Are you ready to buy a home but not sure if you can afford it? Finding the right grant could help you achieve your dream of homeownership.
Before you run out and start applying for loans and taking on debt, seek out grant opportunities. The state of Oklahoma, the federal government and even a few cities provide great options for individuals in the market for a home.
Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) offers several programs available to low-income and first-time home buyers. One of those programs is the OHFA dream.
The program provides 3.5 to 4.5 percent down payment assistance with no payback requirements. Recipients can also receive 30-year fixed rate mortgages. The income requirements vary based on family size and the type of grant.
For the conventional OHFA Dream, families with one or two individuals cannot earn more than $75,720 annually or $88,340 for families with more than three individuals.
Firefighters, police officers and highway patrol qualify for OHFA Shield which provides a 3.5 percent downpayment and low-interest mortgage rates. Qualifications vary by income and county. After contacting an approved lender, you can inquire about eligibility.
The program for teachers who want to purchase a home must have an Oklahoma teacher’s certificate, and they must be employed at an Oklahoma school to qualify. The first-time homebuyer requirement is necessary for some areas, and income requirements will change based on location.
A lot of homebuyers cannot afford a downpayment on a house. A first-time buyer who buys a home less than $214,925 may qualify for 3.5 percent mortgage assistance. Review the differences between these programs, and make sure you choose a qualifying lender if you anticipate using the grant.
The state has many opportunities to help you achieve your dream of homeownership, but cities and the federal government have opportunities too. Some cities will offer small grants for renovations or down payments to neighbors in need of renovation.
Midwest City offers grants for renovation projects, home repairs and home buying assistance. Norman offers $5,000 to families who make 80 percent less of the median income. The home can’t cost more than $131,000, and the buyer must provide at least one percent downpayment.
Other cities all over the state might have similar programs. Use search engines to discover those opportunities and apply based on your eligibility.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Authority offers plenty of information like how to avoid fraud and predatory lending. It also includes a home wish list for the buying process.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan is funding utilized by many first-home buyers because the downpayment is as low as 3.5 percent. Since the loan program provides an extra layer of protection to the lenders, a new buyer can have a lower credit score. There are also special loan programs for veterans, Native Americans, individuals buying property in rural areas, firefighters or law enforcement, and fixer-upper homes.
Consider additional education
The Oklahoma Home Buyers Education Association offers classes regularly on the basics of buying a house. Take a Saturday to learn about negotiating, protecting your asset, the homebuying process, credit, financing and long-term maintenance.
Over the course of several hours, students gain the knowledge necessary to make a wise home purchase and keep it long into the future. Some of the grants actually require attendance. Check out the schedule to see when you could set aside time for additional education.
Ready to buy?
There are so many options to consider when you start the home buying process. Make sure you really take the time to explore all of your options and go the extra mile to apply for every grant available.
The process can be overwhelming, which is why having a good realtor is so helpful. From looking at homes to talking about finances, a realtor can guide you through every step. Call us today at 405.310.2796 and we can begin scheduling home viewings for you.