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Delaware First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2019

June 21, 2019
Finding the Right Mortgage, Mortgages
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Buying a home is expensive, but first-time home buyers can use programs from the Delaware State Housing Authority, or DSHA, to put home ownership within reach.

First-time home buyers in Delaware can also take advantage of several national loan programs that feature relaxed credit score requirements or a lower minimum down payment. Explore all the options available for buying your first home in Delaware.

National first-time home buyer programs

Available through many mortgage lenders, these loans allow a lower credit score and smaller down payment, which can be helpful for first-time home buyers.

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

The USDA home loan program encourages rural and suburban homeownership by offering zero-down-payment mortgages to lower-income buyers. Borrowers with nontraditional credit data, like rent or utility payments, can still apply, but those with a score of 640 or above will experience faster loan

DSHA highlights and eligibility requirements

Qualified Delaware residents, including current homeowners, can use DSHA programs to make home buying more affordable.

» MORE: Tips for first-time home buyers

Highlights

  • Open to repeat and first-time home buyers.
  • All loans feature 30-year, fixed-rate terms.
  • Down payment and closing cost assistance available.
  • Tax credit available to first-time home buyers.

Eligibility

  • Household income and loan limits apply.
  • 620 minimum credit score.
  • Housing counseling required for some borrowers.

DSHA first-time home buyer loan programs

Preferred Plus loan

State program

Review DSHA Lenders

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Best for

Low mortgage rates

Down payment assistance

Closing cost assistance

What you need to know

This program helps buyers finance a home purchase in the state of Delaware. With a Preferred Plus loan, borrowers get a competitive interest rate on an FHA, VA, USDA or conventional mortgage. Borrowers who qualify for a Preferred Plus loan can also get help with their down payment and closing

 

First-time home buyer tax credit

State program

Review DSHA Lenders

at NerdWallet

Best for

Tax credits

What you need to know

This program provides a federal tax credit of up to $2,000 per year to buyers who haven’t owned a home in the past three years. Veterans and those who purchase in certain areas may be exempt from the three-year requirement. Borrowers using this tax credit may incur an application or issuance fee.

 

Summary: 2019 Delaware first-time home buyer programs

  • Preferred Plus loans with down payment and closing cost assistance.
  • An annual tax credit of up to $2,000 for first-time home buyers.

Now that you’ve been introduced to a few of the first-time home buyer programs available in Delaware, it’s time to take action. Visit the DSHA’s “kiss your landlord goodbye” website to get more details on how these programs can help you.

Keep in mind that DSHA doesn’t approve loans or lend money directly; it relies on a network of participating lenders for that. When you’re ready to apply, reach out to one of these lenders to get started.

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