First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Programs & Grants in the Northeast for 2024

By Constance Brinkley-Badgett · April 05, 2024 · 5 minute read

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First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Programs & Grants in the Northeast for 2024

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

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? You’ll want to learn about the market and assess your financial situation before you start searching for a home mortgage loan. (A guide to the different types of mortgage loans can help.)

The scoop on the Main market: Prices in the Pine Tree State were up 5.7% in February 2024 when compared to the prior year, with homes selling for a median of $360,200, according to Redfin. The three most competitive cities for homebuyers were Standish, South Berwich, and Gray.

💡 Learn about Maine first-time homebuyer programs

New Hampshire

The housing market in the Granite State is hot. From February 2023 to February 2024, home prices rose 12.5% to an average sale price of $447,400, according to Redfin. And 41.8% of the homes sold above their list price. Still, there are good opportunities for the first-time buyer in the state, and there are first-time homebuyer assistance programs to help you reach your homeowning goal.

💡 Learn about New Hampshire first-time homebuyer programs


The Green Mountain State is paradise for outdoorsy types with forests, lakes, and mountains. No wonder then that the housing market has heated up: The number of homes sold increased 14.2% between February 2023 and 2024. Prices were up 6.5% as well, according to Redfin.

Homebuyers may need help to afford a home with the median price here hitting $361,300. Fortunately, the state has several programs to offer.

💡 Learn about Vermont first-time homebuyer programs


Glorious New England scenery, a rich history, and diverse cultural and educational opportunities are just some of the things Massachusetts has to offer residents. It’s no wonder that home prices here outpace the national average, or that they are rising. Prices in Massachusetts were up 9.9% in the year ending February 2024, Redfin reports. The median sale price in the state is now $576,900.

At the same time, the median number of days a home stays on the market has dropped by 5 year-over-year, an indicator that the market is warming. Still, there are plenty of opportunities for the first-time homebuyer in Massachusetts.

💡 Learn about Massachusetts first-time homebuyer programs

Rhode Island

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. But prices here are well above the national average of $342,941. The average property value is $438,711, up 8.3% year over year, according to Zillow. Wondering what a down payment would look like on a given property price? Use a mortgage down payment calculator to do the math.

💡 Learn about Rhode Island first-time homebuyer programs


You’re looking at a competitive market in the Constitution State: In February 2024, home prices in Connecticut were up 13.2% year-over-year. The median price of a Nutmeg State home is $375,300, according to Redfin, and the number of days a property stays on the market is declining. Fortunately you can still find affordable homes in Torrington and New Britain, among other affordable places in Connecticut.

💡 Learn about Connecticut first-time homebuyer programs

New York

The housing market in New York state can be challenging, especially for first-time buyers. Home prices in the Empire State in January 2024 were up 6.3% over the prior year, with a median sale price of $518,800. The number of days on the market dropped as well. A stunning 37% of homes sold above their listing price.

💡 Learn about New York first-time homebuyer programs

New Jersey

The Garden State saw record real estate sales in some areas in recent years as city dwellers fled to the suburbs. In the year ending February 2024, home prices in New Jersey were up 14.5% over the prior year, and the median sales price was $479,100. The median days on the market dropped 15 year-over-year to 46. Buyers in New Jersey need to prepare themselves to compete in this market.

💡 Learn about New Jersey first-time homebuyer programs


Thinking of buying a home in Pennsylvania? Prices rose 6.6% from January 2023 to January 2024, to a median of $264,700, Redfin reported. It’s a seller’s market here, so you may have to compete to get the home you want, especially in cities like New Castle (home prices were up more than 31% in a year) and Mechanicsburg (up 55.5%). Harrisburg and Lancaster ranked as some of the best affordable places to live in Pennsylvania.

💡 Learn about Pennsylvania first-time homebuyer programs

The Takeaway

Qualifying first-time homebuyers have many options available to them in the Northeast, 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.

Looking for an affordable option for a home mortgage loan? SoFi can help: We offer low down payments (as little as 3% - 5%*) with our competitive and flexible home mortgage loans. Plus, applying is extra convenient: It's online, with access to one-on-one help.

SoFi Mortgages: simple, smart, and so affordable.

*SoFi requires Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for conforming home loans with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio greater than 80%. As little as 3% down payments are for qualifying first-time homebuyers only. 5% minimum applies to other borrowers. Other loan types may require different fees or insurance (e.g., VA funding fee, FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums, etc.). Loan requirements may vary depending on your down payment amount, and minimum down payment varies by loan type.

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