Buying a home can be exciting, exhausting and, no matter how smoothly the process may go, one of the most stressful things you can do in life. Not having enough money to adequately finance a purchase makes it all the more daunting. Fortunately, there are first-time homebuyer programs available in every state, making it easier for many people to access the resources they need to buy their new home, and to feel more secure through the whole process.
Keep in mind that first-time homebuyers don’t actually have to be buying their first home. A first-time homebuyer is defined as anyone who hasn’t had an ownership interest in a primary home in the past three years.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also includes in its list of qualified homebuyers:
• A single parent who has only owned a home with a partner while married
• A displaced homemaker who has only owned a home with a spouse
• Someone who has owned a principal residence not permanently affixed to a permanent foundation
• Someone who has only owned a property that wasn’t in compliance with state, local, or model building codes
Every state has assistance programs available for first-time homebuyers. You can also check out this helpful information on the first-time home buying process and information on qualifying for your first mortgage.
Here are the homebuyer programs that qualified first-time buyers have available to them in the Northeast:
Thinking of buying a home in the land of lobster and lighthouses? Prices in general lingered below the U.S. median toward mid-year.
Maine home sale prices rose 13.2% from May 2021 to May 2022, according to Redfin, which tracks real estate trends. The median price was $348,600, compared with the national median of $430,700.
The housing market in the Granite State is hot. From May 2021 to May 2022, home prices rose 15% to an average sale price of $434,500, according to Redfin, a real estate brokerage. And 68% of the homes sold above their list price.
At the same time, the number of houses for sale in New Hampshire plummeted. The inventory dropped by almost 30%. Still, there are good opportunities for the first-time buyer in the state.
The Green Mountain State is a nature lover’s paradise with forests, lakes, and mountains. Along with its natural beauty, it’s also the safest state in the country. No wonder then that the housing market has heated up: Home prices have risen 15.3% in the past year (May 2021-May 2022), according to Redfin, a real estate brokerage that analyzes housing market data.
Home buyers can find the Vermont market challenging, since there are 40.8% fewer homes for sale now than there were in 2021. And they go fairly quickly: In 2021, a home was on the market for a median of 56 days. In 2022, the median dropped to 39 days.
Glorious New England scenery, a rich history, and diverse cultural and educational opportunities are just some of the things Massachusetts has to offer residents. And the housing market in the state is heating up.
From May 2021 to May 2022, prices rose 10.2%, to a median sale price of $604,900, according to Redfin, a real estate brokerage company that analyzes housing market data across the country. Still, there are plenty of opportunities for the first-time homebuyer in Massachusetts.
This small state is big on charm: Rhode Island’s miles of coastline offer beautiful beaches and picturesque inlets, and you’ll also find dynamic cities and rural small towns here. There’s a lot for the first-time homebuyer in Rhode Island to get excited about, and this can be a good time to purchase.
The average home value is $429,686, with just a 1.31% increase from April to May 2022. The inventory of available homes is limited, however, and there are currently only 1,067 homes on the market. Houses are selling for $32,700 more than the annual average and 15 days faster.
You’re looking at a competitive market in the Constitution State: The number of homes for sale fell 27% from May 2021 to 2022, according to Redfin, a brokerage that tracks housing trends across the nation.
The median sale price for a home in May 2022 was about $369,000, a 7.5% increase year-over-year. With limited inventory and so much demand, 69% of homes over the past year sold for more than their listing price.
The housing market in New York state can be challenging, especially for first-time buyers. Home prices in the Empire State rose 7.8% from May 2021 to May 2022, with the median sale price of $560,200.
The number of homes on the market dropped about 12%, which may explain why houses are selling faster than they were a year ago — 34 days versus 52 days in May 2021. And 46% of homes sold above their listing price.
The Garden State saw record real estate sales in some areas in recent years as city dwellers fled to the suburbs and more rural areas amid the pandemic. The market slowed a bit in 2022, with the number of homes for sale in April falling 14.5% year-over-year, yet home prices continued to rise.
In New Jersey, that translates into one of the country’s most expensive markets. The median home sale price rose 9.4% year-over-year in April, to $433,700, according to real estate firm Redfin. Hot spots like Haddonfield, Sea Isle City, and Montclair saw home prices jump 60% or more.
Thinking of buying a home in Pennsylvania? The average prices are below the country’s, but some pockets are hot.
While home sales prices rose 10.6% from May 2021 to May 2022, to a median of $291,000, Redfin reported, the number of homes for sale dropped by 10.3%. That means you may have to compete to get the home you want, especially in cities like Quakertown (home prices up 47.4% in a year) and Lansdale (up 36.2%).
Qualifying first-time homebuyers have many options available to them in the Midwest, including down payment assistance. If you’re looking to buy your first home and aren’t sure how to get started, researching homebuyer programs is a great place to start. Once you know what kind of assistance you may qualify for, it’s a good idea to estimate just how much house you can really afford using a home affordability calculator.
And one of the most important parts of home ownership is shopping around for a great interest rate. While you’re searching, consider SoFi. With as little as 3% down for qualifying first-time homebuyers, and a guaranteed on-time close*, a SoFi Mortgage may be the perfect fit for your home ownership goals.
*SoFi On-Time Close Guarantee: If all conditions of the Guarantee are met, and your loan does not close on or before the closing date on your purchase contract accepted by SoFi, and the delay is due to SoFi, SoFi will provide you $2,000.^ Terms and conditions apply. This Guarantee is available only for loan applications submitted after 6/15/22 for the purchase of a primary residence. Please discuss terms of this Guarantee with your loan officer. The property must be owner-occupied, single-family residence (no condos), and the loan amount must meet the Fannie Mae conventional guidelines. No bank-owned or short-sale transactions. To qualify for the Guarantee, you must: (1) Have employment income supported by W-2, (2) Receive written approval by SoFi for the loan and you lock the rate, (3) submit an executed purchase contract on an eligible property at least 30 days prior to the closing date in the purchase contract, (4) provide to SoFi (by upload) all required documentation within 24 hours of SoFi requesting your documentation and upload any follow-up required documents within 36 hours of the request, and (5) pay for and schedule an appraisal within 48 hours of the appraiser first contacting you by phone or email. The Guarantee will be void and not paid if any delays to closing are due to factors outside of SoFi control, including delays scheduling or completing the appraisal appointment, appraised value disputes, completing a property inspection, making repairs to the property by any party, addressing possible title defects, natural disasters, further negotiation of or changes to the purchase contract, changes to the loan terms, or changes in borrower’s eligibility for the loan (e.g., changes in credit profile or employment), or if property purchase does not occur. SoFi may change or terminate this offer at any time without notice to you. ^To redeem the Guarantee if conditions met, see documentation provided by loan officer.
SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.