There's no doubt about it: The U.S. housing market continues to run hot. Home shoppers…
First-time homebuyers are navigating one of the toughest real estate markets in modern history. Inventory is especially tight in many areas of the country as speculators buy these homes to flip for a quick profit, and escalating costs are prompting builders to focus more on higher-end homes that are more profitable for them.
With more than 40 percent of first-time homebuyers carrying student loan debt, and the average first-time homebuyer age rising to an all-time high of 32 years old, the real estate market can be a daunting place. Luckily, there are many first-time homebuyers programs, including loans and grants, available.
Here are the best national programs, grants and loans for first-time homebuyers that can get you into a place of your own without a 20 percent down payment or sterling credit. At the end of this story, you can find state first-time homebuyer information for California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Florida.
Summary: First-time homebuyer loans and programs
FHA loan program: A loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Good for those with low credit scores and little money saved for a down payment.
USDA loan program: A loan program 100 percent guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for lower-income borrowers in eligible rural areas.
VA loan program: A loan backed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs that allows no down payment for military personnel, veterans and their families.
Good Neighbor Next Door buyer aid program: A HUD program that provides housing aid for law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and teachers.
Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan program: Conventional loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac require 3 percent down. Good for those with strong credit.
HomePath ReadyBuyer Program: A program that provides 3 percent in closing cost assistance to first-time buyers. Must complete an educational course and buy a foreclosed Fannie Mae property.
Energy-efficient mortgage program: Backed by FHA or VA loan programs and allows borrowers to combine the cost of energy-efficient upgrades onto a primary loan upfront.
FHA Section 203(k) loan program: Borrow the funds needed to pay for home improvement projects and roll the costs into one FHA loan with your primary mortgage.
Local first-time homebuyer programs and grants: Many states and cities offer first-time buyer programs and grants for down payment or closing cost assistance.
Native American Direct Loan: This VA-backed program provides direct home loans to eligible Native American veterans to buy, renovate or build homes on federal trust land.
Read more at bankrate.com