First-Time Home Buyer Programs & Loans in Ohio

First-Time Homebuyer Assistance in Ohio

As a first-time homebuyer in Ohio, it's worth exploring all the ways to make homeownership more attainable. The Ohio Housing Finance Agency has several loan options designed specifically for first-time buyers, including down payment assistance, discounted mortgage interest rates, and even a federal tax credit. Best of all, it won't take long to see if you qualify.

What Is the OHFA Homebuyer Program?

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency collaborates with lenders, mortgage companies, and credit unions to offer loans aimed to help first-time homebuyers financially prepare.

Before diving into the application process, you'll want to make sure you understand what's needed to qualify—and determine which program is right for you. These requirements typically include income limits, credit score criteria, and completion of homebuyer education.

Eligibility Requirements

Specific income and purchase price limits are essential to qualify for the OHFA Homebuyer Program in Ohio. For conventional, USDA, and VA loans, a credit score of 640 or higher is required, while FHA loans mandate a minimum score of 650.

OHFA participants need to meet debt-to-income ratios aligned with their chosen loan type, as well as purchase price and income limits that vary by county, the number of individuals in the family, and whether or not the home falls in a target area.

From there, qualified buyers must also complete a free homebuyer education course that covers valuable resources necessary for successful homeownership.

How to Apply

To apply for an OHFA homebuyer program in Ohio, locate an OHFA-approved lender in your area to receive assistance with the application process.

These lenders, credit unions, and mortgage companies can help you navigate the requirements and guide you through the application steps. For further guidance, you can also call the Ohio Finance Agency toll-free at 888-362-6432. Take advantage of these resources to make your dream of homeownership a reality. You can make the process even easier by choosing a real estate agent who's experienced in these programs.

OHFA Services

The Ohio Finance Housing Agency aims to make homeownership more accessible and affordable for first-time buyers with options like Your Choice! down payment assistance, Grants for Grads, Ohio Heroes, and Mortgage Tax Credit Plus. Qualified buyers may be able to add one or more of these options to an OHFA FHA, VA, USDA-RD, or conventional mortgage loan.

Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance

Your Choice! down payment assistance from OHFA offers eligible residents up to 2.5% or 5% of the purchase price of their home, which can go toward the down payment, closing costs, or pre-closing expenses. This program caters to both first-time and repeat homebuyers in Ohio, allowing flexibility for those looking to own a home.

After seven years, the OHFA's financial assistance will be forgiven, but if you sell your home before reaching that milestone, you'll need to repay it. Your Choice! can also be combined with other OHFA programs.

OHFA Grants for Grads

OHFA Grants for Grads program offers incentives to recent graduates in Ohio, encouraging them to invest in their future in the state. Eligible participants can receive 2.5% or 5% down payment assistance, which will be forgiven after five years so long as they remain in Ohio.

To qualify for Grants for Grads, participants must meet specific criteria like graduating within the last 48 months from an accredited college or university. This program can be combined with other OHFA programs for additional benefits, providing a comprehensive support system for first-time homebuyers.

Ohio Heroes

If you're a key community contributor in Ohio, you may benefit from the Ohio Heroes program, which offers discounted mortgage interest rates to certain professionals. This program is tailored to support individuals such as teachers, active military, veterans, firefighters, EMTs, police officers, and healthcare workers.

To qualify, you must meet specific criteria, including income limits and credit score requirements, and complete a homebuyer education course. The Ohio Heroes program strives to make homeownership more affordable for those who serve their communities selflessly.

Mortgage Tax Credit

The Mortgage Tax Credit program from OHFA can provide eligible taxpayers in Ohio with significant savings on their mortgage interest payments.

The Mortgage Tax Credit Plus program gives up to a 40% tax credit on mortgage interest payments for those who qualify. Meanwhile, the Mortgage Tax Credit Basic program offers varying tax credits from 20–30% based on property type and location.

In some areas, local homebuyer assistance programs may complement OHFA's Mortgage Tax Credit initiative, providing further support to first-time homebuyers.

Next Home

Next Home from OHFA offers repeat homebuyers in Ohio competitive interest rates. With conventional FHA, VA, and USDA-RD loans, this program is tailored to assist those who've previously owned a home and are looking to purchase again.

By offering favorable interest rates, Next Home aims to facilitate home-buying for eligible borrowers. Additionally, this OHFA service can be combined with Your Choice! down payment assistance to maximize benefits for repeat buyers, though it's not required.

Save With First-Time Homebuyer Programs

It's never too late to take the first step toward buying a house in Ohio. After looking through the Ohio Housing Finance Agency programs, you'll be better equipped to navigate the home-buying process. Don't hesitate to reach out to OHFA-approved lenders and take advantage of these programs to make your dream a reality.

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