By Belinda Jacobson-Loehle, Jacobson Realty and Home Staging
Sponsored by Jacobson Realty and Home Staging
First-time homebuyers looking to purchase a home in Prince William County may be qualified for VHDA financing programs that assist with both down payments and closing costs. There are specific guidelines to determine if buyers are eligible.
The First Time Homebuyer Program, or FTHB, provides loans for down payment and closing cost assistance to first-time homebuyers with low or moderate incomes. Buyers must make income at or below 80 percent of the area median income, according to the Prince William County government.
VHDA classifies Prince William County as a suburb of Washington-Arlington-Alexandria for income guideline purposes. They state, “The amount you can borrow varies with location, household income and other factors. The maximum gross household income limit also varies, depending on whether you get a Down Payment Assistance grant — with the grant, income limits are lower.”
For a household in Prince William County with two or fewer people, the maximum gross household income for a standard loan is $125,700. With a VHDA Down Payment Grant, the maximum gross household income for a household of two or fewer people is $100,500. For households of three or more people in Prince William County, the maximum gross household income for a standard loan is $146,700, and with a VHDA Down Payment Grant the limit is $117,300.
There is also a limit on how much you can borrow with this program. For Prince William County, the limit is $500,000 on new and existing construction, according to VHDA.
These figures reflect 2018 requirements. VHDA reviews income, sales price and loan limits annually and makes adjustments, if needed, the fourth quarter of the year.
How to Apply
To apply for the FTHB program, you need to find a local private lending institution approved by the VHDA.
Prince William County government says, “The Office of Housing and Community Development will accept and process FTHB applications during open application periods subject to funding availability. FTHB funds will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis only upon successful completion of all phases of the application and purchase process as outlined in the program. When funds allocated for the year are depleted, all approved applications will be closed and offered the opportunity to re-apply during the next application period.”
To participate in the FTHB, you must have a minimum credit score, or middle score, as determined by the VHDA.
You also must be a first-time homebuyer. VHDA states “Persons, individuals, families or households cannot have purchased or had ownership interest (own, purchase, co-sign on a loan, inherit, etc. regardless of whether they lived in the property) in a home or other residential property within the last three years anywhere in the United States, foreign land or country.”
For more information on VHDA loan programs and grants, visit their website. Prince William County also provides a FTHB readiness self-check to help homebuyers determine if the program could be right for them.
If you need assistance finding a VHDA approved lender or your first home in Gainesville, Haymarket or Bristow, contact local real estate expert Belinda Jacobson-Loehle of Jacobson Realty and Home Staging for answers. Call 703-338-9678.