Profile picture for jamie3j

Who is the best person to help me find down payment assistance? The lender or the real estate agent?

My husband and I are needing to move within the next month or two, we just got married so we don't have much left in savings and we have been renting from one of his family members. We are having trouble finding a rental house in the area we want but there is a great number of houses for sale. We need down payment assistance but I am not sure where to start to get it.
  • November 17 2011 - Hurst
  • 0
    0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

 
 

Answers (14)

Profile picture for hpvanc
Don't let anyone push you into a situation where you feel rushed on a financial decision of this magnitude.  High numbers of houses for sale and a low number of rentals available seems like it would be a lose/lose market for buyers.  Lot's of owners want out, but not at a price that will attract owner occupiers or investor landlords, something has to give.  A rental is temporary and can usually be leased for under a year, while I know moving is a pain, in your situation it sounds like it would be better to keep your options open for both personal and financial reasons.
  • November 18 2011
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Connie Klemme
Jamie
I encourage you to read the links Dan provided. There's some great info there.
  • November 18 2011
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for the_country_hick
Jamie, "I actually think I have family members talking me into this being the best option even though I keep repeating to them that we are not ready to buy."

The next time they tell you you need to buy now say "fine, all I need is $10,000 for a down payment, You will give me that right?" That should put an end to them badgering you about this. They want to push you to do something but I am positive they do not want to give, and probably do not have the $10,000 for your down payment.

The problem buying a house is not paying for the house. The real problem is paying to keep the house. Between heating, electricity, taxes, insurance, and the dreaded repairs you can turn $5,000 into a single piece of white paper quickly and add another piece of paper for another loan to cover the rest of what you need to keep the house in working condition.

When you are looking at renting or buying use logic and numbers. Sometimes the logic the numbers gives says buying makes sense. Sometimes it says renting makes more sense. Other times it could say it does not make much difference which way you go.

Below are some blogs that should be helpful to you.

"How to determine what you can safely afford to pay towards your monthly mortgage payment. Lenders may give a different number. "

Reading this can give you a few things to say to your relatives about wahy you think renting is better at this time.
"Does it make more sense to buy, or to rent? Here is the way to find out for sure."
This one can five even more things to say.
"Why rent if you could buy for less money? Valid reasons inside."


This shows the only good way to get down payment assistance. You do it yourself. Once you sacrifice some things you want today to be able to buy a house tomorrow you will be developing some habits that make successful home ownership much more likely.
"How do I get a down payment to buy a house? The ideas below worked well for me. They could help you also."

The real catch buying a house is having some extra money left over after buying. If the house needs a $1,000 repair and then 2 months later needs another $1,000 repair you need to be able to handle that expense.
  • November 17 2011
  • 2Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for wetdawgs
jamie3j:  your thoughts are right on target.   Some families love to banter real estate, but hold your plan.   The two of you are the ones who will have to pay the mortgage, repairs, etc so the two of you are making the decision.  
  • November 17 2011
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for jamie3j
Thank you for the advice. My first option is not to rush into anything, I actually think I have family members talking me into this being the best option even though I keep repeating to them that we are not ready to buy. But it is good to know what is, or what isn't out there.
  • November 17 2011
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Both.  A good realtor can point you in the right direction, and let you know what programs are available in your area.  Not all lenders know how to implement the programs.  The perfect scenario is a good lender and a good realtor working together in your best interest.
  • November 17 2011
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Connie Klemme
keep in mind that down payment assistance comes with strings attached.   Often it is a requirement to live there X number of years otherwise you'll have to pay it back.   Keep that in mind while looking.  I wouldn't reccommend rushing into a house in these circumstances.  Just keep looking for the rental or look at the houses that are for sale and check into lease options on those.

Buying a house is a huge decision.  You don't want to kick start your marriage with a decision that wasn't well planned and not be able to sell later either because of the cost of paying back the assistance or because of the market condition and your lack of equity.
approach with caution.   that doesn't mean don't do it, but put more planning into it.  home ownership is EXPENSIVE.  It's great to own but only if you are ready.
  • November 17 2011
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for wetdawgs
You mentioned that you need to move in a month or two.   If you don't have a down payment saved up, then you may be putting house purchase into an emergency situation, which often leads to bad decisions.   Even if you had the down payment and the offer was submitted today, it may take a month or two to close on the house.  

There is no one source for down payment assistance programs.   At the moment, there are not many and the requirements are stringent, the paper work onerous and it takes time (often considerable time) for approval.

Don't make house purchase an emergency!  It is a very expensive decision to rush.

  • November 17 2011
  • 2Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

If you are looking in Hurst or right around it, you won't be able to use the USDA loan because it's for rural areas.  You would have to be in areas like Red Oak, Argyle, Haslet etc.  You get the idea.

There is a program that pays for your downpayment and closing costs called NACA.  They are however, very disorganized, and don't communicate, lose paperwork constantly and the process takes months.  They will require you to take some classes,  your income has to be pretty low etc.  They also want you to use their own inspectors and their own title company.

Because of this, many sellers will not accept any offer that involves NACA.

Not all lenders are aware of the programs available and not all Realtors stay on top of what is available.  The minimum downpayment to purchase a home is only 3.5%.  I highly recommend that you save up and keep renting.  It will make you a stronger buyer and give you more choices in homes.

Naima
  • November 17 2011
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Kat Nimmons
downpayment assist programs are almost nill today; however there is a program out for teachers, ems workers, nurses, single mom's, etc.,  that still offer assistance if your credit scores are good, and you have no pending debts that are in arrears or non-paid showing on your credit.
  • November 17 2011
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for BobDandi
I would definitely check into several governmental agencies, including your state's housing finance agencies as well as programs run by local cities that offer down payments in return for longer term residency commitments. For example, here in Pennsylvania, PHFA runs some great programs and the local cities run housing occupancy programs (called HOOP) which can offer down payments as well.

We are also big fans of USDA financing, too, as mentioned here previously. True zero percent down financing with flexible payments plans and longer than normal amortizations possible as well, in some case as long as 38 years. This longer amortization affords lower monthly payments which may help you get into a house sooner than you may thinking.
  • November 17 2011
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

As a lender I may know of different programs and the qualifications for them. If you have a realtor and a lender that can work together we would be able to find you a house and program that would work for your situation. Feel free to contact me thru here if you have any other questions for a lender.
  • November 17 2011
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for amandathomas
Hi Jamie,

A good Realtor may be able to refer you to assistance programs sponsored at a city or county level in your area.

There are some lending options available that provide 100% LTV (no downpayment) financing.

USDA loans are available for qualifying properties.

You may also want to investigate NACA as an option for lending. (See nacalynx.com)... Through NACA, buyers can secure 100% LTV, no closing costs, no fees, and perfect credit is not required. 

  • November 17 2011
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Check with both, but also do independent research. Check with your city/county and see if they have any programs. They seem to be few and far between due to budget crunches. Are you eligible for VA or looking in agricultural areas?

Also, check your credit before you get too much further in. Make sure purchasing is an option before you "sell" yourself on it.
  • November 17 2011
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.