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Idaho First Time Home Buyer Programs

Posted by Lisa Kohl on Monday, August 10th, 2015 at 11:53am.

Idaho First Time Home Buyer Programs

Reality Check: You’re Already Paying a Mortgage. Monthly rents have shot up throughout the area and now more than ever, folks realize that the amount of rent they’re paying every month could easily be paying an actual mortgage – for a home you own. There are many Idaho First Time Home Buyer Programs that can help you do just that.

National Programs & Grants


A significant portion of first time home buyers will utilize an FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan. An Idaho FHA loan is a loan that is backed by the government and buyers are required to put down at least 3.5% of the loan amount in order to purchase a home. Let’s face it, 3.5% can add up. What most people don’t know is that there are Idaho first time home buyer programs out there to help first time buyers buy a home with little money down and by a little money, I mean as little as $500. Sounds pretty impressive, especially since you just wrote a check to your landlord last month.

Fact: Nearly two-thirds of recent home buyers put down less than 20%. 26% put down just 1%-5% and 10% put down 0%.

USDA Rural Development Program

Designed to help with homeownership in rural areas, Rural Development provides 100% financing with lower fees than most of the other programs. Unfortunately, most parts of Ada and Canyon counties don’t currently qualify. Qualifying areas can change frequently, currently Kuna does qualify. As one of the best programs in Idaho for first time home buyer who qualifies, it’s at least worth looking into.

Idaho State and Local Programs & Grants

The Idaho Housing and Finance Association or (IHFA) can help when it comes to helping you get the keys to your first home. These home buyer programs can vary by lender and have various requirements, but I will give you an overview of what to expect. Let’s learn about local programs designed to help you on your path to homeownership.

IHFA First Plus Gift Program

IHFA provides up to a 2% gift towards your down payment and can be combined with your Idaho FHA loan. So if you need 3.5% down payment, IHFA can help with 2% of that, leaving only 1.5% to put down.

  • Minimum credit score 620.
  • Income must be less than $70,495 in ADA County and $85,820 in Canyon County. Can be used with FHA.
  • Minimum Borrower needs to bring to closing: $500.

IHFA First Plus 2nd Mortgage

Yes, the word 2nd mortgage can sound scary, but with this loan IHFA provides up to 1.5% of your down payment. This loan comes with a low-interest rate and can be combined with the IHFA First Plus Gift program listed above. Essentially, you would have your primary mortgage and a small second to pay monthly.

  • Minimum credit score 620.
  • Income limits apply when used with an FHA loan.
  • Minimum Buyer needs to bring to closing: 0.5% of Loan Amount.

IHFA Good Credit Rewards

While some of the other programs can be combined with each other to help reach that 3.5% down payment requirement. This program provides up to 3% of down payment assistance. This too is a low-interest 2nd mortgage loan.

  • Minimum credit score 700.
  • Income limits apply when used with FHA.
  • The interest rate is 2% higher than mortgage rate of the first mortgage.

Down Payment Assistance

Just as it sounds, this is a program that helps provide up to 3% of your down payment on your loan.

  • Minimum credit score 620.
  • Income must be less than $90,000. Can be used with FHA.
  • Minimum Buyer needs to bring to closing: 0.5% of Loan Amount.

Boise City Grants

This is essentially a “free” grant for first time home buyers. The city may provide up to $35,000 or 25% for your down payment. This loan comes in the form of a 2nd mortgage and you must be purchasing a home within the Boise City Limits.

  • Minimum credit score 620.
  • Income must be less than $33,600 to $63,400. This is based on household size. Can be used with FHA.
  • Minimum Buyer needs to bring to closing: 0.5% of Loan Amount.

Now that hopefully you have a better understanding that there are options out there to help you out as an Idaho first time home buyer. There’s no time better than now to ditch the rent and start making monthly payments to your future instead of your landlord’s bank account. For more First Time Home Buyer resources, click on our buyer resources page.

Boise Real Estate Agent Lisa KohlLisa Kohl

Questions about first time home purchasing? Please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call (208) 391-4466. A real estate agent doesn’t just help you find a home to purchase; we also help homebuyers put the wheels in motion before we even start the home search. Whether it’s tips on saving for a down payment, down payment resources or putting you in touch with a reputable home loan specialist- we are your one-stop resource. - Lisa Kohl, Real Estate Expert in Boise, Idaho

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