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New Hampshire First-Time Home Buyer Grants Guide 2024

First-Time Home Buyer Grants

Contemplating the prospect of purchasing your initial home? Then you must read this article on New Hampshire First-Time Home Buyer Grants in 2024.

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The experience is both thrilling and occasionally overwhelming, and your purchase location holds equal significance to the property. Despite being the fifth-smallest state in land area, New Hampshire boasts numerous attractions. These include a flourishing economy, well-regarded public education, and many natural features like coastal areas, mountains, lakes, and more.

For first-time homebuyers seeking a residence in The Granite State, a prudent beginning involves exploring the offerings of the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority. This state agency specializes in affordable housing solutions and programs facilitating down payment assistance.

Exploring the housing market in New Hampshire reveals a positive trend, with home prices experiencing growth, albeit at a more moderate pace compared to several other regions in the country.

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For first-time homebuyers, the real estate landscape in New Hampshire comes with encouraging news. The state offers an array of home loans and assistance programs, presenting opportunities for savings on both mortgage expenses and homeownership costs. If you’re considering purchasing a home in New Hampshire, here’s a guide on initiating the process and taking advantage of available resources.

Overview

As of April 2023, the median sales price for homes in New Hampshire stands at $434,300, reflecting a year-over-year increase of 6.8%, according to data from Redfin.

For first-time homebuyers, these ascending prices may present a notable challenge. However, various programs and initiatives in the state aim to assist individuals in transitioning from home buyers to homeowners. Continue reading to gain insights into New Hampshire’s support mechanisms and make informed decisions on your homebuying journey.

New Hampshire Homebuyer Statistics:

– Average Home Listing Price in NH: $434,300

– Minimum Down Payment in NH (3%): $13,029

– 20% Down Payment in NH: $86,860

– Average Credit Score in NH: 734

– Maximum NH Home Buyer Grant: Up to 4% as a loan, forgiven after four years

Note: Down payment amounts are calculated based on the state’s most recent average home sale price. The “minimum” down payment assumes a 3% on a conventional mortgage with a minimum credit score 620. Eligible individuals may not require a down payment if they qualify for a VA or USDA loan.

First-Time Home Buyer Grants

Programs for First-Time Homebuyers in New Hampshire

1. New Hampshire Housing Home Flex Plus program

Explore the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority’s initiatives designed for first-time homebuyers. One notable program is Home Flex Plus, featuring FHA, VA, or USDA loans, with down payment and closing cost support amounting to 4 percent of your mortgage. This assistance is structured as a secondary mortgage, fully forgivable after four years, except in scenarios like selling your home, refinancing the primary mortgage, or declaring bankruptcy, which would necessitate loan repayment.

This program’s eligibility extends to first-time homebuyers and individuals with prior property ownership.

Borrower Criteria:

– Minimum credit score of 620 (by Fannie Mae loan guidelines)

– Completion of a homebuyer education course (available online or in person)

– Adherence to New Hampshire Housing’s income limit of $151,200 (as of 2022)

Property Criteria:

– Acceptable property types include one- to four-unit homes (owner-occupied), townhomes, condominiums, modular homes, or specific manufactured homes (depending on the loan program)

– The property must be located in New Hampshire

– It should serve as the primary residence.

2. The Home Preferred Plus program

The Home Preferred Plus program offered by New Hampshire Housing presents an opportunity for forgivable down payment and closing cost assistance, capped at 4 percent. Paired with a conventional loan providing up to 97 percent financing, this program also features discounted mortgage insurance for individuals below 80 percent of the area median income (AMI). It is accessible to both first-time and repeat homebuyers.

Borrower Criteria:

– Minimum credit score of 620

– Maximum household income up to 80 percent of the AMI; exceeding this limit sets the maximum household income at $151,200

– Completion of a homebuyer education course (available online or in person)

Property Criteria:

– Eligible property types include one- to four-unit homes (owner-occupied), townhomes, condominiums, modular homes, or certain manufactured homes

– The property must be situated in New Hampshire

– It must serve as the primary residence

3. The Purchase Rehab mortgage program

The Purchase Rehab mortgage program by New Hampshire Housing is designed to assist first-time and repeat homebuyers by allowing them to incorporate up to $35,000 into their loan for essential upgrades and repairs. These funds can be allocated for cosmetic enhancements, energy efficiency improvements, or safety upgrades, excluding structural repairs. With this program, you can make a down payment as low as 3.5 percent.

