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Buying your first home is a huge financial undertaking, and the down payment and closing costs can be major hurdles. The good news? If you’re on the hunt for a home in Wyoming, the Wyoming Community Development Authority can connect you with an affordable mortgage and down payment assistance to help make homeownership more accessible. Some of the agency’s first-time homebuyer programs can also be combined, helping to lower the barrier even further.
Wyoming first-time homebuyer loan programs
WCDA Standard First-Time Homebuyer program
The Wyoming Community Development Authority’s (WCDA) Standard First-Time Homebuyer program offers a 30-year mortgage with a fixed, low rate, along with the option for a down payment assistance loan. First-time homebuyers — considered someone who hasn’t owned a home in the last three years — can obtain an FHA, VA or USDA loan through this program.
To qualify, the home you’re buying must be below the program’s price limit (in many areas, that’s $349,525, but in Teton County it’s $806,598) and income limits, which vary by county and household size. In addition, the property can’t be more than 10 acres.
You’ll also need to complete a homebuyer education class offered through Wyoming Housing Network, Inc., to be eligible.
Within this program, there are special reduced-rate loans for borrowers buying a WCDA-owned property, or those who are active-duty military or a veteran. If you’re a veteran or buying in a special targeted area (as defined by WCDA), the first-time homebuyer requirement might not apply.
WCDA Spruce Up program
WCDA’s Spruce Up program offers a mortgage and rehabilitation loan all rolled into one, which can be useful if you need to finance the purchase of a home plus the cost of fixing it up. These expenses can include making non-structural repairs, replacing HVAC or electrical systems or even renovating to improve accessibility.
The amount of this loan can’t exceed WCDA’s price limits, and the eligibility requirements are the same as the Standard First-Time Homebuyer program.
HFA Preferred loans
WCDA also offers first-time and repeat homebuyers access to Fannie Mae HFA Preferred conventional loans. These are 30-year mortgages with either reduced mortgage insurance premiums or no mortgage insurance, and don’t have a purchase price limit. However, you’ll still need to meet income limits for your county and household size to qualify.
The other requirements include:
- 620 minimum credit score
- Completion of a homebuyer education class
- Home must be on 10 acres or less
- You must occupy the home as your primary residence for at least a year
Wyoming down payment assistance
WCDA Homestretch Down Payment Assistance (DPA)
Stylized as “Home$tretch,” this down payment assistance (DPA) loan through WCDA allows you to borrow up to $15,000 at no interest (though you might have to pay some fees) and with no monthly payment. The loan isn’t due unless you sell the home or refinance or pay off your first mortgage. It can be combined with the Standard First-Time Homebuyer and Spruce Up loan programs.
There’s a $1,500 borrower contribution required, but this can be sourced from a gift, rather than your own funds. You must also have a 620 minimum credit score.
WCDA Amortizing DPA
WCDA’s Amortizing DPA loan — also for up to $15,000 — can be combined with an HFA Preferred mortgage. This loan comes with a low fixed interest rate and must be paid back over 10 years. Like the Homestretch DPA loan, you must have a 620 minimum credit score and contribute at least $1,500 to qualify.
Other Wyoming homebuyer assistance programs
Mortgage credit certificate (MCC)
A mortgage credit certificate (MCC) is a first-time homebuyer tax credit based on your annual mortgage interest. You can take advantage of this credit throughout the life of your mortgage. It can equal anywhere from 10 percent to 50 percent of your annual mortgage interest; the exact amount you qualify for will depend on your income and individual tax situation. More specifically, according to the WCDA:
- For qualifying loans of $125,000 and less, the MCC rate is 40%
- For qualifying loans of $125,001 and less, the MCC rate is 30%
- For qualifying loans of $200,001 and less, the MCC rate is 20%
If the MCC rate is above 20 percent, the dollar amount of the credit is capped at $2,000. There is no maximum on the lower rates.
To be eligible, you must meet the definition of a first-time homebuyer (no homes owned in the past three years) and be within WCDA purchase price and income limits.
Note that if you’re getting a mortgage through WCDA, the MCC can’t be combined with the Standard First-Time Homebuyer and Spruce Up programs, but can be paired with an HFA Preferred loan.
Other first-time homebuyer loan programs
If you’re a first-time homebuyer in Wyoming, consider exploring other low- and no-down payment mortgages, such as FHA, VA and USDA loans, which can come with lower interest rates and are offered by a variety of mortgage lenders. There are other specialized programs out there, too, such as the Good Neighbor Next Door program, which helps homebuyers who work in certain professions, like education.
To learn more about these types of programs and what you might qualify for, head to Bankrate’s guide to first-time homebuyer loans.
If you’re interested in a program through the Wyoming Community Development Authority, visit the organization’s website for a map of participating mortgage lenders who can help you start the home loan process. This website also displays current interest rates and eligibility requirements and explains how to attend a homebuyer education class. Keep in mind it’s smart to shop around with multiple lenders so you can find the most competitive rates and terms for your situation.