistance programs for certain buyers

Depending on the Portland metro area community, you may qualify for down payment assistance if you’re an educator, healthcare worker, firefighter, police officer, or another type of civic employee. If you’re a first-time homebuyer or haven’t owned a home in more than three years (re-qualifying you as a first-time buyer), you could also qualify for down payment help.

4) Search online and ask around

Search websites such as Down Payment Resource, which calculates what kind of assistance you might be eligible for receiving based on your community, occupation, and income. You can also search for programs that provide loans, grants, or tax credits, or others that can help you come up with your down payment faster, cover closing costs, and help move you into your perfect home sooner than you would on your own.

Also check out your local Portland housing authorities, lenders, not-for-profit organizations, and even your employer. You might be surprised with what kinds of special assistance you uncover. Even as you’re searching home listings online, some listing services display a special badge on listings that could qualify for down payment assistance.

If your search for down payment assistance is turning up empty, get in touch! Because programs change frequently, realtors are usually up to date on these topics.

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Jamohl DeWald

One of my greatest joys as a real estate professional is handing over the keys of ownership to a first-time home buyer. As an experienced agent, I understand that preparation is important to avoid missteps with that first home purchase. I’m here to help with navigating the waters of those potential missteps.

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