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Arizona First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2019

Dec. 17, 2018
Finding the Right Mortgage, Mortgages
Arizona First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2018
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Arizona boasts stunning views and generally mild winters, making it a place many people want to call home. Taking advantage of programs for first-time home buyers offered through the Arizona Industrial Development Authority, or AZIDA, via the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH), may help you purchase a home in the Grand Canyon State sooner than you think.

Home loan programs offered nationally, by a wide variety of lenders, also have features that could help you qualify for a mortgage. Browse a variety of loan and assistance options for first-time home buyers below.

National first-time home buyer loans

First-time home buyers sometimes have trouble finding a mortgage because of credit history issues or because they don’t have extra money for a down payment. That’s where these national loan programs — available to borrowers in all 50 states — may come in handy.

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

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


VA loans

National program

Best for


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


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

Arizona first-time home buyer loan programs

Arizona’s Home Plus mortgage program is specifically designed to help people become homeowners. Over 90% of participants in the Home Plus program are first-time home buyers, though owning real estate now or in the past doesn’t necessarily disqualify you, Dirk Swift, the program administrator, said in an email.

Home Plus highlights and eligibility requirements


  • Down payment and closing cost assistance
  • Reduced mortgage insurance premiums


  • Property must be located in Arizona and not exceed purchase price limit
  • Borrower must occupy the home as a primary residence
  • Borrower must meet income and credit score requirements
  • Home buyer education course required
  • Some mortgage types not available in certain counties

» MORE: 25 tips for first-time home buyers

Home Plus loan

State program

Review ADOH lenders

at NerdWallet

Best for

Down payment assistance

Closing cost assistance

Low mortgage insurance

What you need to know

This program combines 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages with financial assistance for your down payment or closing costs. Qualified applicants can receive up to 5% of the loan’s principal balance — depending on the mortgage type — in the form of a deferred, no-interest second mortgage. You don’t need to

Your next step

Now that you’re familiar with the basics of what an Arizona Home Plus loan is and how it works, it’s time to take the next step.

For full details and eligibility requirements of this loan program, visit the Arizona Department of Housing website.

If you think a Home Plus mortgage may be right for you, then it’s time to select a lender. AzIDA, which doesn’t review applications or lend money, relies on a network of participating lenders throughout the state. A link to a list of participating lenders can be found on the Home Plus page. These lenders may have additional rules about income limits, credit scores and the types of property that are eligible for a Home Plus mortgage, so the only way to know for sure whether you qualify is to contact them.

» MORE: See the best Arizona mortgage lenders

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