Are you eligible for a Home Buyer Grant?
There are many different types of Home Buyer Grant programs available for Home Buyers. Each grant program will have an outline of their eligibility requirements. Some grant programs are intended for 1st (First) Time Home Buyers, others require you to live in a specific geographical area, many require that you fall within a certain income bracket and others will require you work for a specific employer. Some Home Buyer Grants are long-term plans that will match your savings over a period of time. All programs require you to enroll in the program prior to purchasing a home. So, how you do know which is the right program for you?
Most Home Buyer Grants require you to fall within a certain income range. These are often Government funded grants. The income requirements will be the same on all of the Government funded grants.
Do you know the definition of a First Time Home Buyer? According to Federal guidelines, you are a First Time Home Buyer if it has been at least 3 years since you have owned a home. Don’t get this confused with having a home mortgage. That means, your name can not have been on the Deed of a house for at least 3 years.
Some employers offer Home Buyer Grants for their current employees that would like to purchase a home. There are also some Municipalities that will offer a Home Buyer Grant that may or may not be in conjunction with an employer’s grant to encourage the home buyers to purchase a home in a certain area. This is often done in an attempt to revitalize an area.
You may have to use specific vendors as outlined in the Home Buyer Grant program rules. Please be sure to ask if you have to use a certain Mortgage Lender, Attorney or Realtor. Many times, the Grant companies require an inspection by one of their inspectors. This is often in addition to a requirement that the home be inspected by a Licensed Home Inspector. Many require the Home Buyer to attend an informational meeting and/or classes. All require an application, and many also require an application fee. Most Home Buyer Grant programs are to be used for down payment and closing costs, but some can only be used for repairs. And some Home Buyer Grants can be combined so that you can obtain more money. But beware, many also require the Home Buyer to live in the property for a specified period of time before selling or renting. If they don’t a pro-rated penalty is often applied.
Knowing which Home Buyer Grant program is right for you can be confusing. With all of the different requirements and regulations, it’s often a good idea to consult with a Realtor who is experienced with these Grant programs prior to starting the process of applying for a Grant. So, whether you are a First Time Home Buyer, work for an employer who is offering a grant, looking in a specific region, fall within an eligible income bracket or are ready to save some money toward your purchase, contact me today to see which Home Buyer Grant program(s) may be right for you and your situation!
Amy Merrill, ABR, SFR
Keller Williams Realty
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