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Grants for First Time Home Buyers

What you need to know and how to get a grant?

Owning a home is the American dream. Often, though, it can be difficult raising the funds that are necessary to make that dream a reality. Fortunately, there are programs that can help couples (or singletons, for that matter) make the move from renting to home ownership. There are loan options for first-time buyers in Orange County, California, and even better, home ownership grants. The difference between a loan and a grant is, of course, that a grant doesn't have to be repaid – and who doesn't like free money?

Where to Start

Grants for first time home buyers are outright gifts of money that can come from either government or private enterprise. Essentially, all you have to do is fill out the forms, and if you qualify, the money is yours. Most grants are intended to assist first-time home owners with down payments or with closing costs, but there are also a few programs that offer grants for other purposes. A bit of vigorous Googling can yield valuable information about grants for first time buyers, but you need to be wary of websites that are "dated" – simply stated, first time home buyers grants can come and go, so what was available last year could be a dead end this year.

HUD Assistance

One of the better places to seek out grant assistance is the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD doesn't give money directly to buyers - rather, they give it to various organizations, and then some of it is allocated to first-time buyers. The HUD website has a wealth of information that can help you throughout the process of buying your first home. As a matter of fact, it can provide resources that are helpful to any home buyer, so if at some point you're considering "trading up," it's still a great resource.

A significant amount of the funds that HUD provides goes towards home buying programs under the state and local umbrellas. Programs vary from state to state, but every state has access to grants for first time home buyers. Programs can also be county and city specific, so check out what's available in the community where you're planning to live.

Qualifying

Federal grants for first time home buyers require that the potential owner attend a house counseling class that's been approved by HUD. The goal is to ensure that the person who is applying for the grant is likely to qualify for a mortgage, and also likely to have the financial ability to keep up with the mortgage payments once it's approved. The classes aren't difficult – it's just a process of learning the basics of household budgeting or home economics.

The Final Word

Buying your first home in Orange County, California is exciting, but it's a commitment that can also seem a bit intimidating. There is help available, though in the form of federal grants for first time home buyers. Your real estate agent and ARBOR can help guide you in the right direction when it comes to finding the assistance that might be available to you. Don't hesitate to contact one of our licensed agents for more assistance with grants for first time home buyers.