2021 New Hampshire first-time homebuyer assistance programs

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Thinking about buying your first home? It can be an exciting ⁠— and sometimes daunting⁠ — process, and where you buy can be as important as what you buy. New Hampshire is the fifth-smallest state by landmass, but it has lots to offer, including a booming economy, highly rated public education and natural amenities like access to the coast, mountains, lakes and more.

If you’re a first-time homebuyer looking for property in The Granite State, consider starting with the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority, the state’s agency for affordable housing and down payment assistance programs.

New Hampshire first-time homebuyer loan programs

New Hampshire Housing Home Flex Plus program

The New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (also known as New Hampshire Housing) offers several mortgage programs, including Home Flex Plus, which comes with an FHA, VA or USDA loan and down payment and closing cost assistance equal to up to 4 percent of your mortgage. The assistance is encompassed in a second mortgage that can be forgiven in full after four years, unless you sell your home, refinance the first mortgage or file for bankruptcy, in which case the loan must be repaid.

This program is open to first-time homebuyers or those who have owned property previously.

Borrower requirements:

  • 620 minimum credit score
  • Must complete homebuyer education course (online or in person)
  • Must meet New Hampshire Housing income limit, which is $135,300

Property requirements:

  • Can be a one- to four-unit home (owner-occupied), townhome, condominium, modular home or certain manufactured homes (depending on loan program)
  • Must be in New Hampshire
  • Must be a primary residence

New Hampshire Housing Home Preferred Plus program

The Home Preferred Plus program through New Hampshire Housing also offers forgivable down payment and closing cost assistance up to 4 percent, but the assistance is paired with a conventional loan for up to 97 percent financing. The program also includes discounted mortgage insurance if your income is below 80 percent of the area median income (AMI). It’s available to both first-time and repeat homebuyers.

Borrower requirements:

  • 620 minimum credit score
  • Maximum household income can be up to 80 percent of the AMI; if income exceeds this threshold, the maximum household income is $135,300
  • Must complete homebuyer education course (online or in person)

Property requirements:

  • Can be a one- to four-unit home (owner-occupied), townhome, condo, modular home or certain manufactured homes
  • Must be in New Hampshire
  • Must be a primary residence

New Hampshire Housing Purchase Rehab program

The New Hampshire Housing Purchase Rehab mortgage program allows first-time and repeat homebuyers to add up to $35,000 to their loan to help cover upgrades and repairs. The funds can pay for cosmetic, energy efficiency or safety upgrades, but not structural repairs. You can put as little as 3.5 percent down through this program.

You must have an annual household income of no more than $135,300 and complete a special training course to qualify. Notably, this program can be combined with the Home Flex Plus down payment assistance.

New Hampshire down payment assistance

New Hampshire Housing Community Heroes Initiative

Launched in response to the pandemic, the Community Heroes Initiative offers first-time homebuyers who are also essential workers a $3,000 closing cost credit when they participate in one of New Hampshire Housing’s Plus mortgage programs. Eligible borrowers include healthcare, daycare and eldercare workers, first responders, educators and members of the military.

Because the program is self-funded by New Hampshire Housing, it’s only available until program funds run out, so be sure to check with the agency for its current status.

Other New Hampshire homebuyer assistance programs

Home Start Homebuyer Tax Credit

In New Hampshire, first-time homebuyers can decrease their federal income taxes through a mortgage credit certificate (MCC), known as the Home Start Homebuyer Tax Credit. This annual credit equals up to $2,000 and can be used for the life of your mortgage, as long as the property remains your primary residence.

There are minimum household income and purchase price limits to qualify for an MCC, and these vary according to the county where your home is located and the size of your household. While the credit is geared toward first-time buyers, if you’re buying in a special targeted area, the first-time buyer requirement might be able to be waived.

Other first-time homebuyer loan programs

While you’re considering your options as a first-time homebuyer in New Hampshire, be sure to explore other nationally-available programs as well. Check out Bankrate’s helpful guide to first-time homebuyer loans to see what might apply to your situation.

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

Get started

Now that you know some of your options as a first-time homebuyer in New Hampshire, your next step might be to connect with a mortgage lender. While the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority doesn’t make loans or financing decisions, the agency provides a list of participating lenders, and the organization also services loans after closing.

Regardless of which program you choose, it’s important to first shop around for loan offers and compare mortgage rates and terms to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

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