Down payment assistance programs are programs that provide financial aid to home buyers who are struggling to save enough money for a down payment to purchase a home. These programs may be offered by state or local governments, non-profit organizations, or other groups. They can take the form of grants, low-interest loans, or a combination of both. Eligibility for these programs can vary, and may be based on factors such as income, location, or first-time home buyer status. In some cases, home buyers may be required to complete a homebuyer education course or meet other requirements in order to qualify. Some program also have income limit requirement to be eligible, it's important to check the specifics of the program you are looking into.
Overall, down payment assistance can make homeownership more affordable and accessible for people who might not be able to purchase a home without assistance. It's important to check if there's any program available in your area and what is the requirements to be eligible for it.
It is also important to note that not every program will be suitable for everyone and it's important to consult with a professional and compare the different options before making a decision.
When you find the program you are interested in, make sure you thoroughly read the eligibility requirements and understand the application process. You also want to check if the program is still active, funded and/or open to new applicant as some program have limited fund and open on specific time window. This is when an experienced and knowledgeable mortgage loan officer will pay dividends.
It's also important to keep in mind that some down payment assistance programs have income limits, and you may need to meet certain requirements such as completing a homebuyer education course, or having a certain credit score, it's important to check the specifics of the program you are looking into.
Down payment assistance can make buying a home more affordable by helping to reduce the amount of money that a home buyer needs to save for a down payment. By providing assistance with the down payment, these programs can help home buyers purchase a home that they may not have been able to afford otherwise.
Down payment assistance can make buying a home more affordable in several ways:
In general, down payment assistance can help home buyers bridge the gap between what they can afford and the cost of buying a home. It can also make homeownership more sustainable by reducing monthly payments, closing costs and overall costs of purchasing a home. However, it's important to check if there's any program available in your area, and what are the requirements to be eligible for it before starting the process.
The Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) is a state agency that works to create affordable housing opportunities for Missouri residents. They offer a variety of programs to help first-time homebuyers, move up home buyers, and low- to moderate-income families purchase a home. Some of the programs offered by the MHDC include:
First Place: This program provides down payment and closing cost assistance for first-time homebuyers, and offers competitive interest rates and reduced mortgage insurance requirements. There is a Cash Assistance portion of this program that will provide up to 4% of your loan amount to be used for your down payment and/or closing costs. There is a non-cash assistance portion that will provide a lower than market interest rate when you provide your own down payment.
Next Step: This program was built for move up home buyers AND first time home buyers that have higher income levels than what the First Place guidelines allow. Next Step provides down payment and closing cost assistance, and offers competitive interest rates and reduced mortgage insurance requirements. There is a Cash Assistance portion of this program that will provide up to 4% of your loan amount to be used for your down payment and/or closing costs. There is a non-cash assistance portion that will provide a lower than market interest rate when you provide your own down payment.
MCC: The Missouri Homeownership Preservation (MHP) Tax Credit program, also known as the Missouri Homeownership Opportunity (MCC) program, provides a tax credit to first-time homebuyers who purchase a home within the state of Missouri and meet certain income requirements.
Minimum required credit score for MHDC is 640 or higher.
There are income limits for each program depending on household size and area.
Limited to primary residences only, single family, 2 family, condos, and manufactured homes.
Purchase price limits.
Cash assistance will be in the form of a second mortgage. The second mortgage will be forgiven if the borrower stays in the home/loan for ten years. The second mortgage will diminish after year five by 1/60 every month until year ten when it will be completely forgiven. No additional monthly payment required.
It's important to note that the MHDC program are not direct loans, but rather they are programs that work in partnership with participating and approved lenders. Not all lenders offer or provide the MHDC Down Payment Assistance programs.
The St. louis area is a hot bed for down payment assistance, along with having MHDC available to all home buyers in the area there is down payment assistance program operated through St. Louis County that is utilized by St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Jefferson County, and St. Charles county to provide down payment assistance for home buyers.
You will work hand in hand with your lender and one of several providers of the down payment assistance. The providers are, Beyond Housing, Better Family Life, The Housing Partnership, or NECAC.
