First Time Home Buyer Grants for Single Mothers

by Rich Curley ; Updated July 27, 2017
Payback not required

There is a critical difference between a home buyer grant and a home buyer loan. Home buyer grants generally do not have to be repaid provided the stated terms of the grant are fulfilled. There are variations on this so the single mother should be alert, as should every grant applicant. Home buyer loans are simply the use of funds for a defined time period that belong to others (i.e., banks, lenders) and always require repayment, unless forgiven.

Eligibility

These first-time home buyer grant programs for single mothers are not widely advertised because it is regarded as a specific market niche and advertising dollars are not readily available. There are two basic eligibility requirements: first the earned wages of the mother have to be within the limits of the specific grant program, and secondly the mother cannot have held ownership in a home within the past three years. The grant money is not considered income and therefore free of taxes, and the money is not considered a financial liability that has to be included in any future financial matters.

Qualifying Factors

The first-time home buyer grants are geared toward supplementing the efforts of the successful applicant well along in the process, as opposed to being awarded at the beginning. The single mother usually has to have a mortgage commitment from a customary source, such as a bank, mortgage company or a credit union. Also, the grant program rules usually have a maximum percentage cap of the total mortgage--most do not exceed 10% of the total debt. A key concept to remember in the qualification process is DPA, which stands for down payment assistance. The idea here is a one-time help step for the single mother to afford getting started, as opposed to an ongoing grant commitment.

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Professional Help

The best source of grant funds for first-time home buyer single mothers is the U.S. government, administered through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Most individual states have similar programs, with a variation of title about housing assistance, and the source of these funds is channeled through HUD (Housing and Urban Development). The Internet is the most complete source for program descriptions and application assistance, and caution is advised relative to sources that charge fees and sell kits containing information that the public can obtain at no cost. The process can be long and slow and wearisome due to a variety of factors, so a person should plan accordingly. The best possible results are likely if you work with a single realtor dedicated to help you in the long process, and likewise a single mortgage or lender originator. The third adviser, if warranted, is a credit counselor to assist with credit repair and financial planning. Each of these should be knowledgeable and committed to you for the long term, and likewise you should be committed to them.

About the Author

Rich Curley is a graduate of Northeastern University, Boston. He has professional experience in the health care sector and the financial and securities sectors. His professional experience also includes state agency middle management of a computer transaction processing center. Rich is an experienced free lance writer and a Massachusetts licensed real estate salesperson.

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