Virginia First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2021

Jan 1, 2021

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Hopeful first-time home buyers in Virginia have access to state programs that can help them make a down payment or qualify for a home loan. For nearly 50 years, Virginia Housing (formerly Virginia Housing Development Authority, or VHDA) has worked with lenders throughout the state to make homeownership a reality for thousands of residents.

National first-time home buyer programs

Since you’re doing a bit of research, it can’t hurt to look into national programs aimed at potential home buyers with modest incomes. You’ll find options for loans with low or no down payments.

VHDA highlights and eligibility requirements

If you live in Virginia, VHDA programs offer first-time home buyers some unique benefits, ranging from down payment grants to federal tax breaks.


  • Down payment grants available.

  • 30-year fixed-rate loans.

  • Some programs allow zero down payment.

  • Many loan programs are eligible for federal tax credits.


  • Required credit score varies by program; lowest is 620.

  • Haven’t owned a home in the past three years (except in certain areas).

  • Maximum income and loan limits vary by home’s location.

  • The home must be your primary residence; no business use.

  • Applicants must complete homeownership education class.

VHDA first-time home buyer loan programs

Summary: 2021 VHDA first-time home buyer programs

  • Down Payment Assistance Grant provides up to 2.5% of a home's purchase price to be used as a down payment.

  • Granting Freedom provides a grant of up to $6,000 for accessibility modifications for veterans with service-related disabilities.

  • Mortgage Credit Certificate for borrowers who want to reduce their federal tax liability.

  • Virginia Housing Conventional for a low down payment.

  • Virginia Housing Conventional No Mortgage Insurance (MI) for a low-down-payment loan with no mortgage insurance.

  • FHA for up to 99% financing with a credit score of 620 or above.

  • USDA loan for manufactured housing up to 10 years old.

Talking to a lender, preferably at least a couple, will get you started. Lenders affiliated with Virginia Housing know all the ins and outs and can help you navigate the process. Why talk to more than one? Because terms, interest rates and even customer engagement can vary from lender to lender. It’s satisfying to find someone you like to work with who also looks out for your best interests.

Visit for details on any Virginia Housing program. Here are lenders that participate in Virginia Housing loan programs.

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