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Louisiana First-Time Homebuyer Programs

Louisiana offers many programs to help first-time buyers. Together, the programs offer down payment and closing cost assistance, mortgage interest tax credits, a mortgage insurance reduction and state loans that let buyers borrow above the loan limits set by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The only requirement is that you must be a resident of the state. Residents of select parishes can also tap loans requiring no minimum credit score as well as down payment assistance in the form of a second mortgage loan.

In this guide, we’ll cover the following topics and programs:

Louisiana first-time homebuyer programs

Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) is the state organization that administers multiple statewide programs for helping first-time homebuyers. It also runs programs specific to residents of particular parishes, Louisiana’s version of what other states call “counties.”

Eligibility for Louisiana assistance

For most of the programs described below, eligibility is basically the same. Once they’ve been determined to be eligible, buyers work directly with an approved lender to see if they pre-qualify for a loan, which means a credit report check. The lender determines loan limits and buying price maximums. The buyer searches for a home with a realtor and, once an offer has been submitted, the lender will reserve Louisiana Housing Corporation assistance funds and help the buyer complete their purchase.

To see if the program you’re interested in has more specific requirements, continue reading below. Your program may, for example, come with income limits as well as a maximum price for your new home.

Mortgage Revenue Bond (MRB) Home

Features

  • Down payment or closing cost assistance for 5% to 9% of the purchase price
  • Low, below-market mortgage rates

Eligibility

  • Applicants must earn no more than 80% of area median income
  • Home price maximums apply ($271,164 in greater New Orleans or Baton Rouge)

To find an approved lender for this program, check here.

Mortgage Revenue Bond Assisted

Features

  • Down payment assistance and/or closing cost assistance of up to 4% of the mortgage amount
  • Assistance assumes the form of a second mortgage

Eligibility

  • Buyer must meet local income requirements
  • Purchase price must not exceed local maximums, which is $271,164 in the larger metro areas of New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Alexandria/Monroe

To find an approved lender for this program, check here.

Market Rate GNMA

Features

  • Down payment, closing costs, and/or prepaid items assistance of up to 4% of purchase price
  • No origination fees on mortgage loan
  • Additional bond or compliance documents not required
  • 30-year, fixed-rate loan in the form of an FHA, VA or USDA Rural Development mortgage

Eligibility

  • Credit score minimum is 640
  • Income limit: 115% of area median income
  • Property must be a single-family home
  • Not limited to first-time homebuyers

To determine eligibility for this program, check here. As with other LHC assistance programs, buyers will need to work with an approved lender.

LHC Preferred Conventional

Features

  • Assistance with down payments, closing costs and purchasing prepaid items, in any combination, up to 4% of the purchase price
  • Reduced mortgage insurance
  • No origination or discount fees
  • Bond and compliance documentation not required

Eligibility

  • First-time buyers must complete homebuyer education course
  • Maximum home loan is $417,000
  • 640 minimum credit score
  • Income maximum of $99,000
  • Property purchased must be single-family or duplex
  • Loan-to-value (LTV) requirements: 97% for single-family, 95% for duplex

Assuming income qualifications are satisfied, buyers interested in this LHC program work directly with an approved lender.

LHC Choice Conventional

Features

  • Down payment, closing costs or prepaid items assistance up to 4% of purchase price
  • Additional assistance up to 2%, based on income
  • Access to lower mortgage insurance requirements through the HFA Advantage Mortgage Insurance program
  • No origination or discount fees required
  • Reserves not required

Eligibility

  • Not limited to first-time buyers, but first-timers must complete homebuyer education course
  • Minimum 640 credit score
  • Income maximum of $99,000
  • $424,100 maximum loan amount
  • Must be a single-family, primary residence
  • 97% LTV required
  • 30-year mortgage

Assuming the $99,000 maximum income qualification has been met, buyers work with an approved lender. To determine eligibility for the additional 2% assistance offered through this program, buyers may check local income limits here.

LHC Advantage

Features

  • Helps lower mortgage insurance rates but offers no down payment or closing cost assistance
  • Possible cash assistance ($1,500 to $2,500) through Freddie Mac if the borrower is within 50% to 80% of area median income

Eligibility

  • Maximum $99,000 income
  • 97% LTV required

Even if you don’t need help with down payments or closing costs, you might need help with mortgage insurance for your particular loan, and this program can help reduce insurance costs.

Here’s an example: If you were to buy a $170,000 home and put 5% down, LHC estimates you might save up to $114 a month on your total mortgage payment — a savings of more than 10%. Savings will vary by interest rate, home price and other factors, but this example offers an idea of how this program might help you.

Delta 100

Features

  • Offers up to 100% mortgage financing
  • 30-year, fixed-interest rate of 2%
  • Assistance covering closing costs or prepaid items up to 3%
  • No mortgage insurance required

Eligibility

  • First-time homebuyer education required
  • $242,000 maximum loan amount
  • No minimum credit score
  • Buyer must pay the lesser of $1,500 or 1% of the purchase price
  • Applicants must earn no more than 80% of area median income, based on location and household size, and no more than $99,000
  • Buyers must purchase property in the Delta region parishes: Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, East Carroll, Franklin, Madison, Morehouse, Pointe Coupee, Richland, Tensas, West Carroll and Ouachita (excluding metro Monroe)

Here are the approved lenders who work with the Delta 100 program.

Mortgage credit certificate

Features

  • Mortgage tax credit of up to 40% of annual mortgage interest payments, up to $2,000 per year
  • Credit is good for the life of the loan, provided buyer(s) remain primary occupants of the home purchased
  • Home purchase must be in designated areas
  • Can be used along with LHC’s down payment assistance programs

Eligibility

  • Buyers must be low-to-moderate-income, first-time homebuyers; income defined by household size and outlined here.
  • Veterans may also be eligible.
  • Buyers must adhere to purchase price limits here.
  • Buyers using the MCC program must file IRS Form 8396 with annual federal tax returns.

To see if your incomes qualifies you for this program, check here.

Soft Second

Features

  • Funding in the form of a second home loan for up to 20% of a home’s purchase price, up to $30,000
  • Additional closing cost assistance, up to $5,000
  • Second loan repayments decline over time, with required 100% payments for first three years, then a gradual decline to zero at five years

Eligibility

  • First-time buyers
  • Single parents or displaced homemakers who only owned a home with a former spouse
  • Household income maximum no more than 80% of area maximum
  • Buyers must buy a home in the Gustav/Ike or Isaac designated parishes

LHC asks anyone interested in the Soft Second program to contact their offices through the web form here.

National first-time homebuyer programs

First-time homebuyers can also tap several national loan programs through agencies such as the FHA, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the VA. These loan programs require minimum credit scores, carry purchase price maximums and generally require that the buyer’s choice of home is ready for immediate occupancy. For more details about the benefits and the variety of national programs for first-time buyers, LendingTree offers this guide.

 

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