An Introduction to FHA, HUD, and Home Ownership Vouchers

By Housing Nonprofit

Many people feel like buying a home is outside their means. The good news is that these 3 programs do a lot to make home ownership affordable for anyone serious about buying.

Ask most people if they’d rather rent a home or buy one, and they’d probably pick the second option. Why? Because owning a home gives you a piece of property that can grow in value. It can give you a feeling of pride that comes with owning something. And it can also make you feel more comfortable and at peace knowing that where you lay your head at night is actually yours.

What keeps people from owning a home versus renting one then? It’s not the desire to do so, but a lack of funds to make homeownership a reality. Well, whether you feel you lack the money to make a down payment on a home or the income to pay a monthly mortgage, there’s good news: You can get help from the government to become a homeowner and stop being a renter via these three programs:

1. FHA Loans

Unless you have loads of cash sitting around, you’ll probably need a loan to buy a home. What’s one problem with many loans? Strict requirements that don’t make them easily accessible.

With FHA loans from the Federal Housing Administration, you can get the financial help you need without the strictness that comes with other loans.

How are FHA loans more accessible? You don’t need a superb credit score to qualify for starters, which is excellent news if you have a few blemishes on your report. Down payments are also lower, as you can secure an FHA loan with as low as 3.5 percent of the house’s purchase price as your deposit. Lastly, FHA loans often feature closing costs lower than other loan types, and some of those costs may be covered to help you even more.

2. HUD Homes

Besides the strictness associated with many loans, this can keep you from becoming a homeowner: The rising cost of real estate. How can you overcome it? By buying an affordable HUD home.

What’s a HUD home? It’s a property owned by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The department can take ownership of a home if the owner defaults on their FHA loan. Why can they do this? Because the HUD oversees FHA loans.

As a side note, HUD homes are also called HUD real estate owned (REO) properties. They’re worth a look since the HUD will usually list them below market price to recoup their costs quickly.

3. Homeownership Voucher Program

You may have heard of the Housing Choice Voucher Program or Section 8. It’s a HUD program that makes rent more affordable. With the Homeownership Voucher Program, the HUD makes owning a home more affordable.

Even if you’re living in public housing or come from a low-income household, you can still own a home, thanks to this HUD program. If you qualify, you can get help with meeting your mortgage payments or paying other expenses.