Are you thinking of buying your first home in Nebraska? Would you like information on a multitude of programs available to help you purchase that first home? If so, read on to find out how the state of Nebraska provides programs for its residents who are first time home buyers and need help with the down payment and closing costs. There are also local programs available, there are Federal grants available, and the USDA has other first time home buyer programs available. The program amounts can be in the thousands of dollars. It will be well worth your time to educate yourself about the assistance and incentive programs available to Nebraska residents to see which ones you may qualify for.
Nebraska First Time Home Buyer Grants
The agency in Nebraska that provides assistance is The Nebraska Investment Finance Authority. While many states will provide 3% towards the down payment, Nebraska offers a loan program in which you can receive up to 5% of the first mortgage amount to help with down payment and closing costs. To find out more, please visit the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority website page specifically describing all the programs. You can read about the various programs offered by going to this page.
Here are brief descriptions of the three main programs in Nebraska:
First Home Plus
The First Home Plus Program provides a low-interest rate first mortgage loan for first-time homebuyers purchasing a home within the State of Nebraska.
You must be a first-time homebuyer; who is someone that has not owned and lived in a home within the past 3 years. There are maximum income and purchase price limits that apply to all homebuyers. You must live in the home as your principal residence.
First Home Focused (Targeted Areas)
The First Home Focused Program provides a low-interest rate first mortgage loan for homebuyers purchasing a home in Nebraska that is located within a federally designated target area. You do not have to be a first-time homebuyer if you purchase a home within a target area.
There are maximum income and purchase price limits that apply to all homebuyers. You must live in the home as your principal residence.
The First Home Focused interest rate is subject to change from time to time. Homebuyers have the option of choosing a government or conventional loan product.
Homebuyer Assistance (HBA) Advantage
The Homebuyer Assistance (HBA) Advantage Program combines the benefits of a first mortgage loan with a second mortgage loan for homebuyers purchasing a home within the State of Nebraska. The second mortgage loan provides down payment and closing cost assistance.
You must be a first-time home buyer; unless the home is located in a federally designated target area or you meet the definition of a qualified veteran. A first-time homebuyer is someone that has not owned and lived in a home within the past 3 years. There are maximum income and purchase price limits that apply to all homebuyers. You must live in the home as your principal residence.
The second mortgage loan provides assistance in an amount up to 5% of the purchase price of the home. Homebuyers must make principal and interest payments on the second loan. NIFA requires the homebuyer to have a minimum investment of $1,000.
To contact the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority:
Lincoln Office (headquarters)
1230 “O” Street, Suite 200
Lincoln, NE 68508-1402
Phone: (402) 434-3900
Fax: (402) 434-3921
Local Programs Throughout Nebraska
In addition to the grant programs described above, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides home buyer assistance and grants in every state. There are multiple grant programs designed specifically for people that meet certain requirements, such as grants for people with disabilities so they can continue to live independently at home. It is worth visiting HUD’s website to see what assistance is currently available. For your convenience, simply go to here.
Here is the contact information for the HUD office in Nebraska:
Omaha Field Office
Edward Zorinsky Federal Building
1616 Capitol Avenue
Omaha, NE 68102-4908
Phone: (402) 492-3100
Fax: (402) 492-3150
In addition to the programs described above, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides first home buyer incentives and programs to Nebraska residents. There are various programs designed specifically for people who meet certain requirements, and these programs can and do change over time. Currently there are these two programs:
Nebraska USDA Guaranteed Home Ownership Loan Program (402) 437-5551
“The Purpose Of The Guaranteed Home Ownership Loan Program Is…to provide loans in rural areas that assist moderate to low income applicants to purchase, construct, repair or rehabilitate, or relocate a single family home. For manufactured housing, only new construction is permitted. Loans are made by local approved lenders, (participating mortgage lenders), with USDA Rural Development issuing a guarantee on the loan. Funds for repairs can only be included with the purchase of an existing home.”
Nebraska USDA Direct Home Ownership Loan Program (402) 437-5551
“The Purpose Of The Direct Home Ownership Loan Program Is…To provide loans in rural areas that assist very-low and low-income applicants to purchase, construct, repair or rehabilitate, or relocate a single family home. For manufactured housing, only new construction is permitted.”
There are also these local programs in various Nebraska communities:
Central Nebraska Community Services Down Payment Assistance (308) 745-0780
“MISSION STATEMENT: Taking a family’s dream and making it a reality through housing opportunities.
The Community Economic Development Department (CED) focuses on providing housing and business opportunities within the Central Nebraska Community Services 21 County Service Area.
The CED Department assists families in accessing local, state, and federal housing dollars. Activities include housing rehabilitation, down payment assistance, rent assistance, and energy saving repairs. Each program offering these activities has income eligibility guidelines.”