Available Down Payment Assistance Per Household: (as of this writing)
Note: It is possible to stack this Down Payment Assistance Program on top of MHDC to provide a larger down payment for your new home.
The other areas of Missouri do not have the wealth of down payment assistance programs as in the St. Louis Area. There will always be available the First Place and Next Step Down Payment Assistance offered through MHDC. There are some smattering of local down payment assistance programs available in Columbia, Blue Springs, Independence and in the Springfield area but many times these programs are lacking funds, come and go, or the MHDC program is the best available.
Some lenders have their own in-house down payment assistance, many do not have down payment assistance program at all. One of the better in-house programs is offered through the CHENOA Down Payment Assistance program.
The Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance Program (DPA) is a second mortgage loan for eligible borrowers who meet income, purchase price and other program guidelines, as established by HUD and the Chenoa Fund. The DPA is intended to assist borrowers who lack the funds necessary to make a conventional down payment. The Chenoa Fund DPA is available to first-time homebuyers and repeat homebuyers who meet certain income and purchase price limits. The program is offered through participating lenders, and borrowers are required to complete a homebuyer education course as a condition of program eligibility.
The Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance Program has certain rules and guidelines that borrowers must meet in order to be eligible for the program. Some of these include:
Purchase price limits: The purchase price of the home must fall within certain limits, as established by the program.
First Time Home Buyer or Repeat Home Buyer
Primary Residence Only
Minimum of 600 Credit Score for all borrowers
Home Buyer Education may be required
Single Family, Condo, Manufactured, or townhouse
It's important to note that these rules and guidelines may vary depending on the specific program and the participating lender, so it's a good idea to check with a participating lender for the most up-to-date information.
I have have been a mortgage loan office since 1995 and I specialize in helping home buyers with down payment assistance, purchasing a new home with little to no money out of pocket, and making that next home purchase more affordable.
I would welcome the opportunity of speaking with you to answer all your questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or if you would like to set up an appointment follow this link LET'S TALK.
If you would like to take about 3 minutes of your time to fill out my Down Payment Assistance Pre-Qualification I will gladly respond within 1 to 2 business days with a complete analysis of what down payment assistance programs are available to you, what mortgage programs are best for what you want, and how to make it all work for you. Click on this link GET DPA and I will have answers to you very soon.
City of Florissant
St. Louis County
St. Charles County*
City of O’Fallon
(1) Shopping for a
house before a mortgage
It is so much more
fun to look at homes than it is to talk about your finances with a lender. So
that’s what a lot of first-time home buyers do: They visit properties before
finding out how much they are able to borrow. Then, they are disappointed when
they discover they were looking in the wrong price range (either too high or
too low) or when they find that right home they scramble to get financing, and
the mortgage is not something you want to rush or put too little of time in to.
In today’s housing market you want to show home sellers you are a serious buyer
and able to make a serious offer when you find that right home.
How to avoid this mistake: Talk to a mortgage
professional about getting pre-qualified or even preapproved for a home loan
before you start to seriously shop for a place. The pre-qualification or
preapproval process involves a review of your credit, income and expenses. Having
a per-qualification/pre-approval letter in hand will make your offer more
competitive, and most offers today must have this letter.
(2) Not looking for first-time home buyer
As a first-time
home buyer, you probably don’t have a ton of money saved up for the down
payment and closing costs. But don’t make the error of assuming that you have
to delay homeownership while saving for a huge down payment. There are plenty
of low-down-payment loan programs out there.
Besides low down
payment mortgage programs there is a lot of down payment assistance programs available
to first time home buyers. Many times the funds that are available to you from
DPA (down payment assistance) Programs will cover your entire down payment.
Even if you have saved enough for a low down payment mortgage program keeping
your savings in your pocket will allow you to pay with cash for the items you
need for your new home. I see too many home buyers use credit to purchase new
home items, increasing your monthly credit obligations just after purchasing a
Visit my website
at http://www.bobrutledge.com/MODPA to learn more about what is available in the State of Missouri!
How to avoid this mistake: Ask a mortgage lender about
your options. You might qualify for a Veterans Administration or U.S.
