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Down Payment Assistance for Teachers, Police, Firefighters & Veterans

Down payment assistance teachers police firefighters veterans

Public servants don’t make the money they deserve.

Teachers are a prime example. But firefighters, police officers, veterans, and others in public service professions often can’t afford to live in the communities they serve.

That’s why states, counties, and cities offer down payment assistance (DPA) programs to these individuals.

We’ll highlight some example programs across the country, which should give you an idea of what might be available in your area. Don’t know where to start? Here are 7 places to look for down payment assistance.

Get help finding down payment assistance from a knowledgeable lender.

Nationwide Assistance for Multiple Professions

Police officers, teachers, firefighters and EMTs have access to one of the most robust assistance programs ever conceived: a 50% discount on a home.

Good Neighbor Next Door issues deep discounts on HUD-foreclosed homes for these professionals who will live and work in revitalization areas.

Listings are limited since there are very few HUD foreclosures currently, and even fewer in eligible areas.

Still, it’s worth watching the HUD Homestore’s Good Neighbor Next Door map for new listings.

If you find a property and are the winning bidder, HUD issues a silent second mortgage for 50% of the price, forgiven after three years of owner-occupancy.

See if you qualify for Good Neighbor Next Door.

Down Payment Assistance for Teachers

Plenty of communities across the U.S. want to assist teachers in owning a home where they serve. Here are a few examples.

Texas: K-12 public school teachers, aids, nurses, counselors, and librarians may be eligible for the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation “Homes For Texas Heroes” program. It offers 2-5% of the home price for down payment and closing cost assistance. Funds come in the form of a grant or forgivable loan.

Florida: The Hometown Heroes Program offers up to 5% of the first mortgage amount in down payment and closing cost assistance up to $35,000. The loan is not forgivable and must be repaid upon refinancing, selling, or converting the home into a rental.

Arizona: Arizona Central Credit Union offers its Frontline Heroes Mortgage, a zero-down loan for teachers who can come up with as little as $1,000 of their own money.

Look around in your state or community. You might be surprised at what programs are available to you as an educator.

Police Officer DPA

First of all, look through the programs for teachers above, because they may apply to police officers as well.

Here are a few other programs to give you an idea of what your area might offer.

The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority offers the Police Homeownership Program, giving a 0.125% rate discount in addition to already-reduced mortgage rates. It also offers need-based down payment assistance.

Ogden, Utah police officers may be eligible for up to $20,000 in DPA when buying a primary residence within city limits.

Dallas, Texas law enforcement professionals are eligible for up to $50,000. There is no home price limit, but the housing payment may not exceed 35% of the officer’s household income.

Firefighter and EMS Homebuyer Programs

Perhaps the most well-known program in the country is the Homes for Texas Heroes DPA which is available to full-time firefighters and licensed paramedics and EMTs in the state. Here are more programs across the country.

California offers its CalHFA MyHome program, a down payment loan of up to 3% of the sales price. The standard dollar limit is $15,000, but that’s waived for fire department employees.

Washington, D.C. firefighters are eligible for a $20,000 down payment loan plus a First-Responder grant of $10,000 which is forgiven after five years of service.

Louisiana firefighters enjoy a down payment assistance loan with its Keys for Service program. Eligible, full-time firefighters, paramedics, public safety communicators, and other public servants can receive 4% of the purchase price, forgiven after five years of occupying the home as a primary residence.

Veteran Down Payment Assistance

Veterans risked it all to preserve U.S. freedom. Perhaps the best down payment assistance program is the VA home loan. It requires no down payment and no monthly mortgage insurance. It’s available in all 50 states from nearly every lender.

Beyond this home loan type, following are local DPA programs that could bring even more assistance for closing costs and other homebuying expenses.

Washington State: Veterans may be eligible for a 30-year deferred loan of $10,000 toward their down payment or closing costs when using a Washington State housing commission first mortgage loan program.

In North Carolina, the NC Home Advantage Mortgage offers DPA of 3% of the home’s price as a forgivable loan. Combine it with a VA home loan to potentially cover your entire down payment and closing costs.

The Iowa Finance Authority offers a $5,000 grant to servicemembers and veterans with eligible service history who are purchasing a qualifying home.

Public Service Can Make it Easier to Buy a Home

There’s no way to fully repay public service professionals. But homebuying assistance programs make a dent in the debt owed to them.

If you don’t live in one of the areas mentioned above, there may be programs available in your area. Check your state’s housing finance agency, city and county websites, local non-profits, and local credit unions for programs designed for you.

Need help? Get a hold of a lender here.

About The Author:

Tim Lucas spent 11 years in the mortgage industry and now leverages that real-world knowledge to give consumers reliable, actionable advice. Tim has been featured in national publications such as Time, U.S. News, MSN, The Mortgage Reports, and more.

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