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You are here: Home | All News | First Time Home Buyer Programs

First Time Home Buyer Programs

The dream of homeownership is coming back to the valley after the burst of the real estate bubble. Even though the percentage of homeownership, on the national level, is decreasing, the real estate market in Southern Oregon is growing at a good pace.

There are a lot of programs out there that first time home buyers can take advantage of. But, before we look at some of the programs let us look at ACCESS. ACCESS is the entity that helps first time home buyers get the information about purchasing and helps them understand the cost of homeownership. ACCESS is also the administrator of most of the programs that help low income or first time homebuyers.

ACCESS is a private non-profit organization that serves the needs of seniors, person with disabilities and people of low income since 1976. ACCESS has spent a lot of effort in helping the people in the Rogue Valley by creating food banks to help needy families, help families with their rent, foreclosure problems and weatherizing their homes. Now, they are helping low income families achieve their dream of homeownership by helping buyers and their lenders work with various programs to assist with downpayment and/or closing costs.

First the homebuyer needs to take the class ‘Realizing the American Dream’ or taken online here. Once they do that – they have completed the first step to taking advantage of these wonderful programs.

RVAR / OAR Home Foundation
This program is sponsored by RVAR and administered by ACCESS.

City of Medford First Time Homebuyers Assistance Program
This program offers up to $15,000 toward down payment, closing costs and prepaid items. The city of Medford will help first time homebuyers get into a house that is within the city of Medford, is the buyers primary residence, and the property was either vacant or occupied by the seller (properties with tenants in them are not eligible). This program will help buyers whose income doesn’t exceed 80% of the median income in Medford and the assistance shall not exceed 50% of the total funds used in the down payment.

Home$tart / Home$tart Plus
The Seattle Bank is pleased to announce the availability of $2 million for the 2013 Home$tart and Home $tart Plus Programs. The Home$tart program provides $3 for every $1 of a homebuyer’s demonstrated funds up to $5,000. These funds may be used for downpayments, closing costs or rehabilitation of an owner-occupied housing unit. For more information about Home$tart and Home$tart Plus contact ACCESS at www.accesshelps.org.

USDA Rural Development
This program from the USDA is to help families that are under 80% of the median income level buy a single family home. Where a standard FHA loan requires 3.5% down the USDA loan has no such requirement. Where the first time homebuyer programs require you to take a class to be eligible, the USDA loan doesn’t. The USDA loan will loan up to 102% of the appraised value, but carries an initial 2% fee with a 0.3% annual fee. Go to www.rurdev.usda.gov/or/

FHA's Limited Repair Program
FHA 203(k) Program is great for first time home buyers that are looking for a home, but can't find any in their price range. This allows buyers to find a fixer-upper and finance up to $35,000 in minor repairs like replacing flooring, installing new appliances, and painting the interior and/or exterior of the home.

Dream$avers is an Individual Development Account (IDA) program that encourages participants to build assets. Eligible participants can save up to $2,000 over the course of 1 to 3 years and the program will match it 3:1. The participants also receive financial education and additional training and support specific to their savings goal. The program can be used for first time homebuyers, starting or expanding a small business or getting your post secondary education. Dream$avers is administered by ACCESS in Jackson and Josephine Counties in partnership with Neighborworks Umpqua.

There are a lot of programs out there that first time homebuyers or low income families can use to achieve their dream of homeownership. Talk to your buyer, contact ACCESS or talk to their lender about these programs. But, most of all take advantage of them.

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