Department of Agriculture loan that doesn’t require a down payment. Federal
Housing Administration loans have a minimum down payment of 3.5%, and some
conventional loan programs allow down payments as low as 3%. Ask about down
payment assistance programs as well. Do your own homework too, search for DPA
programs in your area.
(3) Not hiring a buyer’s agent
Too many home buyers
make this mistake! Do not make the mistake of working directly with the
seller’s real estate agent, who was first hired and obligated to secure the
best price and terms for the seller. Do not be persuaded that a Real Estate
Agent can negotiate in all fairness to both sides, it is impossible. As a
novice home buyer, you could be overmatched when negotiating with an
experienced agent who’s working on the seller’s behalf.
How to avoid this mistake: Work with an exclusive
buyer’s agent, who has a duty to work in your best interests. If you do not know
a real estate agent, seek out referrals from your friends and family. But, if
you are working with a Mortgage Lender they will know many qualified real
estate agents in the area and especially an agent who will fit your needs.
(4) Using up all of your savings
If you buy a
previously owned home, it almost inevitably will need an unexpected repair not
long after. Maybe you’ll need to replace a water heater, repair a crack in the
chimney or get rid of hidden mold.
Having money in
your account after you close is one of the best situations for any home buyer.
Besides the home repairs that will come, what about the small items that will
be needed for your new home the moment you move in.
Using your own funds
and not your credit cards will keep you from increasing your debt loan. You
have a new house payment, normally at or higher than your previous rent, try
not to add to your monthly debt with additional credit card purchases if you
don’t have to.
Read about my ZERO
PROGRAM at http://www.bobrutledge.com/zero-down-payment-closing-costs and how easy it is for new home buyers keep their savings in their
to avoid this mistake: Save enough money to make a down payment, pay for closing costs
and moving expenses, and take care of unexpected expenses. This is easier said
than done. But you can buy a home with a down payment of much less than 20%,
allowing you to conserve your savings.
(5) Ignoring a home’s flaws and drawbacks
A lot of
first-time home buyers fall in love with one of the first properties they look
at. They ignore the negatives of the house and its neighborhood.
But you can’t disregard
the downsides forever. For example, you might think you’ll be OK with a
long commute, but after a few months of spending too many hours stuck in
traffic, you’ll wish you had bought a house closer to work.
How to avoid this mistake: Do two things. First,
resolve to visit many of houses before
making an offer, you’ll be less likely to fall in love with the first or second
or third home you look at.
Second, write a list of the
attractive and the unattractive qualities of each house, and pay attention to
each home’s downsides.
(6) Being indecisive
The flip side of
choosing a place too quickly is acting too slowly when you find the right home.
In a market with more buyers than sellers, you have to move fast.
I see this a lot when I first
pre-approve a home buyer, they needed some time to think about it and made an
offer two or three days after viewing a house, only to discover that another
buyer had swooped in and made a successful offer. This will only happen to you
after the first couple times, but by then you will know what you want in a
home. If this happens to you know that it is normal and simply a part of the
learning process of being a first time home buyer…..all things happen for a
How to avoid this mistake: Once you look at multiple
houses, and you get a feel of the market and you know what the market is like
and where the prices are at, and you see something you like, don’t hesitate to
make an offer, because you and 10 other people will be interested in that same
property, this is today’s housing market.
(7) Overpaying for a house
home buyers tend to pay more than experienced buyers would pay for the same
house, according to research conducted by two economists with the Federal
Housing Finance Agency. In their analysis of appraisal data from more than 1.7
million home sales, FHFA economists Jessica Shui and Shriya Murthy concluded
that first-timers overpay by an average of 0.79%, which was nearly $2,200 per
house, according to the data set they examined.
and Murthy pointed to the inexperience of first-time home buyers. Real
estate agents say newbie buyers let their emotions take over, too. First Time
Home Buyers tend to overlook potential negatives and only look at the positives
of a particular house. I tell me home buyers to act with their heads and not
with their heart, but I know I am asking for the impossible so just use as much
of one as the other.
