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New Mexico First-Time Homebuyer Programs of 2019

It can be exciting — and overwhelming — to consider everything that comes along with buying your first home. The house hunting, the paperwork and the process of coming up with the cash for necessary upfront costs can combine to cause some stress along the way.

Thankfully, help is available. If you’re a house hunter in New Mexico, you have access to a range of assistance programs for prospective homebuyers through state- and city-level programs.

In this guide, we will cover:

New Mexico first-time homebuyer programs

Thanks to the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA), if you’re looking to buy your first home in New Mexico, you might not have to do all the hard work alone. The state’s designated housing agency has a plethora of programs for homebuyers of various income levels.

In January 2019, we researched current information on first-time homebuyer programs in New Mexico, which included reviewing program websites and the MFA guidelines. Here’s what first-time homebuyers in New Mexico need to know. Eligibility varies by program.

You can check current mortgage rates for New Mexico here.

First Home Program

Features

  • Lower monthly mortgage payments
  • Lower upfront cash requirements
  • No origination fees
  • Helps low- to moderate-income buyers

Eligibility

  • Open to first-time homebuyers (buyers who have not owned a home in the past three years, although exceptions made for homes in certain areas)
  • Buyers are subject to gross annual household income limits, which are adjusted based on family size
  • Properties are subject to acquisition cost limits
  • A minimum credit score of 620 is required; alternative credit qualification for homebuyers with no credit score is available in certain cases
  • Buyers must complete pre-purchase homebuyer counseling
  • Buyers must occupy the home within 60 days of purchase as their primary residence
  • Buyers must contribute at least $500 of their own money to the purchase, which cannot come from any type of gift, grant or down payment assistance
  • Can be a standalone first mortgage loan or combined with a second mortgage loan

How it works

For this program, the MFA works with lenders around the state to help craft mortgages with upfront costs that are lower than those on conventional loans. To start the process of qualifying and applying for the program, contact a participating lender.

First Down Program

Features

  • Up to $8,000 in assistance for down payment and closing costs
  • Works as a second mortgage
  • Helps low- to moderate-income buyers

Eligibility

  • Open only to first-time homebuyers
  • Buyers must be low-to-moderate income and meet federal income guidelines (based on family size)
  • A minimum credit score of 620 is typically required; alternative credit qualification for homebuyers is available in certain cases for buyers who have no credit score
  • Buyers are subject to maximum acquisition costs for their new home, but there is no minimum loan amount requirement
  • Buyers must complete mandated homeownership education

How it works

Eligibility guidelines of this MFA program are the same as for the First Home Program, so if you can’t qualify for the first, you won’t qualify for the second. There is one major difference, however: With the First Down Program, there is no minimum loan amount, which means you may borrow significantly less with this second mortgage than with your first. To find out if you might qualify, contact a directly.

HomeNow Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program

Features

  • Down payment assistance
  • Closing costs assistance
  • 0% interest loan that can be forgiven after 10 years

Eligibility

  • Open only to first-time homebuyers
  • Buyers must have an income of 80% or below the area median income (AMI) for their county
  • Borrowers must have a credit score of 620 or higher
  • Buyers must contribute $500 of the purchase price out of their own funds
  • Buyers must be purchasing the property as a primary residence
  • Buyers must complete homebuying counseling
  • Buyers must couple this program with either the MFA’s First Home loan, a federally insured mortgage such as the FHA, VA or USDA Rural Development guarantee or a private insurance mortgage program

How it works

One of the MFA-approved lenders can help you determine if you’re eligible and get you started on the process.

Next Home Program

Features

  • Up to 3% down payment assistance, which comes in the form of a second mortgage
  • Fixed-rate second mortgage
  • Helps moderate-income buyers
  • Can be paired with FHA, VA loan, HUD Section 184 or USDA Rural Housing

Eligibility

  • Buyers must contribute at least $500 of their own funds
  • Eligible buyers are low-to-moderate income and must meet income guidelines
  • Properties are subject to maximum purchase cost limits
  • Home purchased must be primary residence

How it works

Because income limits and purchase price limits for this program are higher than those in other first-time buyer programs offered by the MFA, Next Home may allow buyers who would be otherwise ineligible for assistance to find some help. To find out if you qualify, contact one of the MFA-approved lenders located in your state.

National first-time homebuyer programs

Local programs are just the start when it comes to assistance available for first-timers buying a home in New Mexico. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development has authorized nine different housing agencies in the cities of Santa Fe, Los Ranchos, Las Cruces, Gallup, Deming and Albuquerque to help homebuyers with everything from pre-purchase counseling to pre-purchase homebuyer education.

Federal programs are also open to buyers based on criteria such as income, membership in a Native American tribe, service in the United States armed forces and more. Find out more about first-time homebuyer programs that might help you buy your first home.

 

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