Resources Available for Buying a Home in Southeast Nebraska

Friday, May 12, 2017

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The 2016 Gage County Housing Study pointed to demand for both home ownership and rentals in our area. Especially with a tight rental market, some individuals and families could be in the market to buy if they only knew about the various programs available that can assist them in acquiring a home. 

Here is a quick list of resources that can help individuals and families in buying a home.  Some of these programs are focused on the first time home buyer and most are tied to specific family income criteria to assist when personal financial qualifications for a conventional loan won’t fit.

The Nebraska Investment Finance Authority (NIFA) offers single family homeownership assistance for first time home buyers (someone who has not had an ownership interest in a principal residence in the past three years), active military and/or qualified veterans.  Homebuyers must be at or below maximum income limits and purchase price limits (in non-targeted areas, home cannot exceed $225,000 purchase price).  For a 1 – 2 person family, gross annual income limit total from all sources of persons 18 years or older in the family is $66,800 or $76,820 for a 3+ family size.  Homebuyer benefits include:  30-year fixed interest rate loans, no prepayment penalty, down payment and closing cost assistance, with affordable monthly payments.   More information about NIFA’s programs can be found at www.nifa.org or for more details about their Single Family Programs click here

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides Direct Home Ownership Loans and works with approved lenders by issuing a guarantee on a home mortgage loan.  The USDA Direct Home Ownership Loan follows income limits, requires acceptable credit history with adequate repayment ability and the borrower must show they are unable to acquire conventional credit for their home purchase.  Homes must be of modest size.  The direct loan can be for up to 33 years with no down payment typically required.  Here are details about the USDA Single Family Housing Direct Home Loans.  

USDA also has a rural home repair loan and grants programs to assist low income owner-occupied homeowners in rural areas to remove health and safety hazards and make necessary repairs.  Loans can be repaid up to 20 years at 1% interest rate and be for up to $20,000.   

Blue Valley Community Action Partnership (BVCA) serves several counties in southeast Nebraska with housing assistance programs.  The BVCA Partnership has funds to assist income eligible applicants to purchase homes in their service area including Gage County.  The Homeownership Opportunity Program is funded by a grant from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.  These funds assist with closing costs, down payment assistance and rehabilitation of existing homes.  Applicants must be:  1) First time homeowners with some exceptions, 2) Have income at or below 100% median income based on family size ($63,400 for a family of 4 for example), 3) Be able to secure a 1st mortgage, 4) Choose a home that meets the Uniform Housing Code and assures all health and safety standards are met, 5) Contribute at least $500 toward the purchase of a home. 

BVCA also provides home weatherization funding assistance to those in need and home rehabilitation funding for homeowners at or below 100% median income levels for their county.   See this list of programs and services offered by Blue Valley Community Action Partnership including housing programs.   

The Nebraska Housing Developers Association through referrals of their non-profit members may assist with down payment and closing cost assistance to eligible Nebraska borrowers who meet specific conditions.  Their program is called “FirstDown”.  

We are very fortunate in Nebraska and in our area with resources that can assist families in acquiring a home.   There are progressive banks and realtors in Gage County that also understand how some of these programs work to make home ownership possible.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance!   

Category: home buyer assistance, homeownership, purchasing a home, home owner, housing assistance, housing resources

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