New Hampshire First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2021

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New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority offers programs to help make buying a home more affordable in the Granite State.

If one of those isn’t a fit, a nationally available mortgage program might get you in the door. National options feature low down payment or low credit score requirements, making them good choices for many first-time home buyers.

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Check out these national and state mortgage programs as you begin your homebuying journey.

National first-time home buyer programs

These nationally available mortgage programs offer low-down-payment or low-credit-score options.

Conventional mortgage

Best for:

Low down payments, limited mortgage insurance premiums

What you need to know:

A conventional mortgage is a home loan that isn’t guaranteed or insured by the federal government. Conventional mortgages that conform to the requirements set forth by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac allow down payments as low as 3% for first-time buyers or lower-income home buyers. Unlike FHA loans, conventional loans allow borrowers to eventually cancel their mortgage insurance or avoid mortgage insurance altogether if they put at least 20% down.

VA loans

Best for:

Military, low down payments

What you need to know:

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs helps service members, veterans and surviving spouses buy homes. VA loans are especially generous, providing competitive interest rates, often requiring no down payment or mortgage insurance. Although there is no official minimum credit score, most VA-approved lenders require scores of at least 640.

FHA loans

Best for:

Low credit score, low down payments

What you need to know:

This is the go-to program for many first-time home buyers with lower credit scores. The Federal Housing Administration allows down payments as low as 3.5% for those with credit scores of 580 or higher. The FHA will insure loans for borrowers with scores as low as 500 but requires a 10% down payment for a score that low. Mortgage insurance is required for the life of an FHA loan and cannot be canceled.

USDA loans

Best for:

Low down payments, rural

What you need to know:

A USDA home loan is a zero-down-payment mortgage for eligible rural and suburban home buyers. USDA loans are issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Program. There are income limitations, which vary by region. Applicants with credit scores of 640 or higher receive streamlined processing. Those with scores below that must meet more stringent underwriting standards.

New Hampshire Housing highlights and eligibility requirements

New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority offers programs to repeat and first-time home buyers to help them become successful homeowners. Explore these New Hampshire Housing programs to see if one of them might meet your needs.

Highlights

  • Down payment and closing cost assistance available.

  • Condominiums and up to four-unit homes are allowed.

Eligibility

  • Income must generally be at or below $137,400.

  • Available for borrowers with credit scores of 620 and higher.

  • Must complete a home buyer education class for some programs.

New Hampshire first-time home buyer programs

Home Flex Plus

Best for:

Down payment assistance, closing cost assistance

What you need to know:

The program provides down payment and closing cost assistance for up to 4% of the loan amount for an FHA, USDA or VA mortgage. The help comes in the form of a second mortgage, which is forgiven after four years if the borrower doesn’t refinance, file for bankruptcy or sell the home.

Home Preferred Plus

Best for:

Low down payment, closing cost assistance

What you need to know:

This conventional mortgage requires a down payment as low as 3% with discounted mortgage insurance. The program also provides down payment and closing cost assistance for up to 4% of the loan amount. The cash is provided through a loan that’s forgiven after four years as long as the borrower doesn’t refinance, file for bankruptcy or sell the home.

Purchase Rehab

Best for:

Home improvements

What you need to know:

Designed for fixer-uppers, this government-insured loan lets you add up to $35,000 to the purchase mortgage to help with repairs and upgrades. The mortgage can be combined with down payment and closing cost assistance from New Hampshire Housing.

Home Start Homebuyer Tax Credit

Best for:

Tax credit

What you need to know:

The program provides an annual tax credit for a portion of the mortgage interest for a tax savings of up to $2,000. You must apply for the tax credit during the loan process; if you qualify, it decreases the federal income taxes you would owe while in your home, effectively increasing your take-home pay on your mortgage application. The tax credit is available for as long as you live in the home, until the mortgage is paid off.

Home Preferred Manufactured Housing ROCs

Best for:

Low down payment, low mortgage insurance, low mortgage rates

What you need to know:

Created for buyers and current homeowners in qualified New Hampshire Resident-Owned Communities, or ROCs, this program provides conventional mortgages with low fixed rates, low down payment requirements and low-priced mortgage insurance options.

Summary: 2021 New Hampshire first-time home buyer programs

  • Home Flex Plus mortgage with down payment and closing cost assistance.

  • Home Preferred Plus mortgage with down payment and closing cost assistance, as well as discounted mortgage insurance.

  • Purchase Rehab mortgage with low down payment and closing cost assistance.

  • Home Start Homebuyer Tax Credit for long-term tax savings on mortgage interest.

  • Home Preferred Manufactured Housing Resident-Owned Communities mortgage with low down payment requirements and low-priced mortgage insurance.

You can learn more about the mortgage process by meeting with a homebuying counselor and attending a seminar or taking an online course. Details are available on the New Hampshire Housing website.

Once you’re familiar with the mortgage programs available — and before you start shopping for homes — contact one of the agency’s participating lenders to get prequalified for a mortgage.

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