Charlotte’s housing market is highly competitive at the moment, and home prices have been rising at a record pace, with the city seeing a 9 percent increase in median home value over the past year. If you’re hoping to buy your first home in Charlotte this year, there are plenty of financial and informational resources that could make homeownership more achievable. Here are a few of the local, state, and federal programs to look into: 

Local Resources 

Mecklenburg County offers a handful of home-buying programs to residents in the form of financing, down payment, and closing cost assistance. Here are just a few options:

  1. HouseCharlotte Program:

    Through this program, the city of Charlotte provides 5-, 10-, or 15-year deferred, forgivable loans to eligible applicants. The funds can be used for closing costs, a down payment, or an interest rate buydown, which is when a homebuyer pays an additional fee to reduce their mortgage interest rate.

  2. Community Heroes Homeownership Program:

    This program is for local first responders and public school teachers, and it offers up to $30,000 in down payment assistance for individual home purchases in the Charlotte area.

  3. HUD 100 Down Homes Charlotte:

    HUD homes are properties owned by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and this program provides financial incentives on HUD homes for sale in Charlotte and surrounding areas. The home must be purchased using FHA financing, and the homebuyer must agree to occupy the home for at least 12 months and pay up to 3 percent of the sales price in closing costs. 

State Resources 

North Carolina also offers programs for residents across the state in the form of forgivable loans, low-interest mortgages, and tax credits:

  1. NC Home Advantage Mortgage:

    This fixed-rate mortgage offers up to 5 percent down payment assistance for eligible applicants across the state.

  2. NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment:

    First-time homebuyers and military veterans who are eligible for an NC Home Advantage Mortgage might also be able to take advantage of $8,000 in down payment assistance through The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency.

  3. Community Partners Loan Pool:

    This program offers down payment assistance of up to 20 percent of the home price (maximum $30,000) in the form of a zero-interest, deferred second mortgage. The assistance must be combined with an NC Home Advantage Mortgage. In order to be eligible for this program, applicants must meet income requirements.

  4. Self-Help Loan Pool:

    This program offers up to $35,000 in mortgage financing toward the purchase of homes built or rehabilitated by organizations like the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate. The mortgages are typically zero-interest, amortizing loans. Applicants must meet income eligibility requirements and complete a homebuyer education course and pre-purchase counseling.

  5. Mortgage Credit Certificate:

    This certificate is an annual federal tax credit of up to $2,000 for qualified military veterans and first-time homebuyers. This credit can indirectly make homes more affordably by lowering the tax burden of homeowners. 

National Resources 

In addition to local and state resources, federal loan programs can make homeownership more accessible to citizens across the country:

  1. FHA Loan:

    This loan program backed by the Federal Housing Association allows down payments as low as 3.5 percent for those with credit scores of 580 or higher.

  2. VA Loan:

    This program is available to military members, veterans, and surviving spouses, and is backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Benefits of this loan include no minimum credit score and no down payment or mortgage insurance with payment of a VA funding fee.

  3. USDA Loan:

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers zero-down-payment mortgages for eligible rural and suburban homebuyers through participating mortgage lenders. 

Informational Resources

In addition to mortgage loans and down payment assistance programs for first-time homebuyers, the internet has a wealth of informational resources compiled by experts that can make the home-buying process easier to navigate.

The Mecklenburg County government website provides information resources for prospective homebuyers.

If you’re looking for informational resources with expert guidance on the home-buying process, radius financial has a large collection of articles and e-books to peruse. Here are just a few:

Take the First Step Toward Homeownership

Poring over available resources on your own is helpful, but nothing beats chatting in real-time with a professional loan officer. Schedule a conversation with a radius loan officer today.

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