Tips for First-Time Home Buyers in Ohio

If you are living in Ohio but have never bought a home, this is the article for you! 

Many people think they could never buy a home, especially if they have never bought one before. However, there are plenty of programs to help people just like you, to get their very own home! 

National First-Home Buyer Programs

There are national and state mortgage programs that are made to make home ownership more affordable. 

Conventional Mortgage: 

  • Best for low down payments and limited mortgage insurance premiums
  • Can put as little down as 3% – if mortgage meets requirements set by Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac
  • Putting at least 20% down means that buyers won’t have to pay mortgage insurance 

FHA Loans:  

  • Best for low credit score & low down payment 
  • Federal Housing Administration allows down payments as low as 3.5% for people with good credit (580 or higher)
  • Insured loans for borrowers with scores of 500 – but needs a 10% down payment 

VA Loans: 

  • Best for military & low down payment
  • Assists service members, veterans & their families to buy homes
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Little or no down payment or mortgage insurance required

USDA Loans: 

  • Best for low down payments – USDA loan is a zero-down-payment mortgage 
  • Rural and suburban home buyers 
  • Loan issued by U.S. Department of Agriculture through the USDA Rural Development

State Loans

The state of Ohio offers a loan specifically for people who live in the state, to help citizens of the state in particular. 

OHFA Loan 

  • The state loan through the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) 
  • Helps with a fixed-rate loan for 30 years 
  • First time buyers are the only people eligible for this loan, however people who have not owned a home for more than three years are also eligible, as they are considered “first time buyers” after three years have passed
  • Down payment assistance can be forgivable after seven years 

The OHFA Loan is only available to some people who meet certain requirements: 

  • People who have a credit score of 640 or higher 
  • Have to participate in home buyer education 

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