Path to Possession: How Down Payment Assistance Fuels Homeownership

If you're aiming to purchase a home, overcoming the hurdle of a down payment might not be as daunting as you think, as highlighted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). While 38% of first-time homebuyers identify saving for a down payment as their most challenging step, the actual required amount may be less than anticipated.

Information from the NAR indicates that since 2005, the median down payment has consistently remained below 20%. Currently, the median down payment for all homebuyers stands at 15%, and for first-time homebuyers, it's even lower at 8%. However, these are medians, and some eligible buyers choose to put down even less.

For instance, specific loan types, such as FHA loans, allow for down payments as low as 3.5%. Additionally, programs like VA loans and USDA loans don't have down payment requirements for qualified applicants. Another valuable avenue to explore for down payment assistance is through dedicated assistance programs.

First-Time and Repeat Buyers Are Often Eligible

According to Down Payment Resource, there are thousands of programs available for homebuyers – and 75% of these are down payment assistance programs.

And it’s not just first-time homebuyers that are eligible. That means no matter where you are in your homebuying journey, there could be an option available for you. As Down Payment Resource notes:

You don’t have to be a first-time buyer. Over 39% of all [homeownership] programs are for repeat homebuyers who have owned a home in the last 3 years.”

The best place to start as you search for more information is with a trusted real estate professional. They’ll be able to share more information about what may be available, including additional programs for specific professions or communities. 

Additional Down Payment Resources That Can Help

Here are a few down payment assistance programs that are helping many of today’s buyers achieve the dream of homeownership:

  • Teacher Next Door is designed to help teachers, first responders, health providers, government employees, active-duty military personnel, and veterans reach their down payment goals.
  • Fannie Mae provides down-payment assistance to eligible first-time homebuyers living in majority-Latino communities.
  • Freddie Mac also has options designed specifically for homebuyers with modest credit scores and limited funds for a down payment.
  • The 3By30 program lays out actionable strategies to add 3 million new Black homeowners by 2030. These programs offer valuable resources for potential buyers, making it easier for them to secure down payments and realize their dream of homeownership.
  • For Native Americans, Down Payment Resource highlights 42 U.S. homebuyer assistance programs across 14 states that ease the path to homeownership by providing support with down payments and other associated costs.

Even if you don’t qualify for these types of programs, there are many other federal, state, and local options available to look into. And a real estate professional can help you find the ones that meet your needs as you explore what’s available. 

Bottom Line

Achieving the dream of having a home may be more within reach than you think, especially when you know where to find the right support. To learn more about your options, let’s connect.

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