Available Grant Programs
A lack of adequate cash for a down payment and/or closing costs doesn’t mean that you absolutely can’t buy a home of your own. Even if you don’t qualify for a no-down-payment VA-guaranteed loan, you might qualify for a grant program that provides money for a down payment. This report provides information about nine current grant programs.
The Nehemiah Program-Provides a gift of 1% to 6% of the contract sales price to be used toward a down payment and closing costs.
Family Home Providers-Gives a gift of 3% or more of the contract sales price to be used toward a down payment and closing costs.
The Hart Program-Homebuyers can receive up to $15,000.00. The amount of the gift is based on need and is not a set percentage of the sales price. Homebuyers do not need to be first-time homebuyers to qualify for HART gift funds.
The New Life Family Housing Group, Inc.-Helps the buyer receive up to 9% of the sales price in the form of a Home Grant through the Homeownership Foundation of America to apply toward closing costs and down payment requirements.
The AmeriDream Charity, Inc.-Eligible buyers can receive up to five percent of the purchase price of a home. This gift, which does not have to be repaid, can be used for a down payment or closing costs.
Homestead Trust– The Harford Food Bank, administered through the Homestead Trust, will allow gifts up to 10% of the contract sales price of the home for a down payment and closing costs.
National Home Down Payment Gift Program– Buyers can buy a home without having a lot of their own money as down payment, buy any home anywhere, use any real estate agent they want to help them find a home, use any mortgage lender that has an eligible loan program (which is just about all lenders), and use a portion of the money to help pay for some, if not all, of the closing costs.
Neighborhood Gold– Works with The Buyers Fund, Inc., a non-profit organization, to provide grants for prospective homeowners. This money can be used for a down payment or closing costs according to FHA guidelines. Because the money is a gift, it does not have to be repaid.
The OWN Program – Provides a gift, which will be wired directly to the closing office/closing attorney in the homebuyer’s name, to be used for a down payment and/or closing costs. The gift can vary from 2% to 5% of the contract sales price, depending on circumstances.
THE NEHEMIAH PROGRAM
The Nehemiah Program, established by the Nehemiah Corporation of California, gives qualified buyers a gift, equal to between one and six percent of the cost of the home, to be used for the down payment and closing costs.
The gift does not have to be repaid, and both first-time and repeat buyers can be eligible. The gift can be used for both new and older homes. There are no income or asset limits and no geographical restrictions. The seller’s contribution is equal to the buyer’s gift amount plus a small processing fee.
This program was established by Don Harris, who started the program at a time when government funds for housing and affordable housing programs were decreasing nationwide. The program is now the largest privately-funded down payment assistance program in the US. It has assisted more than 120,000 homebuyers.
The Nehemiah Program Web site, http://www.nehemiahprogram.org/, gives information about the program and even provides a mortgage calculator and an online “Homeownership Education Course”. You can also get information by contacting the program offices at the following telephone numbers:
For more information, contact:
FAMILY HOME PROVIDERS, INC.
Family Home Providers, Inc., gives gifts of 3% or more of the contract sales price of a home to the buyer as a down payment and wires the funds to the closing agent 24 hours before the closing. The buyer or the lender may then fund the homeowner’s insurance policy and set up the escrow account. The seller or lender may fund the closing costs. This means that a family can move into a new home, resale home, condo, or town home, usually for less than $1000.00. There are no reserve requirements other than the regular FHA guidelines. The seller/builder must pay Family Home Providers a processing fee.
Family Home Providers, Inc. (FHP) was founded in 1994 and has helped thousands of deserving families buy a home of their own.
Family Home Providers, Inc., is a non-profit, 50(c)3 affordable-housing company. It is allowed, under the guidelines of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), to gift the down payment funds to anyone qualifying for an FHA loan. The gift does not have to be repaid.
The Family Home Providers Web site, http://www.familyhomeproviders.org/, provides information about the program and provides mortgage calculator, home buying tips, a list of common terms, and a list of approved lenders.
