With the booming housing market in Delaware, first-time homebuyers will find it more difficult than ever to purchase their first home.
The Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) has programs to help first-time homebuyers with down payment and closing cost assistance, save money on insurance, and get lower than market interest rates on a mortgage.
DSHA defines a first-time home buyer as someone who has not owned a home in the last three years.
National First-Time Homebuyer Loan Programs
FHA loans are government-backed home loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration. They require a 580 credit score with just a 3.5% down payment. Debt-to-income ratios up to 50% are allowed making them perfect for low-income borrowers.
Conventional loans are not guaranteed by the government but by private mortgage insurance companies and require a 620 credit score and a 5% to 20% down payment. If you have a 20% down payment mortgage insurance will not be required.
USDA mortgage loans are for low-to-median income borrowers buying a home located in a USDA-eligible rural area. They provide 100% financing with a 620 or higher credit score. Mortgage insurance is required but the rate is the lowest of any type of mortgage program available.
Veterans of the U.S. military may be eligible for a VA home loan. No down payment or mortgage insurance is required and veterans with a 580 to 620 credit score are eligible.
HomeReady and Home Possible Loans
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae created the HomeReady and Home Possible loan programs for low-income first-time homebuyers whose income does not exceed 100% of the area median income requiring just a 3% down payment and a 620 credit score.
DSHA Highlights and Eligibility Requirements
- Provides down payment and closing cost assistance
- A tax credit of up to $2,000 for first-time homebuyers
Household income must be at or below the income limits:
- New Castle County – 1-2 people: $115,920 – 3+ people: $144,900
- Kent & Sussex County – 1-2 people: $98,280 – 3+ people: $122,850
- 620 credit score required. (Borrowers with a 659 or lower credit score must attend housing counseling.)
- The maximum debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is 45% for borrowers with a FICO score under 700. No maximum DTI ratio for FICO scores of 700+.