“Helping people, changing lives, and making communities a better place to live.” Mid’s mission is accomplished one house at a time through programs administered by the Housing Department. These programs promote safe, decent, affordable and appropriate housing for low to moderate income individuals, families and homeowners.
As a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO), Mid can receive HOME and Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust funds to:
Develop new single family housing for home ownership,
Purchase existing homes, rehabilitate to meet local building costs and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development Rehabilitation Standards, and provide downpayment assistance to first-time home buyers to purchase the homes.
Administer programs providing loans or grant to allow homeowners in rehabilitating their houses.
Buffalo, Franklin, Harlan, Kearney and Phelps counties
Frontier, Furnas, Gosper, and Red Willow counties
Purchase, Rehab, Resale Program – Buffalo County
Provide REACH home buyer education workshops covering the basics of home ownership, including financing options. REACH classes are offered on the 2nd Tuesday and Thursday of various months from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at 16 West 11th Street, Kearney, NE. There is a $30 fee for the class.”
Grand Island Homeownership Opportunity Program (308) 385-5444
City of Lincoln NeighborWorks® Homebuyer Program (402) 477-7181
“The Urban Development Department funds programs, administered through NeighborWorks®Lincoln, that help moderate-income people become successful first-time homeowners.
Applicant must not have owned a home in the past 3 years
(There are some exceptions — contact NeighborWorks®Lincoln for details)
Applicant must live on the property being purchased
Property must be within the city limits
Household annual income cannot exceed 80% of Lincoln median income
Applicant must attend and complete Homebuyer Training offered by NeighborWorks®Lincoln”
Nebraska Housing Resource Home Buyer Program (402) 434-6935
“NHR’s purpose is to provide affordable low and moderate-income housing opportunities for first-time buyers in the State of Nebraska. It achieves this purpose by encouraging more homebuilders to enter and/or expand into this market by increasing the supply of affordable lots, and arranging attractive financing packages for qualified homebuyers. In essence, NHR’s mission could be summarized as enabling small builders to serve first-time homebuyers through creative use of all available resources, public and private.
In connection with NHR’s work, the term “qualified homebuyers” typically refers to individuals or families receiving incomes less than 80% of area median income (AMI). This restriction and the “first-time buyer” requirement do not apply to “market rate” lots which are included in NHR’s larger developments to promote economic diversity.”
Multi Counties Blue Valley Community Action Inc Home Ownership Opportunity Program (HOP) (402) 729-2278
“The Homeownership Opportunity Program provides assistance for the purchase of existing or newly constructed single-family homes. The funds are available to assist individuals and families with closing costs, down payment assistance, and/or rehabilitation of the home.
Technical assistance is provided to applicants with regard to potential financial institutions with the best interest rates, inspections of existing properties and the feasibility of purchasing these homes.
Income eligibility guidelines are based upon a maximum of 100 Percent (100%) of Area Median Household Income for various family sizes as established for each county by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.
All applicants are required to secure a first mortgage from a primary lender. BVCA has experience with many local financial institutions, USDA Rural Development, and Nebraska Investment Finance Authority (NIFA) loans.
The program allows for 20% of the purchase price to be available for the buyer with a maximum of $10,000, whichever is less. The funds are a deferred loan that does not incur interest and no payments are due during the first five years after purchase. Beginning in year six, the individual or family will begin to repay the deferred loan with an interest rate of 3% amortized over ten years.”
The mission of the Northeast Nebraska Economic
Development District is to build communities,
empower families and advance businesses
through the use of a Comprehensive
Economic Development Strategy.
NENEDD Housing Programs
Down Payment Assistance
Offering 0% interest deferred loans.”
Multi Counties Northern Ponca Housing Authority Down payment Assistance Program (DAP) (402) 379-8224
Omaha Family Housing Advisory Services Homeownership Program (402) 934-7921
Omaha Housing Authority Public Housing Homeownership Program (PHHP) (402) 444-3215
“OHA Homeownership Program
The OHA Homeownership Program (HOP) is a comprehensive program designed to empower residents to make informed choices and decisions throughout the home buying process, followed by successful long-term homeownership. Services provided to clients include a series of homeownership education classes, one-on-one advisory sessions, preventative home maintenance, post-purchase classes and delinquency advisory sessions.
OHA HOP offers invaluable information that will help client’s to overcome budget obstacles, save money and learn mortgage and home buying basics. Begin now the process of owning the home you’ve always dreamed of.
Are You Ready to Become a Homeowner?
If you would like to learn more about the OHA Homeownership Program:
1. Complete the OHA Homeownership Program Enrollment Questionnaire, and drop off or mail to:
Attn: Homeownership Coordinator
4401 N. 21st Street
Omaha, NE 68110”
“According to the 2000 U.S. Census, only 38% of housing units in Winnebago were owner-occupied, compared to the State of Nebraska at 67%. Our goal is to provide at least twenty new homebuyers down payment assistance funds to purchase a home over the next two years.”