How to avoid this mistake: Ask your agent for
a competitive market analysis, a report that looks at the prices of comparable
nearby homes that have been sold recently. And it helps to fully understand the
real estate process, so seek out as much information as possible. If you
have friend that recently went through the process or are currently seek out
(8) Skipping the home inspection
markets, a lot of buyers compete for a small number of properties for sale. In
these strong seller’s markets, buyers are tempted to waive a home inspection.
It gives them a competitive edge over smarter buyers who wouldn’t dream of
forgoing an inspection before plunking down hundreds of thousands of dollars
for a home.
It’s a HUGE
mistake to buy a previously owned home without an inspection because there
could be expensive, hidden damage that you wouldn’t spot but an inspector
How to avoid this mistake: Simple: NEVER EVER ALLOW
THIS TO HAPPEN. Hire a licensed home inspector. Your real estate agent will
gladly make a recommendation, but it’s better to hire an inspector of your own
choosing who doesn’t depend on your agent for referrals. Plus, require that a
home inspection contingency is included in your sales contract, your BUYER AGENT
who represent you will help you get this negotiated in the sale contract.
(9) Underestimating the costs of ownership
After you buy a
home, the monthly bills keep stacking up. This can come as a surprise if you’re
Keep in mind it’s not just
your mortgage payment, you’re going to have the utilities bills that you did
not or may not have been paying when you rented.
Renters may have been paying
these kinds of bills, too. But the new home could very possibly have
higher costs simply because your new home is bigger. Your house may come with
entirely new bills, such as homeowner association fees.
How to avoid this mistake: Work with a real estate
agent who can tell you how much the neighborhood’s property taxes and insurance
typically cost. Ask to see the seller’s utility bills for the last 12 months
the home was occupied so you have an idea how much they will cost after you
move in. Ask for a seller disclosure for every house you are interested
in, many times this will help you.
(10) Miscalculating repair and renovation
First-time home buyers are frequently surprised by high repair
and renovation costs. Buyers can make two mistakes: First, they get a repair
estimate from just one contractor, and the estimate is unrealistically low.
Second, their perspective is distorted by reality TV shows that make
renovations look faster, cheaper and easier than they are in the real world.
How to avoid this mistake: Assume that all repair
estimates are low.
Seek more than one estimate
for expensive repairs, such as roof replacements. A good real estate agent
should be able to give you referrals to contractors who can give you estimates.
But also seek independent referrals from friends, family and co-workers so you
can compare those estimates against ones you receive from contractors your
purchasing a home in need of repairs with a renovation mortgage program that
will allow you to use your mortgage to purchase your home as well as fund the
repair/renovation costs all in one new home loan. Want to learn more about
renovation mortgages visit my website to Learn More About Renovation Mortgages at http://www.bobrutledge.com/HomeStyle-Renovation-Mortgage
Pros and Cons of a Low Down
When it comes to a down
payment on your home, are you aiming high or low? The down payment is the
number one reason most buyers wait longer than they’d like to buy a home. In
fact, many sidelined buyers have the income and qualifications to make the monthly
mortgage payment, but lack the down payment.
But, there’s also a
misperception about 20 percent down. In a NerdWallet study,
44 percent of Americans believe you need 20 percent or more to buy a home. The
reality is that about 60 percent of homebuyers financed their purchase with a 6% or less down payment,
according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
But, how low is too low
for your down payment?
The fact is there are no
cookie cutter mortgages — your home financing will be as unique as you. FHA is
known for their low down payments for first-time homebuyers, but many
conventional fixed rate loans offer lower than FHA’s 3.5% down.
What about zero down? VA
loans for armed service members and qualified veterans provide a great value,
including no down payment, relaxed credit requirements and no mortgage
insurance. (Plus, down payment programs may help with closing costs and even an
In certain areas there is
the USDA Mortgage that also provides a zero down payment option, low interest rates,
relaxed credit guidelines, but with income restrictions depending on where and number
of people to live in the new home.
Some lenders offer grants
to buyers to overcome the down payment hurdle. But, according to guidelines
from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, lenders can make contributions to a borrower’s
down payment or closing costs only after the borrower has contributed a minimum
3% down payment.
“To meet that 3%
threshold, the borrower can still come with funds from a relative, a government
agency — such as grants from a housing finance agency — or from an employer
housing program. That has not changed,” says Lisa Tibbitts, a spokeswoman for
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a smaller down payment.
