HOME+PLUS

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about the HOME+PLUS Program. The lender you choose to work with can provide further detail and more clarity on your specific situation.
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about the
HOME+PLUS Program. The lender you choose to work with can
provide further detail and more clarity on your specific situation.

HOME+PLUS

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about the HOME+PLUS Program. The lender you choose to work with can provide further detail and more clarity on your specific situation.
Home Plus New Home Owners
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A:  No. The HOME+PLUS program allows home buyers to buy either new OR existing single-family, townhomes, condos, manufactured homes, and 2-unit properties throughout the state. Currently, 3-4 unit properties are not eligible.

A:  If the new underlying first mortgage is a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage, with less than 20% down, yes mortgage insurance is required. On the Fannie and Freddie products, the charter minimum mortgage insurance coverage is much lower than mortgage insurance coverage outside of the HOME+PLUS program. Your lender should be able to provide you interest rate and mortgage payment (including mortgage insurance) comparisons between the HOME+PLUS  program options and a standard mortgage in which you provide the down payment and closing costs. You can then determine your best course of action.

A:  No. The HOME+PLUS program does not have or require the home buyer to work with a program approved Realtor, you can work with any Realtor you choose.

Unfortunately, we are not able to steer or direct you to a specific Lender.  When reaching out to the program approved Lenders keep the following in mind:

  1. While the Lender is approved under the HOME+PLUS program, not every Loan Officer (LO) is knowledgeable and active in the HOME+PLUS program. When contacting a Lender, ask to speak with a Loan Officer that is familiar with the HOME+PLUS program*.

  2. Advise the Loan Officer of the purpose of your call and that you are seeking to use the HOME+PLUS down payment assistance program. Ask how many HOME+PLUS loans they have processed in the past 6 months / past year.

  3. Each Lender establishes their Lender fees. These fees can vary greatly by Lender. Ask if they charge an origination fee on HOME+PLUS transactions and if they do, how much. Origination fees ARE NOT a requirement of the HOME+PLUS program, but a choice each Lender makes.

  4. Decide who to work with based on the information you receive and the confidence you have in the Loan Officer*.

 

* If you are not satisfied with the Loan Officer’s knowledge, answers, guidance, and / or how they communicate with you, etc… end the conversation and call another Lender / Loan Officer. There are many experienced, helpful, and committed Loan Officers that are experts in the HOME+PLUS program who would gladly work with you.

CLICK HERE TO FIND A LENDER NEAR YOU

 

A:  You do not have to be a current renter or first time home buyer to qualify for the HOME+PLUS program, however current ownership in other real estate could restrict the number of available program options. The lender you choose to work with can provide more clarity on your specific situation.

A:  Yes. The home buyer can use the HOME+PLUS assistance and either (1) keep their current funds in savings or (2) combine their current funds with the HOME+PLUS  assistance. We promote SUSTAINABLE home ownership, and providing the options of retaining money in the bank or lowering the mortgage balance further improves affordability.

A:  Home buyers entering the HOME+PLUS program must have sufficient income, job history, and credit scores to qualify for the new underlying first mortgage. Each underlying mortgage type: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA and USDA, can have slightly different credit qualification guidelines and the lender you choose to work with can provide more clarity on your specific situation.

A:  If you credit score falls below the minimum program requirements you are not currently eligible for the HOME+PLUS program. However, many of our pre-purchase home buyer counseling agencies and mortgage lenders provide credit repair service, so you may want to reach out to them if you cannot currently qualify for the new underlying first mortgage.

A: The HOME+PLUS program does not require a direct application from the home buyer. Selecting your lender is the first step in the process as your lender will be your point of contact throughout the process. They will work with you to obtain a program qualifying mortgage and register you for HOME+PLUS assistance. If you want to determine if you qualify for the HOME+PLUS assistance and new underlying first mortgage, you’ll need to meet with an approved, participating lender.

A:  The HOME+PLUS program is a true public / private sector partnership. We raise funds in the national capital markets and form partnerships with lending institutions to deliver the HOME+PLUS program throughout the State. NO taxpayer funds are used for the HOME+PLUS program.

A:  The HOME+PLUS income limit is based on the borrower’s pre-tax, gross income calculated by the lenders and used for the approval of the new underlying first mortgage. If your income is close to the program limit OR you want to determine your qualifying income for the mortgage, you’ll need to meet with an approved, participating lender to determine what your final income figures will be.

A:  The HOME+PLUS income limit is based on “borrower” income, not “household” income. If your parent will be a borrower on the new underlying first mortgage, the income is counted. If your parent will NOT be a borrower on the new underlying first mortgage, the income is NOT counted.

A:  The interest rates for the respective new underlying first mortgages are set by the HOME+PLUS program and are the same regardless of which program approved participating mortgage lender you use. Expertise in down payment assistance can vary by mortgage lender. You will need to ask the mortgage lender specifically about the HOME+PLUS  program and decide if you wish to work with them.

A:  The interest rate on the new underlying first mortgage with HOME+PLUS can be slightly higher than the interest rate should a buyer use their own funds for the down payment and closing costs. On the Fannie and Freddie products, the charter minimum mortgage insurance coverage is lower than mortgage insurance coverage outside of the HOME+PLUS program, and this offsets most of the interest rate differential. Your lender should be able to provide you interest rate and full PITI mortgage payment (including mortgage insurance) comparisons between the HOME+PLUS program and a standard mortgage in which you provide the down payment and closing costs. You can then determine your best course of action. See the “Lower Mortgage Insurance Premium with the HOME+PLUS Program” document for an example of this.

A:  The mortgage lender has ten days from the interest rate lock date to finalize ALL aspects of the new underlying first mortgage. If the mortgage is not within ten days of completion, the interest rate lock should not occur. It is the lender’s responsibility to manage each stage of the HOME+PLUS process and to communicate and coordinate with the homebuyer and Realtor accordingly.

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Home Plus New Home Owners