You can also get information by contacting the organization at the following address and telephone numbers:
Family Home Providers, Inc
6030 Bethelview Road
Cumming, Georgia 30040
Toll Free: 800.704.3664
THE HART (Housing Action Resource Trust) PROGRAM
Housing Action Resource Trust (HART) is a 501(3) non-profit housing development organization that provides affordable housing and homeownership opportunities throughout the United States. HART is actively rehabilitating homes in revitalization areas and is developing affordable housing in many communities across the country.
Established in 1995, HART supports and creates programs such as an Equity Savings Plan, Delinquency and Foreclosure Prevention, Homeownership Education, and Pre-purchase Counseling to help consumers re-establish credit.
The HART Down Payment Assistance Program has been recognized as a successful down payment program. The HART Program provides assistance to individuals and families who lack the necessary funds for down payment and other related costs. It has helped thousands of renters across the country realize their dream of becoming a homeowners.
Homebuyers do not need to be first-time homebuyers to qualify for HART gift funds and can receive up to $15,000.00. The amount of the gift is based on the homebuyers need and is not a set percentage of the sales price. The HART gift funds can be used for a down payment, closing costs, pre-paids, and rate buy downs. There is no requirement to repay the HART gift.
The fee to use the HART program is a flat dollar amount and is not based on a percentage of the sales price like other down payment assistance programs. As of April 1, 2002, the fees were $500.00 for new homes and $650.00 for resale homes.
The loan officer submits the application to HART. After receiving the borrower’s application, the HART processing department reviews and responds within 12 hours. The buyer must qualify for a primary mortgage loan that allows gift funds from a non-profit. HART gift funds are available to all prospective homebuyers seeking to purchase a home, not just first-time homebuyers. There are no income limits and no asset restrictions. HART gifts are available with any loan program- such as FHA, VA, conventional, and BCD loans- that accepts non-profit gift funds. The program is available to homebuyers nationwide.
For general information about HART contact:
Housing Action Resource Trust (HART)
8711 Monroe Court, Suite A
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
Phone: (888) 820-HART or (909) 945-1574
Fax: (909) 941-4012
If you would like more information regarding the HART program, please contact the Homeownership Education Department or e-mail HART at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW LIFE FAMILY HOUSING GROUP, INC.
The New Life Family Housing Group, Inc., helps homebuyers receive up to 9% in the form of a Home Grant through the Homeownership Foundation of America toward a down payment and closing costs. Eligible buyers must purchase a certified home with a qualified loan program. The funds are a gift and doesn’t have to be repaid.
In order for buyers to receive a home grant from the Homeownership Foundation of America, they must be eligible for a qualified loan program. A qualified loan program is a single-family mortgage loan that allows a charitable organization to provide gift funds for a buyer’s closing costs and down payment requirements.
A certified home is one in which a seller has entered into a CERTIFIED HOME REGISTRATION AGREEMENT. In this contract, the seller has agreed to provide a Home Warranty Policy and two-year roof certification.
Additional warranties may occasionally be necessary.
That is determined on a case by case basis.
In order to receive the New Life Family Certification, a processing fee of $850 (for houses under $100,000) or $975 (for houses over $100,000) is charged to the seller. The seller also agrees to make a contribution to the Homeownership Foundation of America in an amount equivalent to the amount of gift funds that have been given to the buyer.
To be eligible, the homebuyer must purchase a certified home, be approved for an eligible loan program, complete an approved Home Ownership Counseling Course.
For more information, contact:
New Life Housing Group
2111-F Laurel Bush Rd.
Bel Air, MD 21015
Telephone: (888) 860-3679
ax: (410) 515-6940
THE AMERIDREAM CHERITY, INC.
The AmeriDream Downpayment Gift Program is available to qualifying low- and moderate-income homebuyers who want to purchase either a single-family home of up to $300,700 or a multi-unit property of up to $578,150. The program provides funds- which do not have to be repaid- to be used toward a down payment and closing costs. The program is not restricted to first-time buyers. Also, homebuyers can purchase a home with 0% down and no cash out-of-pocket for closing costs; in other words, they do not need to make a cash contribution toward the home purchase. The homebuyer agrees to return any gift funds not used toward the down payment or allowable closing costs. If for some reason the purchase doesn’t go through, the homebuyer must return the entire gift.
