Buying a home can be exciting but challenging. Seeking financial assistance through a first-time homebuyer program in New Hampshire can help ease the process. MoneyGeek highlights the first-time homebuyer programs available in the state so you can choose the best option for your situation.
What Is a First-Time Homebuyer Program & How Can It Help?
When you finance a home purchase, the amount you pay upfront is called the mortgage down payment. The down payment amount affects the type of mortgage and amount you qualify for. Generally, smaller down payments mean higher monthly payments.
Not everyone can afford to save enough for a 20% down payment. Thankfully, first-time New Hampshire homebuyers can access several programs to help them purchase a home. These include government-supported loans, state-specific programs, down-payment support and below-market purchase programs.
Eligibility for each homebuyer program varies. For example, VA loans are only available to those with military affiliations. In New Hampshire, certain homebuyer programs are exclusively available to state residents.
MoneyGeek’s guide to first-time homebuyer programs for New Hampshire residents can help you select the most suitable one for your needs.
Zero-Down-Payment Loan Programs
Zero-down-payment loans allow you to get a mortgage with no down payment at closing. Loan programs that don’t require a down payment include VA and USDA loans.
USDA home loans, offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, provide financial support to low-to-moderate income homebuyers in rural areas. The program has three different types of funding programs:
- Direct Loan Program: Offers direct loans to low- and very-low-income applicants.
- Guaranteed Rural Housing Loan: Provides loans to low- and moderate-income applicants through private lenders.
- Home Repair Program: Helps homeowners finance home repairs, improvements and modernizations.
Applicants receive financial assistance at significantly low rates and do not need down payments.
Eligibility for the direct home USDA loan in New Hampshire includes an adjusted income that falls below the applicable low-income limit for the state. In addition, the property should be at most 2,000 square feet, with a market value within the area's loan limit and not intended for commercial use.
Private lenders issue VA loans in New Hampshire guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. VA loans are one of the most renowned financial assistance benefits those in the military enjoy. Eligible applicants include military members, veterans and family members who meet the loan requirements.
VA loans don’t require a down payment, which makes them an attractive alternative to traditional home loans. They also feature fewer eligibility requirements than other loan programs, although you must have a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) before applying.
The different types of VA loans include:
- Native American Direct Loan (NADL)
- Home purchase loan
- Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL)
- Cash-out refinance loan
Low-Down-Payment Loan Programs
Low-down-payment programs allow first-time homebuyers to purchase a house with a down payment of less than 20%. Conventional loans and FHA loans belong in this category.
Fannie and Freddie (Conventional) Loans
Private lenders offer conventional home loans to first-time home buyers in New Hampshire with flexible terms and applicant requirements. They are preferable to other loan types since they are widely available and feature low interest rates.
Unlike USDA and VA loans, buyers can use Fannie and Freddie conventional loans to purchase rental properties and vacation homes, as well as personal property.
Your loan may be conforming or non-conforming. A conforming conventional loan meets Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae requirements, whereas a non-conforming loan or jumbo loan deviates from these requirements.
Note that the down payment percentage may vary considerably between lenders. You will need to compare rates to find the best lender for you. In addition, most lenders will require private mortgage insurance to protect themselves if you default on the loan.
Federal Housing Administration loan programs from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are available to home buyers through private lenders.
HUD does not offer FHA loans directly. Instead, private lenders, such as mortgage companies, credit unions and other financial institutions, offer FHA loans and require lower credit scores and down payments than conventional loan programs.
Maximum loan amounts differ depending on the lender and application area.You can use HUD's online tool to determine your maximum loan amount. Payment terms are 15 or 30 years, and homebuyers need proof of mortgage insurance.
FHA 203(k) loans include a home purchase amount and a separate amount for home renovation. FHA 203(k) loans may be ideal for those interested in getting an older property that needs work.
An FHA 203(k) loan covers various rehabilitation expenses, such as structural alterations and reconstruction, elimination of health and safety hazards, modernization, reconditioning or replacing plumbing and accessibility improvements.
Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements for the loan amount and type of property. Two types of FHA 203((k) loans you may find in New Hampshire include:
- Standard 203(k) loans for extensive home repairs with no maximum limit.
- Streamlined 203(k) for minor home repairs with a $35,000 limit.
Zero-down-payment loans: Offer reduced rates but may be difficult to qualify.
USDA loans: Require low-to-moderate income and a rural property purchase.
VA loans: Limited to active military members, veterans, and eligible family members. Loans require a Certificate of Eligibility.
Conventional loans: Rates vary based on property type, loan amount and down payment percentage.
FHA loans: Are sold through private lenders and feature friendlier credit scores and down payment requirements.
FHA 203(k) loans: Feature restrictions on the type of property, loan amount and repair projects.
New Hampshire Homebuyer Programs
Aside from federal loans, you can also take advantage of state-specific first-time homebuyer programs in New Hampshire to realize the dream of purchasing your first home.
Home Flex Plus
Home Flex Plus offers New Hampshire first-time homebuyers cash assistance of 2–3% of the principal loan. You can use the cash for payments or closing costs, and the repayment term is 30 years.
Home First is a Mortgage Revenue Bond program that offers first-time homebuyers reduced-rate mortgages and the option to add $10,000 in down payment assistance. Applicants must meet the income criteria for the town or city where the property is located.
FAQs About First-Time Homebuyer Programs in New Hampshire
MoneyGeek answered common questions about first-time homebuyer programs in New Hampshire to help buyers make the best decision for their needs.
- New Hampshire Housing. "Our Mortgage Programs." Accessed September 26, 2022.
- NHHFA.org. "FactsSheet-HF-Plus." Accessed September 26, 2022.
- Rural Development. "Single Family Housing Direct Home Loans in New Hampshire." Accessed September 26, 2022.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Grants and Loans." Accessed September 26, 2022.
- VA.gov. "VA Home Loan Types." Accessed September 26, 2022.