Front Page Grant Options for First-Time Home Buyer
Looking to buy a house in 2021? A local expert offers the five top things you need to know when exploring grant options for first time buyers.
Buying a home can be challenging for a first-timer. With so many steps, tasks, options and requirements, it’s easy to get anxious about making an expensive mistake. Turns out, first-time homebuyers actually enjoy some special advantages designed to encourage more real estate market newbies.
To demystify the process so you get the most out of your purchase, we tapped the expertise of Cincinnati-based Ron Erdmann at Guaranteed Rate. Here are some money-saving tips and helpful resources to look into before you make the big buy.
1) The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA)
Erdmann says OHFA offers several affordable loan options to help you achieve your dream of homeownership. “The OHFA program is most interesting because there are different grants within the program that are specific to certain demographics,” he explains. “For example, there is a program called ‘Grants for Grads’ that assists recent college graduates with down payment assistance. There are specific programs that teachers, police officers, firefighters, and health care workers have eligibility. It’s definitely something to look into.” To learn more about OHFA, click here: https://ohiohome.org/
2) Mortgage Credit Certificate
Also through OHFA, Erdmann says, is the Mortgage Credit Certificate, or Mortgage Tax Credit. This provides homebuyers with a direct federal tax credit on a portion of the mortgage interest, lowering their tax liability by up to 40%. The maximum annual tax credit is $2,000, but this tax credit cannot be larger than the owner’s annual federal income tax liability, after deductions, exemptions and other credits. Click here to learn more about it and see eligibility requirements: https://
3) Communities First Ohio
The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority, aka “The Port,” offers the Communities First – Down Payment Assistance (DPA) program, providing first mortgage financing and down payment/closing cost assistance grants to eligible homebuyers. “The local port authority created this program to help increase homeownership opportunities for residents in Ohio,” says Erdmann. “So, with a DPA grant instead of a DPA loan, there’s no second mortgage, no extra paperwork, instant home equity, no repayment obligation, and no restrictions or selling or refinancing.” Click here to learn more about Communities First Ohio and DPA grants: http://www.
4) Kentucky Housing Corporation
For those Kentuckians in Greater Cincinnati, there’s a resource for you, too. The
Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC) helps families achieve the dream of homeownership through affordable home loans, down payment assistance, and tax credits. “They help make homeownership more affordable for Kentuckians,” says Erdmann. “KHC can help with everything from down payment assistance and tax credits, to housing counseling and education.” To learn more about KHC, visit: https://www.kyhousing. org
5) Find a Participating Lender
An approved lender can help you apply for the programs that meet your needs. “Not all lenders participate in these programs, so you’ll want to look into that before choosing one. Guaranteed Rate participates in all four,” explains Erdmann. “Exploring these options can really help with many of the stumbling blocks — like down payments, closing costs, and prepaids — that prevent or delay home ownership. There are so many programs out there to encourage and help you buy, you just have to find which ones can apply to you and take advantage. That’s what they’re there for!”