Who Qualifies For First Time Home Buyer Loans?

First time buyers can qualify for some helpful loan terms that make getting a loan a bit easier as well as make purchasing a home more attainable. The term “first time buyer,” however, is a little misleading. While these loans are certainly available to those who have never before purchased a home, there are other circumstances under which you may qualify.

True First Time Buyers

First time buyer loans are, as the name implies, made available to those who have never before purchased a house. These loans are designed to help ease the burden of down payments and other financial difficulties.

There are a range of state and federal programs to help those who have never owned a home before; not all true first time buyers will qualify for every program.

Previous Homeowners

Under many programs, you can be considered a first time buyer again if you have not owned a home in several years—the common rule is three years. That means that even if you did buy a home before, but sold it three or more years ago and have used alternative housing, such as renting, ever since, you are considered a first time buyer.

These programs are also available to those who lost a previous home due to a foreclosure or were forced to short sell in order to get out from under a home they could no longer afford. No matter the reason for selling your previous home, if enough time has elapsed you can be considered a first time buyer all over again and qualify for many programs.

Other Situations That Qualify

There are several other situations in which you may qualify for a first time buyer mortgage, even if you have owned a home before. If you are a newly single parent or previous homemaker who owned a home jointly with a former spouse, you can qualify as a first time buyer.

You can also qualify if the home you owned previously meets certain criteria: if it did not have a permanent foundation, such as a mobile home, or if the home did not meet building codes and the cost to repair it would have been higher than the cost of new construction, you can qualify.

Don’t think you can’t qualify for a first time buyer program simply because you once had your name on a mortgage. With the variety of programs and different rules, many situations can put you in a position to qualify for a program that will help you become a homeowner.