Five loan programs you need to know as a new homebuyer [Partner]


Owning a home can be thrilling. You think of all the ways you’ll decorate your living room and what kind of parties you’ll throw for friends on your new back patio.

But there’s one little thing — well, unfortunately not that little. It’s hard to save for a large down payment to actually buy your dream house. In fact, it seems downright daunting.

Thankfully, there are several loan programs available for first-time homebuyers with low down payment requirements, down payment assistance, low rates, no PMI (private mortgage insurance) and other great benefits.

Here are several of them that you can check out now:

NC Housing Finance Agency. This agency offers several programs if you meet certain income and purchase limits. One of their programs is great for anyone purchasing in Mecklenburg or Cabarrus counties: The $15,000 down payment assistance program gives purchasers a zero-interest, five-year loan forgivable 20 percent for each year you stay in the house, up to 100 percent.

NC Home Advantage Mortgage Program and Mortgage Credit Certificate. Even if you don’t qualify for the $15,000 downpayment assistance, you still may qualify for the Housing Finance Agency’s NC Home Advantage Mortgage Program or a Mortgage Credit Certificate. The Mortgage Credit Certificate lets qualified buyers claim a federal tax credit on 30 percent of the interest paid on your home, while the Home Advantage Program provides down payment assistance for up to 5 percent of the loan amount. The loan only has to be repaid if the house is sold before 15 years, and a percentage may be forgiven if it’s sold before that.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership’s HouseCharlotte Program. This program provides forgivable loans to families with household income that’s 110 percent or less of the HUD Area Median Income. The home must be in the City of Charlotte or in a designated HouseCharlotte-eligible Neighborhood Profile Area.

BB&T’s Community Homeownership Incentive Program (CHIP) loans. This one targets buyers with household income that’s 100 percent of the Area Median Income in the area where the property is located. Loans can be as high as $424,100 for qualified buyers, only require a 3 percent down payment and have no PMI.

Movement Mortgage’s Movement Assistance Program. This offers qualified buyers 97 percent financing and up to 3 percent of the sales price as a grant that doesn’t need to be repaid.

These are just a handful of the programs available to first time homebuyers.  Be sure to ask your preferred lender about their own programs for new buyers!

More information: Learn more about the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association and why Realtors Make It Right.


  1. […] A down payment is what you pay at closing to become the owner of your new home. You are not expected to pay the entire price tag for a home, but rather a percentage. There are lots of downpayment calculators you can use to figure out what you can afford. The larger the downpayment, the lower the monthly mortgage payment, but a calculator can help you get a sense of what makes sense for your financial situation. It’s better to figure out what you can afford early on, rather than be stuck partway through the process. And for first time home buyers, there are lots of programs that offer down payment assistance. Habitat for Humanity, North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA), and HouseCharlotte are a few. (See this Charlotte Five article for more.) […]

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