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North Carolina First-Time Homebuyer Programs

Are you looking to buy a home for the first time in North Carolina? In addition to researching locations, school districts, walkability, home prices and other associated costs, you should also spend time researching the financial assistance programs your state has to offer.

There are multiple programs specific to the state of North Carolina that are designed to make homeownership more attainable. Here’s a guide to North Carolina’s 2019 first-time homebuyer programs.

In this guide, we’ll cover:

North Carolina first-time homebuyer programs

Run largely through the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA), multiple programs are available for first-time homebuyers in the state. These include programs for down payment assistance, tax credits and access to low-interest mortgages. You can also find education opportunities through the Center for Homeownership to help you make informed decisions during the homebuying process.

North Carolina Housing Finance Agency

Three of North Carolina’s homebuyer assistance programs operate within the NCHFA, including the NC Home Advantage Mortgage, the NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment and the NC Home Advantage Tax Credit.

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NC Home Advantage Mortgage

Features

  • Financing and down payment assistance
  • Competitive, fixed-interest mortgage rates
  • Down payment assistance up to 5% of the loan
  • 3% down payment assistance for conventional, 97% loan-to-value mortgages
  • Up to 100% financing on USDA, FHA and VA loan programs
  • Can be combined with the NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment program
  • First-time homebuyers or military veterans may be able to combine with NC Home Advantage Tax Credit programs

Eligibility

  • Borrower must be a legal resident of the United States
  • Borrower must live at the property as their primary residence
    • Must occupy the premises within 60 days of closing
  • Credit score of 640 or higher required
  • Income must not be higher than $87,500
  • Property may be:
    • Single-family home, condominium or townhouse
    • New manufactured homes for those with credit scores of 660 or higher who utilize VA, FHA or USDA mortgages
    • Duplexes, exclusively for FHA loans

How it works

To participate in the NC Home Advantage Mortgage program and to learn more about your options as a first-time homebuyer in North Carolina, search for a participating lender in your area.

NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment

Features

  • Down payment assistance
    • Up to $8,000 in assistance for first-time homebuyers and military veterans who have qualified for the NC Home Advantage Mortgage program
  • Down payment loan acts as a second mortgage
    • 0%, deferred loan
  • Loan forgiveness
    • From years 11 to 15, loan is forgiven 20% each year
    • Loan is forgiven entirely at end of year 15

Eligibility

  • Must be a first-time buyer, military veteran or not have owned a home in the previous three years
  • May also be eligible if you are buying in a targeted area
  • Must be a legal resident of the United States
  • Income limits vary by county and household size
  • Credit score of 640 or higher
  • Borrowers must live at the property as their primary residence
    • Must occupy the premises within 60 days of closing
  • Property may be:
    • Single-family home, condominium or townhouse
    • New manufactured homes for those with credit scores of 660 or higher

How it works

Qualifying first-time homebuyers may be able to combine the NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment program with other programs offered through the NCHFA. Find a participating lender in your area to learn more about buying a home in North Carolina.

NC Home Advantage Tax Credit

Features

  • Save on federal taxes with a mortgage credit certificate
    • Up to 30% of the loan interest on an existing home
    • Up to 50% on newly constructed home
    • No more than $2,000 per year
  • Participants can still claim other mortgage interest deductions for remainder of mortgage interest paid per year
  • Reap program rewards immediately
    • Once you’ve signed up for the NC Home Advantage Tax Credit, you can revise your W-4 with your employer
    • This will lower the federal tax amount withheld from each paycheck
    • You can then use those funds to put more toward your mortgage payments each month

Eligibility

  • Must be a first-time homebuyer or military veteran or buying in a targeted area
  • Borrower must be a legal resident of the United States
  • Must apply for and be approved before borrowers purchase a home
    • Apply at the same time as mortgage application
  • Income limits vary by county and household size
  • Property must be primary residence
    • Must occupy the premises within 60 days of closing
  • Loan must be approved by the NCHFA before closing
  • Property may be:
    • Single-family home, condominium, townhouse or new or used manufactured home

How it works

Borrowers can combine the NC Home Advantage Tax Credit with other NCHFA programs, such as the NC Home Advantage Mortgage program and the NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment program. Find a participating lender in your area to learn more about buying a home in North Carolina using NCHFA programs.

Center for Homeownership

The Center for Homeownership offers education resources for those looking to buy a home in North Carolina.

Features

  • Homebuyer education
    • Workshops, online resources and financial counseling
  • Connects participants with homebuying professionals in their communities
    • Includes connections with realtors, loan officers, home inspectors, title companies, insurance agents and more
  • Continuing assistance after a home has been purchased
    • Includes resources and courses on home maintenance and continuing financial counseling

Eligibility

    • There are no eligibility requirements to take part in Center for Homeownership workshops or to access online resources

How it works

To register for a workshop, schedule an appointment or learn more about the homebuying process, explore the Center for Homeownership resources here.

National first-time homebuyer programs

In addition to programs offered by the state of North Carolina, first-time homebuyers should also explore federal programs designed to help them bring their dream of homeownership to life. These programs include FHA loans, VA loans, HUD Dollar Homes, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac products and mortgage points deductions, among many others. Take a look at our guide to first-time homebuyer programs to learn more.

 

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