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West Virginia First-Time Homebuyer Programs

First-time homebuyers in West Virginia have several local resources that can help make buying a home a reality. The West Virginia Housing Development Fund, a state agency, offers affordable mortgage loans to finance the purchase of a home through its Homeownership and Movin’ Up programs. To participate, homebuyers must live in West Virginia and plan on buying a home in the state. Both programs also offer down payment and closing cost loans if needed.

In this guide, we’ll look at both general information for West Virginia buyers and specific details on each mortgage program:

West Virginia first-time homebuyer programs

First-time homebuyers in West Virginia can apply for help in buying a home through the West Virginia Housing Development Fund (WVHDF), a government group that partners with lenders and nonprofit agencies throughout the state to help increase homeownership levels for low- and moderate-income residents.

The fund offers two major programs: Homeownership and Movin’ Up. Homeownership is solely for first-time homebuyers, while Movin’ Up can be used by is aimed at existing homeowners, but first-time homebuyers can use it, too.

To see the most recent interest rates for WVHDF loans, go here.

Homeownership

The Homeownership program is targeted solely at lower income, first-time homebuyers.

Features

  • Offers affordable, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages
  • Can be used to finance up to 100% of purchase price
  • Also offers help with down payment and closing costs
  • Accepts all mortgage insurance types, including from FHA, VA, USDA and private mortgage insurers

Eligibility

  • Gross income can’t exceed the income limits in the county where the home is being purchased
  • House being purchased must not exceed county house price limits
  • Homebuyer education/counseling is required on conventionally insured or uninsured loans
  • Properties can’t exceed five acres
  • Eligible properties: single-family homes; townhomes; units in approved, planned-unit developments or condominiums; new, multi-sectional manufactured homes

How it works

To calculate your income eligibility for this loan, you’ll need to include the income of anyone listed on the note and/or taking title to the property.

Also, you’ll need to make sure you haven’t owned a principal residence during the three years before your loan closes if you plan to buy in the following counties: Barbour, Berkeley, Boone, Brooke, Cabell, Greenbrier, Hancock, Harrison, Jefferson, Kanawha, Marion, Marshall, Mason, Mercer, Monongalia, Morgan, Ohio, Putnam, Raleigh or Wood. This restriction doesn’t apply if you are buying a residence in a targeted area (outside of the counties above) or if you are an eligible veteran under the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008.

For help paying down payment or closing costs, the program offers up to $7,500 for loans with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio greater than or equal to 90% of the purchase price and up to $10,000 for loans with a loan-to-value ratio less than 90% of the purchase price.

To find the homebuyer course and counseling help you’ll need for this loan, go to the list provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Counseling can also be done through your mortgage insurance provider.

If the Homeownership program seems like a good fit, the next step is to contact the WVHDF office at (304) 391-8600 (Charleston) or (304) 622-5621 (Bridgeport) or through the website. The interest rate on a Homeownership loan was recently 4.625%.

Movin’ Up

Features

  • Affordable, fixed-rate mortgages aimed at moderate-income buyers
  • Also offers help with down payment or closing costs
  • More lenient income limits than for a Homeownership loan
  • Accepts all mortgage insurance types, including from FHA, VA, USDA and private mortgage insurers

Eligibility

  • Household income limits still apply
  • Homebuyer education/counseling is required on conventionally insured or uninsured loans
  • Eligible properties: single-family structures; townhomes; units in approved, planned-unit developments or condominiums; new, multi-sectional manufactured homes
  • Unlike the Homeownership program, no acreage limit

How it works

The Movin’ Up loan is mainly targeted at moderate-income homeowners who may have outgrown their current home or are looking to buy a new one. But it’s also an option for first-time homebuyers whose incomes are too high to qualify for the Homeownership program.

If you live in either a one or two-person household, your income limit is $113,760; the limit is $132,720 for a household of three or more.

For help paying for a down payment or closing costs, the Movin’ Up program offers up to $5,000 for loans with a loan-to-value ratio greater than or equal to 90% of the purchase price and up to $8,000 for loans with a loan-to-value ratio less than 90% of the purchase price.  The interest rate on a Movin’ Up loan was recently 5%.

Prospective or current homeowners who are interested in the Movin’ Up program can call the WVHDF office at (304) 391-8600 in Charleston or (304) 622-5621 in Bridgeport or contact the organization through its website.

National first-time homebuyer programs

For West Virginia residents looking to buy their first home, it’s worth looking into the resources provided by the state’s housing development fund, which may be able to provide access to better mortgage interest rates and help with down payment and closing costs.

Residents can also access a variety of national programs. These programs include FHA loans, VA loans and the USDA Direct Loan (Section 502) program, which may be able to help rural residents who live in eligible areas. Habitat for Humanity also has local chapters in the state.

First-time homebuyers also may be eligible for federal financial assistance programs, which can offer access to tax grants or a down payment grant. Assistance is available from the HUD Dollar Homes program, the FHA Good Neighbor Next Door program and the Fannie Mae HomePath ReadyBuyer program.

To learn more about these programs and other aspects of first-time homebuying, check out the LendingTree guide.

 

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