To qualify for the New Hampshire Housing Purchase Rehab program, you must maintain an annual household income of $151,200 or less and complete a designated training course. It’s worth highlighting that this program offers the flexibility to be combined with the Home Flex Plus down payment assistance, providing additional support for eligible homebuyers.

4. Mortgage Insurance Discount Program

The assistance programs for homebuyers provided by NHHFA may include an advantageous mortgage insurance discount, a noteworthy benefit. Many first-time buyers express dissatisfaction with Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) due to its potentially high costs, sometimes reaching hundreds of dollars monthly. Consequently, if NHHFA can mitigate or diminish your mortgage insurance premium, this has the potential to result in substantial savings within the overall expenses of homeownership.

5. Home Start Homebuyer Tax Credit

NHHFA extends the opportunity for mortgage credit certificates (MCCs), specifically the Home Start Homebuyer Tax Credit. These certificates translate into tax credits capable of delivering annual savings of up to $2,000 on federal tax obligations. Notably, MCCs retain their value even for individuals who opt for the standard deduction from the IRS rather than itemizing their deductions.

6. New Hampshire Housing Community Heroes Initiative

Introduced in response to the pandemic, the Community Heroes Initiative presents a $3,000 closing cost credit to essential workers who are first-time homebuyers participating in New Hampshire Housing’s Plus mortgage programs. Qualified individuals comprise healthcare, daycare, and eldercare professionals, first responders, educators, and military personnel.

Given that New Hampshire Housing financially supports the program, its availability is contingent on the availability of program funds. Therefore, it’s advisable to verify its current status with the agency.

7. Home-Start Homebuyer Tax Credit

New Hampshire residents embarking on their homeownership journey can benefit from a federal income tax reduction courtesy of the Home Start Homebuyer Tax Credit. This Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) offers an annual credit of up to $2,000, providing ongoing financial relief throughout your mortgage term, granted the property continues to serve as your primary residence.

Specific criteria must be met to qualify for the Home Start Homebuyer Tax Credit. There are minimum thresholds for household income and purchase price, and these criteria vary based on the county of your home and the size of your household. While the credit is primarily designed for first-time homebuyers, those purchasing homes in specially targeted areas may have the first-time buyer requirement potentially waived.

It’s essential to understand that the eligibility conditions are subject to variations contingent on your county and household dimensions. Therefore, consulting the specific guidelines applicable to your location is advisable to ensure accurate information and compliance with program requirements.

First-time home buyer loans in New Hampshire

As a first-time homebuyer in New Hampshire, you have various options to explore, even if you don’t have a substantial down payment. While a conventional loan with a 20% down payment offers low-interest rates and no private mortgage insurance (PMI), many buyers can access new homes with down payments as low as 3% or even 0% through specialized mortgage programs. Here are some noteworthy options:

1. Conventional 97:

– Down Payment: 3%

– Minimum FICO Score: 620

– Potential to stop paying mortgage insurance after reaching 20% home equity.

2. FHA Loan (Federal Housing Administration):

– Down Payment: 3.5%

– Minimum Credit Score: 580

– Option to refinance to cancel mortgage insurance premiums (MIP).

3. VA Loan (for veterans and active-duty service members):

– Zero Down Payment required

– Minimum Credit Score: Varies (often 620)

– No ongoing mortgage insurance after closing.

4. USDA Loan (for low-to-moderate incomes in designated rural areas):

– Zero Down Payment required

– Minimum Credit Score: Varies (often 640)

– Low mortgage insurance rates.

5. New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority Loans:

– Offer potential benefits such as no or low mortgage insurance, mortgage credit certificates, and down payment assistance.

– Specific details available through the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority.

It’s essential to note that government loan programs are typically designated for primary residences and cannot be used for vacation homes or investment properties. Additionally, many programs allow you to use gifted money or down payment assistance to cover your upfront costs. If you need more clarification about the best program, consulting with your lender can help you find the right match based on your financial position and homeownership objectives.

First-Time Home Buyer Grants

Home Buying in New Hampshire’s Major Cities

For prospective homebuyers eyeing New Hampshire’s largest cities – Manchester, Nashua, and Concord – the prospect may be promising, given that the average home prices in these urban centers are below the statewide average.

