Pioneer Valley first-time home buyers can now qualify for up to $15,000 in grant money to buy a home as part of a federal grant available through participating lenders. All a buyer needs is $500 of their own money and qualify for a mortgage appropriate to the sale price of home. After you own the home for five years, the grant money is forgiven. In other words, you won’t have to pay it back.
Under the terms of this program, you don’t have to be an actual first-time home buyer to qualify as a first-time home buyer. A first-time home buyer is an, “individual or spouse who have not owned a home in the three-year period prior to a purchase…” There are also exceptions to this rule, i.e., for displaced homemakers, single parents, those who owned a dwelling not permanently set on a foundation, and those who owned a dwelling that can’t be brought up to code for less than what it would cost to buy a home.
In order to qualify for this loan, a first-time home buyer course would need to be completed prior to closing.
In addition to the $500 that a home buyer needs to bring to the table, any other needed funds may be gifted from family members or may be obtained by an approved community housing grant. If you have a credit score of 700 or higher, no private mortgage insurance would be required. If you have a credit score of less than 700, you will have to come up with more money.
Although the limit for the loan is $15,000. Some banks are reducing the limit to assist more people, like offering 10 loans with grants of $15,000 each or offering 15 loans at $10,000 grants each. One bank is even throwing in $1500 to the program for a total of $11,500. The idea of a participating lender offering loans with the $10,000 grant is so that they can assist more people.
A first-time home buyer would also need to have an accepted offer and a purchase and sale agreement would need to be executed within a week thereafter. So you might want to make sure that you work with an attorney that can get this done within the required time-frame. Make sure to ask your lender about the maximum income limits with this grant program.
The funds available for this program were depleted within a couple of months last year and the clock started ticking on March 25.
If you would like to be connected with a reputable mortgage originator that can get you the appropriate qualified for a loan with the intent of pursuing this grant and would like to work with the author to purchase a home, call Michael Seward at 413-531-7129. Interest rates are still ridiculously low at 3.625%, but economists are forecasting that they will reach 4% this year. So now is the time to act.