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First Time Home Buyer Programs

Several first time home buyer programs are available which offer incentives and tax credits to eligible applicants. The most notable home buyer program is the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 which provides first time buyers with an $8,000 tax credit on real estate purchased as a primary residence between January 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010.

A trusted source for first time home buyer programs is Presented by the National Association of Home Builders, this website provides information for military personnel, repeat buyers, and first time home buyers. The resource center provides links for FHA loans, HUD loans, VA loans, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loans.

The Federal Housing Administration insures mortgages and protects lenders in the event of mortgage default. The down payment requirement of FHA loans is 3.5-percent. Down payment funds can be a loan or gift from a family member, employer or charitable organization. No other home loans allow borrowers to receive down payment assistance in this manner.

FHA loans are available for borrowers with less than perfect credit. It is often easier for individuals with credit problems such as bankruptcy and foreclosure to obtain an FHA loan rather than attempting to qualify for a conventional home mortgage loan.

FHA mortgage loans can be used to purchase or refinance mortgages for new or existing homes. FHA restrictions apply and housing is limited to single family residences; duplex, triplex, and quadplex housing; condominium and manufactured housing units.

The Federal Housing Administration does not provide home loan financing, nor does it have control over interest rates charged against FHA insured loans. In order to obtain the best interest rate and mortgage terms it is best to shop different FHA approved lenders. A list of nationwide FHA lenders can be found at

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a variety of first time home buyer programs and mortgage refinancing options. Home buyer programs vary by state, but most include purchasing HUD properties at discounted rates and Good Neighbor mortgages.

Good Neighbor Next Door loans are available to eligible full-time teachers, firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency responders. HUD home buyer incentives include a 50-percent discount from the list price of the home.

Information regarding HUD real estate properties, good neighbor mortgages and first time home buyer incentives can be found at

VA loans are available to military veterans and service personnel who meet eligibility requirements. Under the GI Bill of Rights, the VA guarantees a maximum of 25-percent of home loans up to $104,250 and allows veterans to obtain no money down financing.

Information regarding VA loans, eligibility requirements and 2010 loan limits can be found at United States Department of Veterans Affairs website at

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are U.S. government sponsored enterprises. The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Company (Freddie Mac) was created in 1970 to expand the amount of money available for mortgages.

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae do not make loans directly to home buyers. Instead, they offer mortgage products which make home ownership affordable. For example, one home buyer program allows borrowers to pay only the mortgage interest for 10 to 15 years, while another allows first time home buyers to purchase homes with a very low down payment.

The Payment Power program allows borrowers to skip up to two mortgage payments per year and up to a maximum of ten payments over the term of the home mortgage loan. Another program is available for borrowers with bad credit. In order to obtain Fannie or Freddie loans, applicants must apply through a mortgage broker

First time home buyers have many options when it comes to buying houses. In order to obtain the best home mortgage loan it is imperative to conduct research and determine which first time home buyer programs you qualify for and which provide required financing.

We invite you to learn more about buying real estate by exploring our first time home buyer programs and real estate article library.