To apply for AmeriDream funds, the homebuyer must contact a lender and qualify for a loan that allows gift funds, and the homebuyer must purchase a home from a builder or seller who has enrolled his or her home in the program. The lender submits the application for the buyer to AmeriDream at least 24 hours before settlement/closing. AmeriDream then wires the funds to the settlement/closing agent on the day of settlement/closing.
There are three AmeriDream programs available: AmeriDream’s Gold, Silver, and Bronze Programs. The Gold Program gives homebuyers five percent of the home’s purchase price, the Silver Program gives three percent, and the Bronze Program provides two percent.
For more information, contact:
The AmeriDream Charity, Inc.
18310 Montgomery Village Ave.
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
Toll Free Phone Number: 866-263-7437 (1-866-AMERIDREAM)
Local Phone Number: 301-977-9133
Fax Number: 301-977-9713
The Harford Food Bank Down Payment Assistance Program, which is administered by the Homestead Trust, is designed to help low- and moderate income home buyers who need money for down payment or closing costs to purchase a home. Homestead Trust has offices in Maryland, Texas and North Carolina and can efficiently process the gift request and wire transfer the “gift” to the settlement officer within 24 hours of receipt of the initial application.
Cash gifts are available to FHA homebuyers in need, regardless of prior ownership, and are targeted to low- and moderate-income families. Down payment assistance is also available to home buyers applying for a conventional loan if the loan program allows gifts from charities and also meets the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac agency requirements.
The qualified homebuyer must purchase a home that has been enrolled by the seller in the Harford Food Bank “down payment assistance program”. Generally the real estate agency or mortgage lender enrolls the seller into the program by having the seller complete a “seller enrollment form”. The buyer must sign a “gift letter” from Harford Food Bank agreeing to accept the gift monies. The mortgage lender must complete a “buyer gift application” which details the information about the participants and property involved in the transaction. Once these three documents are completed, this “packet” of information is forwarded to Homestead Trust, the administrative arm of Harford Food Bank, for processing.
Homestead Trust then reviews and verifies that the information is in order before sending a wire transfer of the down payment “gift” monies to the settlement officer.
Harford Food Bank will allow gifts up to 10% of the contract sales price of the home for down payment and closing costs. Cash gifts are available to FHA home buyers in need, regardless of prior home ownership, and are targeted to low- and moderate-income families. The gift may be used for down payment, closing costs, and/or pre-paids. Applications may be submitted up to 24 hours prior to settlement and approval takes less than 2 hours. Harford Food Bank requires that the seller replenish the “gift fund” by making a contribution in an amount equal to the charitable gift plus a service fee.
All forms are available through Homestead Trust. Their toll-free number is (877) 550-7005, or the forms can be downloaded from their Web site at http://www.homesteadtrust.org under Applications and Forms.
If you have any questions or need more information, you can e-mail the Homestead Trust at email@example.com or contact them at the following address and telephone numbers:
3450 Ellicott Center Drive
Ellicott City, MD 21043
Phone: (410) 480-1967 Fax: (410) 480-4375
Toll Free: (877) 550-7005
NATIONAL HOME DOWNPAYMENT GIFT PROGRAM
The National Home Down Payment Gift Program provides financial assistance to individuals and families who want to buy a home but just can’t seem to save for the down payment. The financial assistance is a gift and, therefore, does not have to be repaid.
The buyer applies for the funds through a National Home Gift Reservation Certificate and gives it to the lender or real estate agent.
With the Gift Funds Reservation Certificate, buyers can buy a home without using any of their own money as down payment, buy any home anywhere, use any Real Estate Agent they want to help them find a home, use any mortgage lender that has an eligible loan program (which is just about all lenders), and use a portion of the money to help pay for some, if not all, of the closing costs.
To receive gift-funds, homebuyers must be able to qualify for a mortgage loan that allows alternate sources of down payment and purchase a property where the sellers agree to enroll their home with National Home.
The homebuyers do not have to be first-time buyers, but the property must be purchased as their primary residence.
