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70 Ways For Home Buyers To Save Money When Buying A Home: Tip #7

Aug 17, 2007
Tip #7 in our series on how to save money when buying a house is: Use Down Payment Assistance

Not enough money for the down payment? You might be surprised to hear that there are people who are willing to give you money for your down payment. How much they give you varies, but in many cases you do not have to give this money back.

There are several non-profit organizations that provide grant money to homebuyers. There is usually a small fee if you get approved. The amount given to you does not need to be repaid ever and can be as much as several thousand dollars. Some organizations limit the amount to $50,000. Others limit it to 6% of the sales price of the house.

If you are having trouble saving enough for the down payment, it might be wise to check into these types of programs They are available in almost every city.

You do not need to be a first-time homebuyer either. But there are a few limitations. Normally the house you purchase might have to be in a certain part of town. Secondly the loan you get must allow down payment assistance. FHA loans and conforming loans are usually ok. But these require pretty good credit to qualify for so this might be a problem if you have less then perfect credit. Also, your lender must be approved with the agency that is providing the down payment assistance to you. There is also a limit on the purchase price.

Finding a down payment assistance company to work with is relatively easy. If you have a real estate agent or mortgage broker that you are already working with have them look into it. You can also do a quick search on the internet. Just use your favorite search engine and do a search on "your town down payment assistance".

Most of the down payment assistance programs will have you complete some sort of homebuyer education class before they give you any money. Some even review all your debts with you and try to help you position yourself better for getting a loan.

In most cases there is a processing fee. The fee is not returned if you do not qualify for the program. This fee can be paid by you, your lender, or the seller of the house.

In some programs, in order for the buyer to quality the seller of the house must agree to make a donation to the program if the house closes. Many sellers are not willing to do this. But you might be able to talk a seller into it by telling them to raise the sales price of the house. In this way, you can get into the house with zero money down. Or the down payment assistance program might be able to help you locate homes with sellers that have already agreed to participate in the program.

Many builders love these programs because they can use them to sell their inventory homes that are hard to sell to regular buyers. And since builders make so much money on each home they can easily agree to participate in a down payment assistance program. For them, it is better to make a little less on a house and sell it, instead of it sitting empty getting older, and paying interest on the money they borrowed to build it.
About the Author
Abby Kamadia, is a mortgage consultant, and real estate broker in Houston Texas. For the 69 other free articles on saving money when you buy a house visit Abby's Houston Texas Real Estate website.
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