Assistance to Transition from Renting to Owning

By Housing Nonprofit

Would you like to buy your family’s first home in this year? As difficult as it may seem, there are ways to make it happen.

You may be overwhelmed by monthly bills, but that hasn’t kept you from dreaming about owning a home. Is winning the lottery the only way to make this fantasy a reality? Or will you have to work three jobs to get that down payment?

Luckily, the answer to both of those questions is no, because there are different ways to buy a home without having a ton of cash on hand.

We’ll touch on these methods in this article, but if you delve deeper, who knows? You may be moving into that new house before the new year hits.

Get Help With Your Down Payment

Being a first-time homebuyer may be intimidating, but it also has its advantages when it comes to getting down payment assistance.

Depending on where you live, you could get help with your down payment through your city or state housing authority. Even better, you may not have to pay that help back.

For instance, first-time homebuyers in Colorado can get down payment grants equal to three percent of the mortgage. Since they’re grants, they do not have to be paid back. In other words, you could get free money to move into your first home.

How can you find out if your local housing authority has such a program? Go here to find their contact info and give them a call.

Some national programs also offer down payment assistance if you work in a particular profession. If you teach, for example, the Teacher Next Door Program could give you over $10,000 towards your down payment.

In keeping with the profession theme, check with your employer for any home-buying assistance programs. Such programs are offered by less than five percent of employers. If yours does, however, you could get help with a down payment or your mortgage.

Put Less Money Down

What keeps many people from owning their first home? Down payments that are too hard to reach, especially since many say you should put at least 20 percent down.

Getting help from grants or your employer could help you get closer to that number, but if neither is an option, you could still be in luck.

Some programs will put you into your first home without a substantial down payment. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are an example.

Backed by the federal government, these loans require only a 3.5 percent down payment, which is a far cry from the suggested 20 percent.

What’s the downside to putting such a small percentage down? The fact that it will result in having to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) to offset the lender’s risk.

PMI costs may equal around one percent of your mortgage per year. This additional cost could result in you paying more out of pocket once all is said and done.

Have Others Help You With the Rent

If the costs of owning your first home have you nervous, you may want to reduce your risk by renting to others.

If you have a spare room, you could rent it on a long-term basis by creating a lease. You could also rent it on a short-term basis by listing it on a site like Airbnb.

Before you make either move, you will have to look at your local laws to ensure such leasing or renting is allowed.