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Alaska First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2019

June 27, 2019
Finding the Right Mortgage, Mortgages
alaska-first-time-home-buyer-programs
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Alaskans can get help from state programs when they take the leap into homeownership. The Alaska Housing Finance Corp., or AHFC, offers programs for first-time home buyers (and some repeat buyers). Three programs offer below-market interest rates, and others offer help with closing costs or to buyers of mobile homes.

Buyers may benefit, too, from nationally available mortgage programs with borrower-friendly down payment and credit score requirements. Explore options available to first-time home buyers in Alaska.

National first-time home buyer programs

These national loan programs are offered by most lenders and are designed to help borrowers who don’t have much saved for a down payment or need flexible credit standards.

Conventional mortgage

National program

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,

 

FHA loans

National program

Best for

Low credit score

Low down payment

What you need to know

Mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, offer relaxed qualification requirements, especially when it comes to down payment and credit score. You can qualify for an FHA home loan with a credit score as low as 500, but you’ll need a 10% down payment. If your score is 580 or

 

VA loans

National program

Best for

Military

Low down payment

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

 

USDA loans

National program

Best for

Low down payment

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

 

AHFC highlights and eligibility requirements

Anyone who hasn’t owned a primary residence in three years is classified by Alaska as a first-time home buyer. The following AHFC programs can make homeownership more affordable for first-timers. Some programs are open to repeat buyers, too.

» MORE: Tips for first-time home buyers

Highlights

  • Single-family homes, condominiums, common-interest community units and duplexes through fourplexes are allowed, as well as manufactured homes not permanently attached to a foundation.
  • Buyers who take AHFC’s free, in-person or online six-hour buyer course, HomeChoice, get a $250 closing credit if they choose an AHFC mortgage.
  • Qualified veterans may count as first-time home buyers in some cases.
  • AHFC single-family loans are usually assumable.
  • Available with conventional, FHA, VA, USDA and HUD Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee mortgages.

Eligibility

  • Must be an Alaska resident with qualifying credit.
  • Must be current on child support payments.
  • Must occupy the property within 60 days of loan closing.
  • May have only one AHFC loan on owner-occupied property.

Alaska first-time home buyer programs

 

Tax-Exempt First-Time Homebuyer Program

State program

Learn more

at AHFC

Best for

Low mortgage rates

What you need to know

This program offers a mortgage at a reduced interest rate for first-time home buyers in Alaska. The Tax-Exempt Program has limits on borrower income and the cost of the home. Those limits are higher in census tracts known as targeted areas.

 

Taxable First-Time Homebuyer Program

State program

Learn more

at AHFC

Best for

Low mortgage rates

What you need to know

Like the Tax-Exempt Program, this program offers a mortgage at a reduced interest rate for first-time home buyers in Alaska. However, there are no limits on borrower income or home costs.

 

Interest Rate Reduction for Low-Income Borrowers option

State program

Learn more

at AHFC

Best for

Low-income borrowers

What you need to know

First-time home buyers can reduce the mortgage interest rate by 0.5% or 1%, depending on family income. As the program's name says, income limits apply. The interest rate reduction applies to the first $180,000 of the loan; if the mortgage is for more than that, the rate is reduced according to a

 

Manufactured Home Program

State program

Learn more

at AHFC

Best for

Manufactured homes

What you need to know

This loan program is for mobile homes known as Type II manufactured homes, which are not attached to permanent foundations. The maximum loan amount is $175,000 when buying the land the home is on, and $100,000 when not buying land. Maximum mortgage terms vary from seven to 14 years, depending on

 

Closing Cost Assistance Program

State program

Learn more

at AHFC

Best for

Closing cost assistance

What you need to know

This program provides the home buyer 3% to 4% of the loan amount to pay for down payment, closing costs or prepaid items. In exchange, the interest rate is a little higher. The program is available to first-time or repeat buyers who get HUD Section 184, FHA, VA or USDA loans. The minimum credit

 

Summary: 2019 Alaska first-time home buyer programs

  • Tax-Exempt First-Time Homebuyer Program for below-market interest rate, with limits on income and home cost.
  • Taxable First-Time Homebuyer Program for below-market interest rate, without limits on income and home cost.
  • Interest Rate Reduction for Low-Income Borrowers option to reduce the interest rate on loans to first-time home buyers.
  • Manufactured Home Program to buy mobile homes that are not permanently attached to a foundation.
  • Closing Cost Assistance Program to help with closing costs.

Those are the state first-time home buyer programs available in Alaska. For more information, see the AHFC website. Loan decisions are made by the agency’s network of approved lenders; if you’ve found a program that suits you, contact a lender for more information.

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