You can buy a home
sooner. With a lower down payment, you’re putting less down and not
saving as long before you get in a home. It can help you secure a loan at
today’s low rates and avoid any rent increases that may be on the horizon.
You’ll have more reserve
funds on hand. When you buy a home, there are many other related costs,
including home repairs and improvements. With a smaller down payment, you’ll
avoid being “house poor” as soon as you leave the closing table and can enjoy
using some of your hard earned dollars to make the home your own.
Down payment programs can
help. Don’t overlook down payment programs as part of your home
financing. These programs can help boost your down payment savings or even
provide a tax credit for the life of the loan. Some programs provide affordable
first mortgages with a very low down payment.
Your monthly payment will
be larger. When you put less down, your home loan — and monthly payment —
will be larger. Work with your lender to ensure you are comfortable with the
You may be required to
pay mortgage insurance premiums. Some down payment
programs may waive mortgage insurance (MI), but in most cases if your down
payment is below 20 percent, you’ll be required to get MI — it helps manage risk for your
lender and protect them if you fail to repay
the mortgage. It’s important to note that with a conventional, fixed rate loan
and borrower paid MI, you can cancel your mortgage insurance when you reach 20% equity in your home. With an FHA loan,
you must continue to pay MI for the life of the loan.
Could hurt in a
competitive market. Unfortunately, some sellers see smaller down payments as a
negative, although it’s not necessarily true. In fact, the seller may actually
earn less on the home from an all cash buyer with a lower offer. Plus,
some down payment programs will fund your closing costs — something you won’t
have to negotiate with the seller. Put the seller at ease by getting your
financing set up early and documenting it in a letter accompanying your offer.
The bottom line? The
right down payment for you depends on your situation. Weigh the overall pros
and cons of a low down payment and talk with your lender, Bob Rutledge, about what is the best
fit for you. Visit www.bobrutledge.com to learn about low down payment options, VA and USDA zero down payment programs, and down payment assistance.
Zero Down Payment Mortgage Options in the St. Louis MO area
Low Down Payment Options in the St. Louis MO area
There are many low to zero down payment options available in the St. Louis MO area and throughout the entire State of Missouri. These options are available to first time home buyers and any home buyer through mortgage programs or down payment assistance help.
Every mortgage program has a low down payment option, the lowest down payment requirement comes with both the VA mortgage and the USDA mortgage program. Both the VA and USDA mortgage are zero down payment mortgage programs.Throughout the State of Missouri there are geographical areas that are eligible for the USDA zero down payment home loan. In the St. Louis MO area there are areas in Jefferson County and St. Charles County eligible for zero down mortgages.Are you a veteran of the United States Armed Services? If you are a veteran then one of the VA benefits available to you is the VA zero down payment home loan. I consider the VA mortgage the #1 best mortgage available!Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, these are also called the conventional mortgages, have multiple low down payment programs. The lowest down payment with either program is 3 percent, but there both Fannie and Freddie have two different 3% down payment programs. There is what I will call the regular conventional 3% down payment home loans, that go by all the regular conventional underwriting guidelines.Then there is the Fannie Mae Home Ready and the Freddie Mac Home Possible 3% down payment mortgage program. This program is designed to help more people become home buyers, there are more flexible underwriting guidelines to help, better interest rates than the regular conventional mortgage, better mortgage insurance rates, and a lot more to help you become a home buyer. I have been using this program a lot more lately since it was first rolled out.
