How does $12,000 sound?
If you think down payment assistance is a scarce commodity, you’re wrong. You’re also not alone. A NeighborWorks America survey found that 70 percent of adults are unaware that down payment assistance programs are available to homebuyers in their community. In fact, there’s all kinds of help out there—it’s just hard to find. And it’s real help, averaging almost $12,000, according to Down Payment Resource (DPR).
That’s DownPaymentResource.com. Bookmark it. This growing, award-winning service, the only one of its kind, is all about making down payment assistance (and other homebuyer programs) way easier to find.
First of all, if you don't know this yet, you don't need 20 percent down to buy a home. In some cases, you can put as little as 3.5 percent down. And even that doesn’t necessarily have to be your money. Great! The problem, though, is finding that money, because the world of down payment assistance is downright intricate.
There are more than 2,300 home ownership programs around the country, says DPR president and CEO Rob Chrane. And they’re administered by all manner of government, quasi-government, and nonprofit agencies at the federal, state, county, and city levels.
The buyer always has to meet certain eligibility requirements. In terms of the property, there’s almost always a maximum sales price—sorry, no million-dollar ski chalets—and some geographical or other boundary. “It might be a state program, or city or county. Some of the programs are as specific as a neighborhood or a tax allocation district or a targeted census track.”
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