1 – Find a home buyer grant program. Contact your local government for details on home-buying programs. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides a list of home-buying programs by state. For instance, in California you can apply for home buyer grants to the California Housing Finance Authority (CalHFA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Housing or visit the California Department of Housing and Community Development for information on over 200 housing programs.
2 – Check the program requirements. First-time home buyer grants have income and purchase limits that vary from state to state and county to county. For example, the California Housing and Finance Agency income limits for the California Homebuyer’s Downpayment Assistance Program in San Francisco ranges from $83,000 to $157,000, depending on the number of people in the household.
3 – Find an approved lender. Local home-buying programs use approved lenders to offer loan grants. You can find a list of approved lenders at your local housing agency. For instance, the California Housing Finance Agency provides a list of CalHFA-approved lenders that first-time buyers can contact to apply for a loan grant. Another example is the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, which offers first-time buyers grants only through their approved lenders.
4 – Fill in the application forms. You will need to answer questions on your income, employment history, debts and other personal and financial information. Depending on the type of grant, your lender may require a credit report to check your credit history and past reliability as a borrower.