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Vermont First-Time Homebuyer Programs

The prospect of buying your first home is exciting, but it can also be a stressful process. You have to manage house hunting, paperwork and the challenge of coming up with a down payment and other closing costs, among other things.

Help is available for new homebuyers, however.

If you are a buyer looking to purchase your first home in Vermont, the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) provides financial assistance as well as education classes and counseling.

Vermont first-time homebuyer programs

The VHFA offers several programs to help new buyers with their down payment and closing costs and assist with tax liability and mortgage insurance premium reductions.

Eligibility for Vermont assistance

For all loans that include down payment and closing cost assistance, borrowers must complete education and counseling sessions with a Vermont Homeownership Center. Education courses can be completed either online or in person, and all counseling sessions are conducted one-on-one.

ASSIST

Features

  • Provides homeowners with a maximum of $5,000 to use toward down payment and closing costs
  • Loan with no interest and no monthly payments
  • Works with banks, credit unions and mortgage companies that have been approved by the VHFA
  • Loan is repaid upon sale of home, refinancing mortgage or when mortgage is paid off

Eligibility

  • First-time homebuyers who have never owned a home
  • Liquid assets less then $30,000 (non-retirement assets)
  • Only available with a VHFA first mortgage

How it works

A VHFA participating lender must pre-qualify the borrower and accept the application. You can search for lenders here.

Advantage

Features

  • Low down payment
  • Can be paired with VHFA ASSIST down payment loan
  • Lower monthly mortgage insurance payments
  • Save a maximum of $825 on Vermont’s property transfer tax at closing
  • No points

Eligibility

  • Home must be primary residence
  • Maximum income of $100,000 for one to two owners, and maximum income of $125,000 for three or more owners
  • Maximum purchase price of $350,000 for a one- or two-unit property
  • Available to all homebuyers, not just first-timers

How it works

This program can be paired with the ASSIST down payment loan. You can search for lenders here.

Mortgage credit certificate

Features

  • Tax credit up to $2,000 to lower federal tax bill annually
  • Maximum of 30% of mortgage interest paid annually converted to a tax credit that can be used for the entire mortgage
  • Can be paired with other products offered by your lender

Eligibility

  • No first-time homebuyer requirement except in Addison, Bennington, Chittenden, Grand Isle and Windsor counties, where you can not have owned a home in the prior 36 months
  • Primary residence only
  • Income limit ranging from $79,500 to $110,000, depending on the county of the home and number of owners
  • Purchase limit ranging from $270,000 to $350,000, depending on the county of the home and if it is a one- or two-unit property

How it works

To get started with this program, contact a participating lender.

Move MCC

Features

  • VHFA first mortgage plus annual tax credit of up to $2,000
  • Low down payment
  • Low monthly mortgage insurance payments
  • Can be paired with VHFA ASSIST down payment assistance loan
  • Save up to $825 on Vermont’s property transfer tax at closing
  • Up to 30% of mortgage interest paid annually converted to a tax credit for entire mortgage
  • No points

Eligibility

  • Same eligibility requirements as the mortgage credit certificate program

How it works

To get started with this program, contact a participating lender.

Move

Features

  • Lowest available VHFA mortgage rate
  • Lower mortgage insurance payments
  • Low down payment
  • Can be combined with ASSIST program
  • Save up to $825 on Vermont’s property transfer tax at closing
  • No points

Eligibility

  • Same eligibility requirements as mortgage credit certificate and Move MCC programs

How it works

To get started with this program, contact a participating lender.

National first-time homebuyer programs

There are many national programs available to help first-time homebuyers through the FHA, USDA, VA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or private lenders. Several of these can be combined with state programs. Here is a general guide to first-time homebuyer programs.

 

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