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Wyoming First-Time Homebuyer Programs

Buying a house has long been a part of the American dream, but the costs can add up quickly.

If you are a first-time homebuyer in Wyoming, you may consider looking into the homebuying assistance offered by the state to put homeownership more easily within reach. These programs offer a number of options, such as helping buyers access lower-cost mortgages or getting a mortgage credit on their federal income taxes. Another option helps cover down payment and closing costs. In Wyoming, as in many other states, these various assistance programs can also often be combined.

In January 2019, we researched the latest information for first-time buyers in Wyoming. The following guide will help you navigate what we found.

Our guide covers the following:

Wyoming first-time homebuyer programs

In Wyoming, the Wyoming Community Development Authority (WCDA) is the state agency that offers special programs to first-time homebuyers. The programs have varying requirements, but the overall goal is to provide buyers access to more affordable mortgages, help meeting downpayment and closing costs, and financial education and counseling.

Eligibility for Wyoming assistance

To be eligible for a WCDA first-time homebuyer program, you must live in Wyoming and complete a homebuyer education class through Wyoming Housing Network Inc., a nonprofit organization that partners with WCDA to prepare residents for homeownership.

Most WCDA programs require residents to take both an online class and an in-person counseling session. To qualify for a first-time buyers program, you also must not have owned a primary residence within the previous three years. Limits on both family income and purchase price are also typical, depending on the county where you live.

The WCDA provides a list of purchase price and income limits on its website. To take advantage of a WCDA mortgage program, you will also need to apply for a loan with one of the participating lenders on this list.

Read on for more details on each WCDA program, including specific eligibility requirements. The programs are listed by name.

Standard First-Time Homebuyer

Features

  • Low, fixed-rate mortgages
  • Can be used with a separate WCDA down payment assistance program

Eligibility

  • Buyers must complete homebuyer education class
  • Purchase must be a primary residence
  • Purchase price can’t exceed county purchase price limits
  • Family income can’t exceed county income limits
  • Home must sit on no more than six acres of land

How it works

This program offers buyers more affordable mortgages. But when it’s combined with a separate WCDA product — Home$tretch Down Payment Assistance — buyers can also get help paying for a downpayment and closing costs. Borrowers who buy a WCDA-real-estate-owned property — homes that have foreclosed — may qualify for an even lower mortgage rate, the Home Again rate. Veterans and active-duty military borrowers may also qualify for a reduced rate.

Spruce Up Purchase and Rehabilitation

Features

  • One loan covers both the purchase and rehabilitation of the property
  • Low closing costs
  • Can be used with the Home$tretch Down Payment assistance program

Eligibility

  • Total cost of buying and rehabilitating the home can’t exceed first-time homebuying program purchase limits

How it works

With the Spruce Up Purchase and Rehabilitation program, one loan lets you both buy and renovate a property. The loan can be used for plumbing, heating, electrical, roofing and non-structural improvements. According to WCDA’s website, closing costs with a “single-close” loan like this may be lower than a construction or bridge loan or a home improvement financed with both a first and second mortgage.

Home$tretch Down Payment Assistance

Features

  • Down payment assistance
  • Maximum loan amount of $10,000
  • No monthly payment
  • Loan is due when house is sold, refinanced or paid off
  • 0% interest rate and 0.08% APR, based on a $5,500 loan

Eligibility

  • Minimum FICO score of 620
  • Borrower must contribute minimum of $1,500 to down payment (contribution can come from a gift)
  • Must be used with either the Standard First-Time Homebuyer loan or the Spruce Up Purchase and Rehabilitation program

How it works

The Home$tretch Down Payment Assistance loan lets consumers borrow up to $10,000 to help with down payment and closing costs. The loan must be repaid at the time a house is sold, refinanced or at the end of a 30-year maturity date.

Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)

Features

  • Federal income tax credit

Eligibility

  • Property must be borrower’s principal residence
  • Must be used with a home purchased through either the WCDA HFA-Preferred or Advantage program

How it works

First-time homebuyers can get a federal tax credit with this mortgage credit certificate program. The credit can be taken out over the life of the loan and is calculated based on the amount of mortgage interest paid. The actual amount varies based on a borrower’s individual tax situation. A tax professional can help you better understand how the credit might affect your overall finances.

Advantage

Features

  • Loan with no purchase price limit, but maximum loan limit can’t exceed FHA, VA or USDA Rural Development (RD) limits
  • May be used with the first-time homebuyer mortgage credit certificate program
  • FHA, VA and USDA RD financing can be used

Eligibility

  • Property must be borrower’s principal residence for minimum of one year
  • Property must be six acres or less
  • Minimum credit score of 620
  • $100,000 income limit for all counties and family sizes

How it works

The Advantage loan is aimed at both previous and first-time buyers who need help either buying or refinancing a home, and it may be a good option for first-timers whose household income is slightly higher than the local limits typically allowed for Standard First-Time Homebuyer loans.

HFA Preferred

Features

  • Loan with no purchase price limit, but maximum loan limit can’t exceed Fannie Mae limits
  • May be used with the mortgage credit certificate program

Eligibility

  • Property must be borrower’s principal residence for minimum of one year
  • Property must be six acres or less
  • Minimum credit score of 620

How it works

Like the Advantage loan, the HFA Preferred loan is available to both first-time buyers and previous owners. It may be a good option for first-time homebuyers who want to purchase a property that exceeds the purchase limits in their areas. However, income limits do apply and are the same as for the Standard First-Time Homebuyer loan. The HFA Preferred loan can be used with the mortgage credit certificate program for first-time homebuyers. A similar HFA Preferred loan can help with mortgage insurance costs, too.

National first-time homebuyer programs

If Wyoming doesn’t offer you the kind of buying assistance you need, consider one of the nationwide programs available for buyers who have lower credit scores or who need more generous down payment options. Read more about these national programs in our general guide to first-time homebuyer programs.

 

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