The FHA Mortgage Program, is the best known of the low down payment mortgage programs, FHA has a minimum down payment requirement of 3.5% as long as your credit score is above 580. If the qualifying down payment is below 580 there is a required 10% down payment. The FHA mortgage is known for helping many people with low to no credit scores become home buyers. The underwriting guidelines for FHA mortgages are the most relaxed in the industry and is sometimes referred to as a first time home buyer mortgage program but it is not just for first time home buyers.The lender I work for, USA Mortgage, has come out with our own 1% down payment program that has been helping a lot of new home buyers in the St. Louis MO area. The USA Mortgage 1% down payment program works hand in hand with the Fannie Mae HomeReady program to make for a very flexible low down payment option.If you can't utilize the VA or USDA mortgage programs to get a zero down payment, there are ways to get your down payment paid for you through down payment assistance programs.BTW, down payment assistance is not just for first time home buyers! There are down payment assistance programs that serve only first time home buyers but the State of Missouri, MHDC, and the Next Step down payment assistance program is not only for first time home buyers.The MHDC programs, First Step and Next Step, will prove up to a 4% assistance to be applied toward your down payment, closing costs, or both. There are also many local down payment assistance programs in various counties and/or cities throughout the St. Louis area that will provide down payment help from $3,000 to $5,000 depending on where you purchase a new home. St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Florissant, Jefferson County, many cities in St. Charles County, and unincorporated St. Charles County provide a down payment assistance program that will cover some if not all of your down payment.Confused? You don't have to know it all, that is why you hire a mortgage specialist like myself to help you. If you want to know or learn more you can find a lot of detailed information within my website at www.bobrutledge.com or you call me at 314-628-2218. Please feel free to ask me all your questions, I answer questions every day.
MINIMUM DOWN PAYMENT OPTIONS:
There are two great mortgage programs that allow for a ZERO down payment, that's right zip, nada, nothing, etc. The USDA Rural Development and the VA Mortgage Program does not require a down payment along with the added value of super low interest rates in normal conditions.
The FHA Mortgage is referred by many as the first time home buyer home loan, not only because of the easier underwriting, lower required credit scores, and higher debt ratios but because of the minimum down payment requirement of only 3.5% of the sales price!
Conventional mortgages are those insured by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, this is the loan program that many think requires at least a 20% down payment. For the most part conventional mortgages have a minimum down payment requirement of only 5%! Recently, Fannie Mae came out with a new mortgage program that has very relaxed underwriting guidelines that only requires a 3% down payment.
Down Payment Assitance or Grants:
In the St. Louis area including St. Charles and Jefferson County there are basically 2 down payment assistance programs available though one of the down payment assistance programs is coordinated with your mortgage lender through several different groups.
MHDC; some time referred to as First Place Loans. This program is offered through the State of Missouri and is provided throughout the state and not just the St. Louis Mo area. This program is strictly for First Time Home Buyers, a first time home buyer is basically anyone who has not owned a home or had the advantage of home ownership over the past 3 years.
This down payment assistance program can only be provided through approved mortgage lenders, not all lenders in the area want to work with the MHDC program.This program will provide up to 4.5% of the loan amount for down payment and closing costs assistance. This makes this a very good program to work with the FHA mortgage minimum down payment requirement of 3.5% and then you have a little extra to apply to closing costs.
1st Home Program;This payment assistance is also only for first time home buyers. The program is available in St. Louis City, St. Louis County with Florissant having their own separate version of the same program, Jefferson County, and St. Charles County plus with nearly every city/entity in the county having a version of this program.
There are income restrictions, guideline restrictions, underwriting restrictions, and more that I highly suggest that you only work with a mortgage loan officer very experienced with down payment assistance. Don't lose the money that is available to you or create delays that can happen because of lack of experience.
More Options to Help
23 Down Payment Options! There are a lot of options listed within the FHA and Conventional mortgage underwriting guidelines that tell mortgage loan officers where home buyers can obtain their down payment. The FHA mortgage programs lists 23 options that may be something you can do already, here are some favorites and some not so well known;
These are just a few of the ideas and options available to you to help fund you down payment.CLOSING COST HELP; there are always closing costs involved in the process of buying and financing a new home purchase, over and above your down payment. Having those closing costs paid for by you is sometimes as much as the down payment but always a cost that can be avoided.There are many options available to you to have most if not all of your closing costs paid for by others and not you. It takes a consolidated team effort of your, your mortgage lender, and your real estate agent to make this happen. But it is possible that through your mortgage program, down payment assistance, seller concessions, and lender credits that it can become possible to purchase a new home with little to zero out of pocket expense.
YOU BUY YOUR NEXT HOME WITH LITTLE TO ZERO OUT OF POCKET! Down P