Buying a Home with Little or No Down Payment
Author: Lonisa   June 7, 2016

Are you struggling between renting an apartment and wanting to buy a home but you are not able to afford a down payment? The “Iconic American Dream” has always been to own a house with a white picket fence and three kids. But if you are wanting to own a home and do not have the down payment, the costs can be very stressful. The good news is Ohio offers government assistance programs to help you to pay nothing down when buying a house for which you may qualify.


What is Down Payment Assistance?

Down payment assistance programs are created to help people buy homes. These programs help buyers with the down payment on a home through grants, second mortgages, delayed repayment loans, and interest-free loans. There are many different types of programs that are available.


“The Ohio down payment assistance program has very affordable interest rates, and they will grant  2.5% to 3.5% of the total amount of your loan. Loans are set on your preferred payment modes and have low closing costs. It is being monitored and regulated by the Federal Housing Administration and is insured to it for the safety of the borrower. It is the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development’s program in cooperation with private house financing agencies, to provide affordable homes for Ohio residents, and for other states as well.” (


Some programs Ohio offers to help you are:

Ohio Housing Finance Agency

Office of Housing and Community Partnerships

Community Development Corporations

Veteran’s Administration

Home Owner Education Programs

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Housing


HOPE 1: Homeownership and Opportunity for People Everywhere: Homeownership can be hard to come by for low-income families. Which is why HOPE 1 started making homeownership possible for thousands of families now living in public housing.


Another option is through OHFA (Ohio Housing Finance Agency). First, you must see if you are eligible.

You may qualify for down payment if:

  • You have not owned or had an ownership interest in your primary residence in the last three years
  • Your credit score is 640 or higher
  • You meet income and purchase price limits


Then you must educate yourself on being a homebuyer:

Qualified buyers are required to complete free homebuyer education. OHFA’s streamlined education program allows you to complete a course offered by any U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved counseling agency in Ohio. Please note, OHFA homebuyer education is not completed until after homebuyer has submitted their loan application with their loan officer.(

In other words, borrowers should undergo seminar or training on housing programs being offered by the US government, so they will know their responsibilities as homeowners, as well as their duties as borrowers.



Another option is to get an FHA loan which is for people who can easily afford a monthly mortgage payment but cannot spring for a huge one-time lump sum. An FHA loan requires 3.5% down and is a very popular option in the housing marketing right now. Another bonus to an FHA loan is that you don’t need perfect credit. In fact, the FHA will actually consider talking to you if your credit score is 580 or better. Now compare that to traditional mortgage brokers who like that number to be 620 – 740. Another benefit of an FHA mortgage is that the mortgage is assumable. If you decide to sell the house, the buyer can simply take over the existing mortgage as opposed to applying for a new one. FHA loans have been helping people become homeowners since 1934. How do we do it? The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) – which is part of HUD – insures the loan, so your lender can offer you a better deal.



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