Buying a home today can be incredibly expensive –real estate prices are at their highest point in years and only increasing. Combine that with wage stagnation and you see just one reason why the US is becoming a nation of renters, rather than homeowners.
However, owning your own home doesn’t have to be out of reach. There are a number of grant programs available that can make homeownership a reality for you.
The Good Neighbor Next Door Grant
This grant is a unique program that can offer up to 50% of the price of the home you’re considering. That’s a great deal of money, but it does come with quite a few strings attached.
•What Does It Do?
The Good Neighbor Next Door program is designed to make it more affordable to purchase a home, but only in specific areas. Usually, these are those that have been marked out by HUD as in need of revitalization, and often suffer from urban blight or rural abandonment. For qualifying borrowers, the program can pay up to 50% of the list price of the home.
•Who Is Eligible?
The program is only available to very specific individuals, including law enforcement officers, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), teachers, and firefighters. However, it is not limited to first-time homebuyers. In addition to professional requirements, there are also property requirements –the home must be listed by HUD as being eligible.
•Are There Limitations on Fund Usage?
Yes, the funds can only be used to purchase a home in a designated area. They cannot be used for any other purpose, including renovation, repair, etc.
•How Much Is Available in Grants?
There is not cap on this grant. It pays 50% of the list price of a qualifying home. However, it should be understood that these properties are usually low-priced due to the condition of the surrounding area and lack of competition. It should also be noted that bids for these properties must be submitted by a HUD-registered real estate broker, and cannot be submitted by individuals.
What Are the Limitations and Terms?
While this grant program can save you 50% on the cost of a home, there are limitations that you need to understand. First, you must agree to live in the home for no less than 36 months. Second, you must work with a HUD-registered real estate professional. Third, only specific properties already listed by HUD can be purchased –you are not free to choose any home you want. Finally, you still need to be able to take out a mortgage loan, which means you’ll need to meet lender criteria, have the appropriate down payment (depending on the mortgage loan you choose), and more.
•How Do You Apply for This Grant?
You can use the HUD Home Store to begin your search for eligible properties, but you will need to work with the appropriate real estate professional for the rest of the process.