first-time home buyer programs
will be found at the local and state level, not at the federal level. State and local agencies often partner with lenders, developers, and non-profit organizations to provide support for low- and moderate-income home buyers. Support typically comes in the form of grants or low-interest loans for upfront expenses, such as down payments and closing costs. Here’s an updated outlook for first-time home buying programs in 2015. What Is a First-Time Home Buyer Program, Exactly? Buyer assistance programs come in several forms, ranging from educational opportunities to actual monetary funds. The type and level of support varies widely from one program to the next. For example: Some state agencies partner with lenders to offer home loans with favorable terms for first-time buyers. Some programs focus on education, offering free classes and counseling for consumers. Some offer down-payment assistance in the form of zero-interest, deferred-payment loans. Others provide a combination of these things, or other forms of support. The federal government has also used tax credits in the past, as a home-buying incentive. Most first-time buyer programs have the same goal. They help consumers overcome the hurdle of upfront housing costs, in order to (A) facilitate the purchase of the home and (B) increase homeownership within the targeted area. During the housing boom, there were many of these programs offered by government agencies, nonprofits, and private companies alike. But they have declined in number since the housing market crashed. In 2015, first-time home buyers will have fewer programs available for assistance and funding. And most of them will exist at the state and local level.