2021 Arizona first-time homebuyer assistance programs

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Buying your first home can be an exciting yet complicated process. Arizona is a popular place to call home, with its dry climate, rapidly growing technology sector, outdoor activities (hundreds of golf courses in Phoenix alone!) and spectacular landscapes. In fact, Phoenix was named one of the best places live in 2021 by Bankrate.

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer looking for property in Phoenix, Tucson, Sedona, Flagstaff or anywhere in between, consider starting with the Arizona Industrial Development Authority, which is dedicated to helping buyers afford homeownership.

Arizona first-time homebuyer loan programs


The Arizona Industrial Development Authority (AzIDA)’s HOME+PLUS program offers a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage coupled with down payment assistance up to 5 percent. The first mortgage can be a conventional, FHA, VA or USDA loan, and can come with reduced mortgage insurance to help keep your monthly payments low. HOME+PLUS is available to both first-time homebuyers and those who have owned a home before.

The HOME+PLUS down payment assistance is a no-payment second loan forgivable after three years, unless you sell the home or refinance the first mortgage before that time is up. The loan doesn’t require a separate application; when you work with an approved mortgage lender and apply for the compatible first mortgage, you’ll automatically be considered for assistance.

Borrower requirements:

  • 640 minimum credit score
  • Maximum 45 percent to 50 percent debt-to-income ratio, depending on loan type
  • Annual income under $109,965
  • Must complete homebuyer education course

Property requirements:

  • Must be a single- or two-family home, condominium, townhome or manufactured home
  • Must be in Arizona
  • Must be a primary residence

Arizona down payment assistance

Home in Five Advantage Program

The Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority (MCIDA) and Phoenix IDA offer the Home in Five Advantage Program to help low- to moderate-income families afford a home in Maricopa County. Through the program, borrowers can obtain a 30-year fixed-rate conventional, FHA or VA loan and a three-year forgivable second loan to be used for a down payment and closing costs. No payments are required on the second loan unless you sell your home or refinance the first loan.

Borrower requirements:

  • 640 minimum credit score; 700 minimum credit score for FHA or VA loan borrowers with a debt-to-income ratio higher than 45 percent
  • Maximum 50 percent debt-to-income ratio
  • Must complete eight-hour homebuyer education course

Property requirements:

  • Must be a single-family home, condominium or townhome
  • Must be in Maricopa County
  • Must be a primary residence
  • No purchase price limits

Home in Five Advantage Program Additional Assistance for Special Groups

Through the Home in Five Advantage Program, an additional 1 percent of down payment and closing cost assistance is available for certain groups in Maricopa County, including:

  • Qualified U.S. military personnel and veterans
  • First responders
  • Teachers
  • Borrowers earning less than $36,450 per year and who do not have a cosigner

Tucson Pima County HOME Down Payment Assistance Program

This local down payment assistance program is for first-time homebuyers purchasing in Tucson or Pima County. The assistance comes as a no-payment second loan, forgivable after three years. The maximum purchase price for an existing home is currently $179,000 and for new construction is $238,000.

Borrowers must have an income that falls within 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) based on household size. For instance, the AMI for a household of one person is $35,800 per year, while the AMI for a household of eight is $67,500.

The borrower must also complete homebuyer counseling; not have more than $10,000 in cash assets; and have the equivalent of one month’s mortgage payment in reserves at the bank.

Other first-time homebuyer loan programs

While you’re considering first-time homebuyer programs in Arizona, be sure to also explore national programs that could help get you to your goal of homeownership. Start with Bankrate’s helpful guide to first-time homebuyer loans and programs.

For other Arizona homeownership programs, including by city, visit HUD.gov.

Get started

Now that you know some options available to first-time homebuyers in Arizona, you’re ready to get started with your home purchase. The Arizona Industrial Development Authority provides a list of mortgage lenders who can help you throughout the process. Regardless of which program you choose, it’s important to shop around for mortgage rates and offers and compare products to ensure you’re getting the best deal for your situation.

Nearby states first-time homebuyer programs

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Written by
Jennifer Bradley Franklin
Contributing writer
Jennifer Bradley Franklin is a multi-platform journalist and author, often covering finance, real estate and more.
Edited by
Mortgage editor
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