Helping homebuyers stretch their buying power in uncertain times
Jack LeClerc and Charlie the golden retriever on closing day. Jack used a VHFA mortgage with down payment assistance to purchase his first home.
COVID-19 has not changed the fact that many Vermonters still dream of owning their own home. Some want a space to call their own – like a backyard for a dog, a deck, or a garden to plant vegetables or flowers. Others may need more room for a growing family. Still others may need more space for multi-generational living arrangements.
For Vermonters who were thinking about buying a home before COVID-19, now may be a good time to move forward. Banks, credit unions and mortgage companies are accepting mortgage applications and processing loans. Sellers continue to list homes for sale, and real estate agents are showing homes using social distancing and other COVID-related precautions. Best of all, VHFA interest rates are currently at near historic lows. Low rates – plus other VHFA benefits – allow homebuyers to afford more, while keeping their monthly payment within budget.
Home prices remain high, but VHFA can help
Home prices in Vermont tend to remain high, even during economic downturns. Case in point, between January and April of 2020, median home prices in Vermont did not fall. Instead, prices rose 4% from the prior year. This may sound like good news for Vermont homeowners, but not-so-good news for first-time homebuyers looking to get their foot in the door.
Fortunately, VHFA can help eligible homebuyers stretch their buying power with special programs*, including:
- Near historic low, competitive rates
- Down payment as low as 0%
- Up to $5,000 closing cost and down payment assistance with VHFA ASSIST**
- Federal income tax credit up to $2,000 each year with a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)
Contact a local participating lender to get started
All VHFA programs and benefits are available exclusively through local participating banks, credit unions and mortgage companies. Interested homebuyers can contact a participating lender to discuss their specific situation, eligibility and whether VHFA is their best option. For homebuyers who are not quite ready to contact a lender, VHFA is here to answer questions about programs and eligibility. Please feel free to contact VHFA at (800) 339-5866 or [email protected]
*Income and other eligibility requirements apply to all VHFA programs, please visit vhfa.org or speak with a local participating lender for more details. **VHFA ASSIST is a 0% loan that borrowers repay only when they sell, refinance or pay off the original loan in the future. First-time homebuyer and other eligibility requirements apply.
This story was produced by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA). VHFA is a non-profit agency created in 1974 by the Vermont Legislature to finance and promote affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters. Since its inception, the Agency has helped approximately 29,000 Vermont households with affordable mortgages and financed the development of approximately 8,800 affordable rental apartments. For more about VHFA programs and initiatives, go to vhfa.org. VHFA is proud to support VTDigger’s independent journalism.