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Finding free money for your new home

While homeownership is definitely an American dream, there are some barriers that may prevent one from purchasing a home. With the rising costs, down payment requirements, affordability, and other factors, the path to homeownership may often be delayed.  But there are funds available to help you reach your goal!

For Firefighters, Emergency Personnel, and Teachers

HUD’s Good Neighbor Next Door Program allows teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other professions to purchase properties at 50% off the listing price. While these properties are in certain areas, it allows for these individuals to obtain instant equity in their home. Purchasers are required to remain in the property for three years after purchase. For information of whom may qualify, click here.

For Down Payment Assistance

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or have purchased a home before, there are many programs available to assist with down payment. For starters, potential homeowners should check with their state’s housing finance authority. Here is a listing of the different state’s housing finance authority programs. Visit here for the city of New Orleans Finance Authority of New Orleans. These programs also provide for assistance with down payment, some of these programs also provide for low-interest home loans as well. In order to qualify, potential homeowners must meet certain qualifications, such as income limitations.

This program provides up to 3% closing costs toward the purchase of a HomePath property, which is foreclosed homes located in your area.  Buyers are required to take an online homeownership education course.  At the completion of the course, buyers receive an online certificate to utilize when submitting an offer for a HomePath property.  The course also meets the requirement for the Fannie Mae HomeReady mortgage loan.  

Rural Home Improvement Grants

The USDA provides home improvement grants and loans to those seeking to modernize or improve their homes. The property must be within a certain area, unable to obtain affordable credit elsewhere, have a family income below 50% of the area median income and for grants be over the age of 62 years of age. Loans can be granted up to $20,000 and grant up to $7,500. In addition, qualified participants may be eligible to receive up to $27,500, to combine both a grant and loan. For more information, visit the USDA website.

Individual Development Accounts

These programs allow low-income families to save money through a match program. Participants commit to saving money toward a wealth initiative, such as purchasing a home, and the program matches the savings account.  There are several individual development account programs throughout the United States, search the terms “Individual Development Accounts” along with your state’s name. Here are a few in other states that can help you along the way:

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