West Virginia is an ideal place for outdoor enthusiasts, with more than 40 state parks and forests tucked along the Appalachian Mountains. The state is also home to businesses in aerospace, manufacturing, defense and other industries, and its cost of living is considerably lower than the national average, translating to a high homeownership rate.

If you’re a first-time homebuyer looking for a home in The Mountain State, consider starting with the West Virginia Housing Development Fund, the state’s housing finance authority, to find affordable mortgage programs and down payment assistance.

West Virginia first-time homebuyer loan programs

WVHDF Homeownership Program

The Homeownership Program offered through the West Virginia Housing Development Fund (WVHDF) connects first-time homebuyers with a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage for up to 100 percent of the home’s purchase price. In some cases, the loan can be paired with down payment and closing cost assistance. To qualify, you must be a first-time buyer, defined as someone who hasn’t owned a home in the last three years; buying a home in a targeted county; or a veteran.

Borrower requirements:

  • 640 minimum credit score
  • Maximum 45 percent debt-to-income (DTI) ratio
  • Might need to complete a homebuyer education course (depending on loan type)
  • Must meet WVHDF income limits, which depend on county and the size of your household

Property requirements:

  • Can be a single-family home, condominium, townhome, planned unit development (PUD) or manufactured home
  • Must be in West Virginia
  • Must not exceed five acres
  • Must meet WVHDF purchase price limits established by county

WVHDF Movin’ Up Program

WVHDF’s Movin’ Up Program is designed for current homeowners looking to trade up, but first-time homebuyers can also qualify. Notably, if you’re a first-time buyer, you could benefit from the Movin’ Up Special Program, which offers lower interest rates and mortgage insurance premiums if your income is at or below 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) where you’re buying your home.

Whichever situation you’re in, to qualify, your income can’t exceed $130,560 if your household is made up of one or two people or $152,320 for a household of three or more. You can use the Movin’ Up Program along with down payment assistance, as well.

West Virginia down payment assistance

WVHDF Homeownership Program down payment assistance

Used in conjunction with WVHDF’s Homeownership Program, this second loan can assist you with the down payment and closing costs associated with your home purchase. The assistance is offered as a 15-year second mortgage with a low, fixed rate. You can receive either:

  • $7,500 if your mortgage has a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio equal to or greater than 90 percent
  • $10,000 if your LTV ratio is less than 90 percent

WVHDF Movin’ Up Program down payment assistance

Similar to the Homeownership Program down payment assistance, the Movin’ Up down payment assistance is a 15-year second loan, but designed to be paired with a Movin’ Up first mortgage. You can receive either:

  • $5,000 if your mortgage has an LTV ratio equal to or greater than 90 percent
  • $8,000 if your LTV ratio is less than 90 percent

Other first-time homebuyer loan programs

While you’re considering your first-time homebuyer program options in West Virginia, be sure to explore national programs, including FHA, VA and USDA loans. Check out Bankrate’s helpful guide to first-time homebuyer loans and programs to learn what you might qualify for.

Get started

While the West Virginia Housing Development Fund does not make loans or financing decisions, the agency provides a list of participating mortgage lenders you can connect with for guidance. Regardless of which program you ultimately choose, remember that it’s important to compare mortgage rates and loan offers to make sure you’re getting the best terms for your situation.