Manchester First-Time Home Buyers

In April 2023, the median list price for homes in Manchester stood at $375,000, marking an 11.9% year-over-year increase, according to Realtor.com. To navigate down payment options for a home at this median price, considerations might range from:

– $11,250 for a 3% down payment

– $75,000 for a 20% down payment

While the City of Manchester alludes to funding sources occasionally used for down payment assistance, it doesn’t explicitly mention any proprietary programs. It is suggested that potential homebuyers in Manchester may find assistance through one of the NHHFA’s programs.

Nashua First-Time Home Buyers

In Nashua, the median list price for homes in April 2023 was $434,900, reflecting an 8.7% year-over-year increase, as reported by Realtor.com. For those contemplating a home purchase at this median price, down payment options might range from:

– $13,047 for a 3% down payment

– $86,980 for a 20% down payment

Unlike Manchester, the City of Nashua introduced the HOME Program, designed to extend down payment and closing cost assistance to eligible first-time homebuyers. This program features a deferred, no-interest loan with a term lasting up to 10 years. Notably, the loan becomes forgivable after a specified period, provided the borrower continues to occupy the property as their primary residence.

Concord First-Time Home Buyers

As of April 2023, the median list price for homes in Concord was $365,000, denoting an 11.6% year-over-year increase, as reported by Realtor.com. For those contemplating a home purchase at this median price, potential down payment options might include:

– $10,950 for a 3% down payment

– $73,000 for a 20% down payment

Notably, the city’s housing agency, Concord Housing & Redevelopment, does not appear to feature a down payment assistance program on its website. However, interested individuals can verify this by contacting City Hall at (603) 225-8610 for confirmation. Without a local program, the NHHFA’s offerings stand out as a viable and beneficial alternative for prospective homebuyers in Concord.

Finding Assistance for Home Buying in New Hampshire

For first-time homebuyers in New Hampshire, several organizations offer valuable guidance and support within the state or their designated areas. The following organizations, in particular, are well-positioned to provide advice to individuals embarking on the journey of purchasing their first home:

– New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA): Offers various homebuyer programs, including assistance with down payments and closing costs.

– NeighborWorks: Provides a resource to locate homebuyer education and assistance programs in your vicinity.

– Habitat for Humanity: Engages in building and rehabilitating houses for families in need through volunteer labor, contributing to affordable housing solutions.

– U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Housing: Extends homebuyer programs specifically tailored for rural communities.

In addition to these specific organizations, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers comprehensive lists of statewide, regional, and local resources for first-time homebuyers. These resources cover a range of support services and programs to aid individuals in their homebuying journey.

To explore your eligibility for home buying in New Hampshire, you can initiate the process by visiting the provided link on December 29th, 2023. This can serve as a starting point to access relevant information and assistance tailored to your specific needs.

For city or town-specific programs, it is advisable to check with local authorities or housing agencies, as programs may vary based on the community. Additionally, consulting with real estate professionals and lenders can offer valuable insights into available assistance programs and resources in specific areas.

Conclusion on New Hampshire First-Time Home Buyer Grants

While New Hampshire may not offer direct grants to first-time homebuyers, the state provides alternative avenues of support that can significantly ease the financial burden of purchasing a home. The New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA) plays a pivotal role in this, offering forgivable loans that can be applied towards down payments and closing costs. These loans, often comparable to grants in their practical benefits, become forgivable after a specified period, making homeownership more attainable.

Moreover, each major city in New Hampshire—Manchester, Nashua, and Concord—presents distinct opportunities and challenges for first-time homebuyers. The diverse range of median home prices in these cities underscores the importance of tailored financial solutions. The proactive initiatives of cities like Nashua, with its HOME Program, further demonstrate the commitment to providing concrete assistance to those aspiring to achieve homeownership.

Beyond specific city programs, many organizations, including NeighborWorks and Habitat for Humanity, contribute to the wealth of resources available to first-time homebuyers in the state. The collaborative efforts of these entities, combined with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s comprehensive lists, create a supportive ecosystem that empowers individuals with the information and assistance needed to navigate the complexities of the home buying process.

In essence, while the landscape of grants may differ in New Hampshire, the array of programs and resources reflects a commitment to making homeownership a reality for first-time buyers, ensuring they can embark on this significant journey with confidence and support.

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