For more information, go to the National Home Web site, http://www.nationalhome.org, or contact them at the following address and telephone numbers:
6720 Fair Oaks Blvd.
Carmichael, CA 95608
Phone: (916) 485-4235
Toll-Free: (888) 487-4663
Fax: (916) 485-4672
E-mail Sales and Marketing: firstname.lastname@example.org
E-mail Administration: email@example.com
The Neighborhood Gold Down Payment Assistance Program has helped thousands of families all over the country move into a home with no money down. Neighborhood Gold works with The Buyers Fund, Inc., a non-profit organization, to provide grants for prospective homeowners. This money comes from an existing pool of funds and can be used for a down payment or closing costs per FHA guidelines. Because the money is a gift, it does not have to be repaid. The Neighborhood Gold Down payment Assistance Program is compatible with conventional and sub-prime loans. Plus, the homebuyer can get exclusive Mortgage Payment Protection at no cost. This insurance covers the first 12 months of the loan and can pay up to six, full, monthly mortgage payments.
There are no income limits for the potential homebuyer. If a buyer is approved for a loan, he or she can receive the grant funds, regardless of income level. There is also no maximum grant amount allowed. The only limit is the appraised value of the home. If buyers are trying to obtain a larger grant, they may need to find a distressed home in order to give the seller sufficient room to pay the service fee. If the grant amount is above $10,000, the fee is 10 percent of the grant amount plus the grant. For example, in the case of a $15,000 grant, the service fee is $1,500 + $15,000 = $16,500.
The funds from the Neighborhood Gold program can be used to purchase any property, including condos, apartments, duplexes, and single-family homes.
Neighborhood Gold has provided down payment grants in 39 states. They can work with lenders, Realtors, sellers, and home buyers in all locations in the United States. The loan officer completes the application and submits it to The Buyer’s Fund, Inc., for approval. Once approved, a gift letter confirming approval of the funds is sent from The Buyer’s Fund, Inc., to the lender. The only fee involved is a service fee paid by the seller. This fee is the grant amount (which can be anywhere from 3-10 percent of the sales price), plus 1 percent or $1,000, whichever is reached first.
Neighborhood Gold has a list of lenders across the country that accept their program on FHA, Conventional, and Sub-Prime financing. You can call (888) 627-3023 to speak with their Investor Relations Manager to confirm that your lender is on that list. If you are already working with an investor that is not on that list, they can often work with your investor to secure approval for you to participate in the program.
You can also contact Neighborhood Gold by telephone at (888) 627-3023, by fax at (888) 627-3025, or by regular mail at the following address:
313 East University Parkway Orem, UT 84058
Or you can visit their Web site at http://www.thebuyersfund.com The Own Program
THE OWN PROGRAM
If the program requirements have been met, the OWN Program will provide a gift, which will be wired directly to the closing office/closing attorney in the homebuyer’s name. The homebuyer may select the gift amount that most suits his or her needs:
2% of the contract sales price
3% of the contract sales price
5% of the contract sales price (optional in designated high closing costs states)The gift will then be applied to the required investment (down payment/closing costs). The OWN Program is not restricted to first time buyers and there are no income limits, geographic restrictions, or asset restrictions. The OWN Program has a different approach to down payment assistance. Their program is designed to cover only the cost of administration and marketing. Therefore, they are able to offer the lowest possible service fee. The service fee for any transaction is the amount of the gift plus $300 (New or Resale) regardless of the contract sales price.
Any unused gift funds must be used to reduce the principal balance of the loan and MAY NOT be given to the homebuyer(s). The OWN Program does not place any restrictions on the return of the homebuyer’s cash investment (earnest money deposit, pre-paids, etc.).
To qualify for a gift, the homebuyer must purchase a home from a builder/seller who has agreed to participate in The OWN Program. The homebuyer must have 1% of the contract sales price either invested in the transaction or in cash reserves. Acceptable sources of these funds are set forth in the HUD Handbook 4155.1. The homebuyer must also complete The OWN Program Home Ownership Education Course or any lender-approved Homebuyer Education and must qualify for a loan program that accepts gift funds for down payment.
You can visit The OWN Program Web site at http://www.ownprogram.com.
For additional information on The Own Program,
you can call their Help Line at (866) OWN-PRGM (696-7746) or (727) 392-6676, or you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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