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First-Time Homebuyers Eligible For $5,000 In Down Payment Assistance

Earlier this week, Sarah Carpenter of the Vermont Housing Finance Agency discussed their new program that will provide down-payment assistance to first time homebuyers on VPR:

First-time home buyers in Vermont are getting some help with the expenses that come with buying a house. Legislation signed by Gov. Peter Shumlin last week includes up to $5,000 for closing costs and down payments. That program will be administered by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency, but VHFA doesn’t directly lend money to homebuyers. Instead, they work with participating lenders like credit unions and community banks. “They’ll go into one of those institutions, be qualified for one of the VHFA programs and it would be there that they’ll get the down-payment assistance”, said VHFA executive director Sarah Carpenter. The down payment assistance money will be paid back as a zero interest loan when the home is sold or refinanced. Low and moderate income Vermonters who make up to $100,000 qualify for the VHFA programs. “We understand that many working families are in that range searching for a home,” Carpenter said. “What we’re seeing these days is just an increase in closing cost fees, down payment requirements and for a lot of home buyers, especially young families, saving that cash is very difficult. They’ve got student loans to pay, they’re paying high rents, so it’s a real sort of cash flow problem, getting the cash up front to buy that first home is very problematic,” Carpenter said, adding that VHFA sees many eligible homebuyers still renting apartments.

For the full report, including audio, click here.

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