Kansas offers a bit of everything: the urban energy of Kansas City, the college town vibe of Lawrence or the calm of the open prairie. Compared with other parts of the U.S., the state offers relatively affordable housing, too. As of Nov. 2023, the average home sale price in the state was $305,833 — almost $80,000 below the national median, according to the Kansas Association of Realtors (KAR).

If you’re a first-time homebuyer looking for financial help in the state, start with the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC). The state’s primary housing agency offers down payment assistance that could help you affordably purchase and own a home.

Kansas first-time homebuyer programs

Topeka Opportunity to Own (TOTO) Program

As one of the biggest cities in Kansas, Topeka might be on your shortlist. If so, it’s worth considering the Topeka Opportunity to Own (TOTO) program, which helps first-time homebuyers secure up to $30,000 to repair a home in the city. It also offers up to $10,000 in down payment assistance. The program’s conditions include:

  • A minimum down payment of $500
  • A maximum purchase price of $75,000
  • Buyers can’t own any real estate at the time of closing
  • 12 hours of homebuyer and home maintenance education courses
  • An income less than 80 percent of the area median income ($69,700 for a family of four)

To apply, contact the Housing and Credit Counseling, Inc. (HCCI) by calling 785-234-0217 or emailing hcci@housingandcredit.org.

City of Leavenworth Home Ownership Program

The city of Leavenworth is also making a big push to attract first-time homebuyers since more than half of its residential properties are rentals. Under this program, you can receive up to $8,000 in grant funding for purchasing a home in the city. You’ll need to meet the following criteria to qualify:

  • Be a first-time recipient
  • Cover half of the down payment
  • Not have owned a home in the past five years
  • Have a low to moderate income ($51,250 to $82,000 for a family of four)

To keep the funds free and clear, you’ll need to own the home for at least five years.

You can get started by filling out the application on the program’s website. After that, you’ll need to call 913-680-2628 to make an appointment with the city’s community development coordinator.

Kansas down payment assistance

KHRC First-Time Homebuyer Program

The KHRC offers a down payment assistance program for first-time homebuyers, appropriately called the First-Time Homebuyer Program. The program aims to address one of the biggest hurdles standing in the way of becoming a homeowner: coming up with enough money to cover a down payment and closing costs.

The KHRC’s assistance, a second loan with no monthly payments, can help you cover as much as 15 percent and 20 percent of the home’s purchase price (up to a maximum of $40,000). Your income determines what amount you qualify for:

  • 20 percent – If your household income is 50 percent or less of the area median income where you’re buying, you can qualify for a loan of up to 20 percent of the purchase price.
  • 15 percent – If your household income is between 51 percent and 80 percent of the area median income, you can qualify for a loan of up to 15 percent of the purchase price.

There’s plenty of incentive to stay in the home you buy, because if you live there for 10 years, the loan will be completely forgiven.

There are other requirements, too:

  • No minimum credit score, but you’ll need to be approved for a 30-year conventional, FHA, VA or USDA loan for at least the first 80 percent of the home’s purchase price
  • You must contribute between 1 and 10 percent of your own funds to the purchase
  • You can’t have owned a home in the previous three years (unless you’re a displaced homemaker, single parent or the owner of a manufactured home)
  • Your annual income can’t exceed 80 percent of the area median income where you’re buying
  • The home you’re buying can’t exceed maximum purchase price amounts; in most counties, the limit is $143,000, but there are some exceptions that range all the way to $257,000 in Douglas County

If you’re buying a home in Topeka, Wichita, Lawrence, Kansas City or Johnson County, you’ll need to look for other options. The KHRC’s assistance is only available to buyers outside these areas.

If you’d like to apply, the first step is to find a participating lender, which you can do through the program’s website.


Co-sponsored by Sedgwick County and Shawnee County, KansasDPA is a statewide program that helps people in Kansas become first-time or repeat homeowners. If you participate in this program, you’ll get a 30-year fixed-rate conventional or government-backed loan, as well as a grant to pay for a percentage of your down payment or closing costs. To qualify, you’ll need to:

  • Have a credit score of at least 640
  • Earn a maximum of 140 percent of the area median income (amounts vary by location)
  • Qualify with an approved lender

To locate a participating lender, visit the KansasDPA website.

FHLBank Topeka Homeownership Set-aside Program (HSP)

This program helps people build or buy homes across four states, including Kansas, by awarding first-time homebuyer grants to Kansas buyers. Funding ranges from $2,500 to $15,000 and can go toward down payments, closing costs or repairs. If you live in your home for at least five years, the grant will be forgiven. To join the HSP, you must:

  • Live in Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska or Oklahoma
  • Earn 80 percent or less of the median income in your area
  • Take an approved homebuyer education course

Interested in applying for this program? Contact an FHLBank member near you to get started.

City of Wichita’s HOMEownership 80 Program

Planning on purchasing a house in Wichita? This program provides grants to first-time homebuyers in certain parts of the city, with funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). If you’re interested in the program, you’ll need to:

  • Buy a home through one of the city’s housing development partners (such as Mennonite Housing or Habitat for Humanity)
  • Qualify for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage
  • Meet income requirements
  • Attend a homebuyer training class

To begin your application, contact one of the city’s housing partners.

Other Kansas homebuyer assistance programs

Kansas First-Time Home Buyer Savings Accounts

While it’s not a loan or grant, this is another useful program that helps first-time buyers purchase or build a home in Kansas. It lets Kansas residents open a dedicated savings account — with interest-free tax benefits — for a future home purchase.

With one of these accounts, you can contribute $3,000 (individual filers) or $6,000 (joint filers) to the account each year, tax-free. In total, you can save up to $50,000 in the account, which you can spend on a down payment or closing costs.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Never having owned a home in Kansas (or, if you’re divorced, not being listed on a property title for three consecutive years or more)

You’ll need to open the account at least a year before making any withdrawals. Also, if you take out money and don’t use it on approved housing expenses, you may be taxed or penalized.

To set up an account, contact a qualified financial institution in Kansas.

Other Kansas first-time homebuyer loans

In addition to exploring state and local homebuying assistance options in Kansas, it’s also worth looking into the following government-backed loans, which are available across the country.

  • FHA loans: Insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), FHA loans have looser credit score and down payment requirements than conventional loans. With an FHA loan, you’ll only need to make a down payment of 3.5 percent if your credit score is 580 or higher.
  • VA loans: If you’re a veteran, active-duty service member or surviving military spouse, you may qualify for a VA loan. These loans, which are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, don’t require you to put any money down when buying a home.
  • USDA loans: Like VA loans, USDA loans are also no-down payment mortgages. To qualify, you’ll need to purchase a property in a designated rural area.

Get started

If you’re serious about buying a home in Kansas, now is a good time to start comparing options to get a good sense of what mortgage rates are available from banks, credit unions and other types of mortgage lenders in the state. If you see a good rate, lock it in so you don’t miss out.

You can also use Bankrate’s guide to first-time homebuyer loans and programs to see what you can qualify for on a national level.