West Virginia First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2021

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By NerdWallet 
Edited by Alex Richards
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The West Virginia Housing Development Fund facilitates home loans with favorable interest rates for West Virginia residents, and can make the dream of a no-down-payment mortgage come true.

Also check out federal loan programs offering first-time home buyers low down payments and easier qualifying as you look into WVHDF options.

National first-time home buyer programs

A good starting point is to investigate the low- or no-down-payment loans available from these federally backed mortgage programs.

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.

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WVHDF highlights and eligibility requirements

These WVHDF programs are for first-time home buyers and other West Virginia residents. A first-time buyer is defined as not having had an ownership interest in a home during the past three years. An exception to that ownership-interest requirement is available in certain counties or if you're an eligible veteran.

Additional details vary by program, but here are some basics:

Highlights

  • WVHDF offers 30-year fixed-rate home loans.

  • Offers down payment and closing cost assistance up to $10,000 in the form of a separate, low-interest loan.

Eligibility

  • County limits apply to a borrower's household income.

  • The purchase price of the home must comply with local guidelines.

  • A home buyer education course is required.

WVHDF first-time home buyer programs

Homeownership Program

Best for:

Low down payment, down payment assistance, closing cost assistance

What do you need to know:

This program offers 30-year fixed-rate mortgages to first-time home buyers, borrowers in targeted counties and qualified veterans. With down payment and closing cost assistance, up to 100% can be financed for purchases of new or existing single-family homes, as well as condos, townhomes and manufactured homes. Income, purchase price and acreage limits apply, and home buyer education is required.

Movin’ Up Loan Program

Best for:

Low down payment, down payment assistance, closing cost assistance

What you need to know:

Designed for borrowers with moderate incomes, Movin’ Up does not have a first-time buyer requirement. Home buyers who have outgrown their residences or who are looking for a change can purchase new or existing single-family homes, condos, townhomes and manufactured homes. Down payment and closing cost assistance is available. Income limits apply, and home buyer education is required.

USDA 502 Direct Loan Program

Best for:

Rural, low-income borrowers, no down payment

What you need to know:

For low- and very-low-income borrowers looking to buy in rural areas of West Virginia, this program allows 100% financing — and monthly payment assistance. Eligibility factors determine the amount of the subsidy you might receive. Income limits apply, and there are specific guidelines for the property being financed, such as being 2,000 square feet or less and without an in-ground swimming pool.

Down Payment/Closing Cost Assistance Program

Best for:

Low down payment, down payment assistance, closing cost assistance

What you need to know:

This program offers $7,500 in a separate, very low fixed-rate 15-year loan to apply to closing costs if your down payment is 10% or less. If your loan-to-value is less than 90% of the purchase price — meaning you can put down more than 10% — you can borrow up to $10,000 in closing cost assistance. Assistance is slightly less when combined with the Movin’ Up program.

Summary: West Virginia first-time home buyer programs

  • Homeownership Program offers 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for first-time home buyers.

  • Movin’ Up Loan Program offers down payment and closing cost assistance to buyers who have outgrown their homes or are looking for a change.

  • The USDA 502 Direct Loan Program allows no down payment and provides payment assistance.

  • The Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance program offers low-interest-rate loans to help you clear the upfront money hurdle.

These programs are implemented by WVHDF authorized lenders. For full details on any program, visit the WVHDF website.

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