Tennessee First Time Home Buyer Programs

Tennessee First Time Home Buyer Programs

Are you thinking of buying your first house in Tennessee? Would you like some extra money to help you purchase that first home? If you answered yes to these two questions, there is great news for you. The state of Tennessee provides free grant money for its residents who are first time home buyers and need help with the down payment and closing costs. This funding comes in the form of state grants for closing costs and down payments from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency. This program provides free money that shouldn’t be passed up! The grant awards can be in the thousands of dollars. It will be well worth your time to educate yourself about the grant programs that the State of Tennessee provides.

Tennessee First Time Home Buyer Programs

The agency in Tennessee that provides these incentives to first time home buyers is The Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA). There is currently one such grant program available, depending upon your income. You can receive a grant of up to 4% of the purchase price to use toward the down payment and closing costs. To keep the grant, you are required to remain in your home for 5 years. To find out more about this program, please visit the Tennessee Housing Development Agency website page specifically describing the grant program.

THDA’s Homeownership programs are designed for low- and moderate-income borrowers. The Great Advantage program offers a slightly higher interest rate loan secured by a first mortgage offering downpayment and closing cost assistance of 2%. The Great Start program offers a loan at a slightly higher interest rate, secured by a first mortgage, but offers assistance with down payment and closing costs of 4%.

Here is the contact information for the Tennessee Housing Development Agency:

404 James Robertson Parkway
Suite 1200
Nashville, TN 37243-0900
Phone: 615-815-2200
Toll-free Number: 800-228-THDA
FAX: 615-564-2700
TTY: 615-532-2894
Community Grant Programs: 615-815-2030
First-Time Homebuyers: 615-815-2100
Homebuyer Education: 615-815-2085


Local Programs Throughout Tennessee

In addition to the variety of 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 this page.

Here is the contact information for the HUD office in Tennessee:

Nashville Field Office
235 Cumberland Bend
Suite 200
Nashville, TN 37228-1803
Phone: (615) 736-5600
Fax: (615) 736-7848

There are also these local programs:

Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise Inc. Affordable Housing Assistance Program (423) 756-6201

“For 25 years, the programs and services provided by Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise, Inc. have improved the quality of life for the better for all Chattanoogans.

From CNE’s work to revitalize neighborhoods through the promotion and preservation of Homeownership, to our work with physical development and home improvement, CNE has worked to promote decent, fit and affordable housing for all Chattanoogans.”

Davidson County Home Ownership Metro Employee Program (HOME) (615) 780-7000

Hamblen County Area Housing Opportunities Committee Gift Program (GIFT) (423) 586-8421

Jackson Affordable Housing Community Development Corporations SMART To Live in Jackson Program (SMART) (731) 422-1366

Knoxville Community Development Corporation Home Ownership HOPE VI Program (HOPEVI) (865) 594-8800

Knoxville County Knox Housing Partnership Down Home (865) 637-1679

“If you are serious about buying your first home, we invite you to join our Homebuyer Education program, a nationally recognized curriculum to help first-time homebuyers navigate through the house purchase process. Preregistration is required for these one-day (Saturday) classes held monthly.  Call Yvonne Hall, HomeOwnership Center Manager, to learn more about this exciting program:  (865) 637-1679, ext 223.

The Homebuyer Education offers far more than the eight hours of classroom each customer receives. KHP provides the following additional services through housing counseling in conjunction with the course curriculum:

  • Pre-purchase education
  • Loan Origination and Brokering Assistance
  • Affordability Assistance
  • Post-Purchase Education, including foreclosure prevention”

Memphis City-Wide Down Payment Assistance Program (CWDPA) (901) 576-7424

“The Down Payment Assistance (DPA) program provides grant or loan funds to low and
very low-income first-time homebuyers. The funds may be used for
closing costs, down payment, and prepaids associated with closing.
Applicants must meet the low and very-low income limits as defined by
HUD (see Appendix A for current limits), be a first-time homebuyer or a
person who has not owned a home within the last three years, be able to
obtain a mortgage from a participating bank or mortgage company, have
an acceptable credit history, and have the ability to make monthly
mortgage payments. Purchasers must also contribute a minimum cash
investment of $500.00 to $1,000.00 depending on the cost of the house (except MHA
residents, who must contribute $100.00).”

About Jennifer Cribsly

I'm a former real estate broker who specialized in helping first time buyers be able to purchase a home. Now full time mom, part time real estate owner/investor.
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