1st Time Homebuyers

First Time Home Buyer Grants

Government Grants for first time home buyers, make up the second type of down payment assistance. They have no seller conditions or contribution requirements. The only requirement to satisfy government assistance housing guidelines is that your family income must meet the stipulated minimum, which varies according to the number of your dependents and the median income for the area in which you intend to purchase. (Grants by state are linked below)

Example: (This is only a SAMPLE – income levels typically are higher)

Grant For
Very Low Income
Grant For
Low Income
Grant For
Moderate Income
1 (individual) $0 – $16,000 $16,001 – $24,000 $24,001-$34,000.00
2 $0 – $18,000 $18,001 – $27,000 $27,001-$37,000.00
3 $0 – $22,000 $22,001 – $30,000 $30,001-$39,000.00
4 $0 – $25,000 $25,001 – $34,000 $34,001-$43,000.00

As you see from this sample chart, the higher your income, the greater number of dependents that are needed to qualify for the maximum amount of home buyer grant assistance. Since median income varies by area, there are many programs designed to fit the area you reside in. In major metropolitan areas, there may be 3, 4 or 5 different programs available! The great part is, if they don’t use the funds, they risk losing them in the following funding year!!

These government down payment programs are typically done in the form of “Silent Seconds”. This means there is no monthly payment, no interest is charged, accrued or paid and why we say “Free Money”. The funds sit as a second mortgage on the home until the house is either sold (whereby the funds are repaid) or forgiven by the government (typically 5 to 15 years).

Some down payment assistance programs actually require the funds to be repaid in the form of a monthly payment. This repayment becomes part of the qualifying process for the initial mortgage loan.

Why use them? Typically, It’s free money! There is no better reason than that!

Now, for the most important question, how do you qualify? Well, it’s pretty simple. The number one qualifying factor is income. You must meet the median income requirements established for your area. Then, you must be able to qualify and be approved for a low interest mortgage loan, and as a first time home buyer, you cannot have owned a home within the last three years. Your approval for a government assistance loan is almost assured if you can meet these three criteria.

Typical Disqualifications:

  • Excessive Income
  • Default on a Government Loan
  • Tax Liens
  • Bankruptcy discharge not 24 months old
  • Unpaid Child Support
  • Prior Foreclosure
  • The Home Buyer has owned a home within the last three years

The Durham Affordable Housing Coalition
400 West Main Street
Suite 408
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919.683.1185
Fax: 919.688.0082
Website: Take me to website

Downtown Housing Improvement Corporation (Raleigh)
113 South Wilmington Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 832-4345 (phone)
(919) 832-2206 (fax)
Website: Take me to website

USDA Rural Development (Durham)
(919) 732-9388
(919) 732-1033 fax
Website: Take me to website

USDA Rural Development (Raleigh)
RALEIGH, NC 27610-2916
(919) 231-6126 ext 2
(919) 231-6129 fax
Website: Take me to website

USDA Rural Development (Henderson)
(252) 438-3134 ext 2
(252) 438-5618 fax
Website: Take me to website 

North Carolina Housing Finance Agency
3508 Bush Street
Raleigh, NC 27609-7509
Website: Take me to website

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