Yes, Down Payment Assistance Programs are still available from non-profits funded by churches, employers or family members. However, due to the July 31st American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act, programs funded by those who have a financial interest in the sale are prohibited effective Oct 1, 2008. Lenders, who are currently offering these DAPs, require the contract be submitted to fulfillment centers by Aug 29 and close (go to settlement) by Sept 30. The Down Payment Assistance Programs are definitely going through a transition.
Did you know that the same housing act has provided first-time homebuyers a refundable tax credit of up to $7500?
Details: New Homebuyer Tax Credit - For qualifying home purchases after April 11, 2008 and before July 1, 2009, the Act provides eligible first-time homebuyers a refundable tax credit equal to the lesser of 10% of the purchase price of a principal residence or $7,500 ($3,750 for married individuals filing separately). The credit phases out for individual taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income between $75,000 and $95,000 ($150,000-$170,000 for joint filers) for the year of the purchase. A taxpayer is considered a first-time homebuyer if he (or spouse, if married) had no ownership interest in a principal residence during the 3 year period before the purchase of the home to which the credit applies.
For more information about the Housing Bill go to http://www.REALTOR.org in Government Affairs section
There are still government backed grants and loans for first time buyers for up to $10,000. If you qualify, some grants do not require you do to pay this money back as long as you live in the house for 4 years.
Great information for first time buyers is available at HUD website: http://www.hud.gov/buying/index. Thereâ€™s a link to programs in Virginia
CLOSING COSTS are still negotiable and itâ€™s currently not unusual to receive them from sellers whether bank owned or not. Weâ€™ve had great success in getting first time buyers seller subsidies in the Lake Ridge/Woodbridge area due to the current buyerâ€™s market and large inventory of homes. Homes prces are currently quite affordable.
This is a great time to be buying a home. If youâ€™re in a position to move forward with purchasing, we recommend checking out your options as soon as possible. If you find out that thereâ€™s not a loan product currently available for you, a good lender and realtor will help give you a game plan and help you move towards homeownership, if not this month in a time period that works for your situation. STEP ONE IS TO FIND THE RIGHT LENDER and REALTOR.
Again, thanks for your great questions. Hopefully, youâ€™ve helped other first time buyers move closer to homeownership. Best wishes!