As my wife and I looked into buying our first home, we knew very little about the process. We were very worried about how we were going to make the money part of it work out for us, and poked around for information about any little thing that could help. Luckily, we came across information on programs that we were eligible for because we were first-time home buyers. First, we looked into loan options for first-time home buyers. But after weighing our options, we ended up deciding to apply for a first- time home buyer’s grant, and that was definitely the right decision for us!
According to Money-Zine.com, “First- time home buyer grants can be an important source of funding. Unlike a loan or mortgage, a grant does not have to be repaid. That means these programs are targeted to areas where the government wants to invest in the revitalization of a community. That makes these grants important to both the home buyer as well as the community.” Grants are gifts of money from governmental or private entities that, for the price of filling out some forms, is yours free and clear. There’s nothing like free money, am I right? Although most of the grants help with down payments or closing costs, there are also some programs that offer funds for other uses in the home buying process. The lack of repayment was one of the main reasons we settled on a grant.
A good place to start looking for grant assistance is with the United States government. Although the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) does not give grants directly to individuals, they do give money to other organizations, and some of that money is targeted to first-time home buyers. A great resource whether you’re buying your first home or your tenth, the HUD website has a host of information to help you along the way of your home-buying journey.
A lot of the money that HUD gives away goes to support state and local home-buying programs. Although the programs can vary by state, all 50 states have grants to specifically help first-time home buyers. This assistance can filter down to even more localized governments. Since many counties and cities have grant programs, you should check with the community in which you’re looking to move in order to see what may be available.
Although buying your first home can be intimidating and seem costly, there’s help out there. Make sure you’re always asking your real estate agent and lender to make sure you’re getting all of the money available to you. But don’t be afraid to do a little investigating on your own; you never know what kind of free money is waiting for you to find it!