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4 First-Time Home Buyer Loans And Programs For Police Officers And First Responders

Police officers and first responders provide some of the most valuable services to communities across the nation. These jobs are so much more than just a career. Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every single day that they report for duty. They do this all to help keep communities safe.

Many police officers and first responders cannot even afford to buy a home in the communities that they serve. Closing costs can easily reach into the thousands of dollars on a home purchase. Due to the dismal salaries for first responders, buying a home for the first time is often out of reach.

Fortunately, the federal and state government recognizes the value that these workers provide. As a result, they have developed programs to make home ownership possible for police officers and first responders. Here is a look at some of the programs for first-time homebuyers who work in these professions.

#1 Everyday Hero Housing Assistance Fund

The Everyday Hero Housing Assistance Fund (EHHAF) is available to help law enforcement officers and firefighters buy a new home. The program is available everywhere except New York, Arizona, and Vermont.  

The program helps minimize out-of-pocket expenses by paying for closing costs for purchasing a home. There are no administrative fees for the gift. The funds are free and never have to be repaid.

How to Qualify/Requirements: To qualify for the program, you must be a firefighter, police officer, nurse, social worker, doctor or teacher.

#2 Good Neighbor Next Door Program

The Good Neighbor Next Door Program is available from the federal government. It helps police officers, emergency medical technicians (EMT), teachers and firefighters buy a home in a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) revitalization area. Police officers and others listed receive a 50 percent discount on homes that are listed in HUD’s revitalization inventory.

How to Qualify/Requirements: To qualify you must belong to one of the occupations listed above. You have to purchase a home that is located in one of HUD's revitalization areas. You must also agree to reside in the home for three years. The house must be your sole residence. You cannot use the Good Neighbor Next Door Program to buy an investment or vacation property.

#3 Connecticut Police Homeownership Program

If you are buying a house in Connecticut, then you might qualify for the Police Homeownership Program through Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA). This program is available for police officers to buy homes in the communities where they work. It provides down payment assistance, no asset limits and a reduced interest rate of 0.125% below the current market rates.

How to Qualify/Requirements: You must be a municipal police officer to qualify for this program. The home must be located in the city or two where you work. You have also to be a first-time home buyer or have not owned a home in the last three years. Investment and vacation properties do not qualify. The house must be your primary residence. Homebuyer education is also required. CHFA offers it for free. Your income and the price of the home must also be within certain limits set forth by CHFA. Check out their website for more information.

#4 CalHERO Advantage Program

The CalHERO is a California mortgage and down payment assistance program for firefighters, police, nurses, veterans, and teachers. Often referred to as the mortgage program for heroes, CalHero helps people in these professions buy a home. The goal is to give back to those who sacrifice their time to serve residents of California. The program provides a grant that can be used for a down payment on a home. It also provides a discounted interest rate, flexible underwriting, and more. The main benefit of this program is that it is not limited to first-time home buyers. Assistance is available for FHA, Conventional, USDA and VA loans.

How to Qualify/Requirements: To qualify for the CalHERO Police program, you must be employed as a sheriff, peace officer, border patrol officer, or another law enforcement capacity in California. The CalHERO Firefighter program is available for paramedics, EMTs, and firefighters in California, as well. Credit scores of 580 and up are required.

Mortgage Tips for Police Officers Purchasing a Home

Before you start looking for a home, make sure your finances are in order. Check out law enforcement tax deductions to see what kinds of savings you might qualify for at tax time. This can help you save money for closing costs and a down payment.

Don't take out any new car loans before applying for a mortgage. Do you need a new car? Whatever you do, do not take out a car loan right before a mortgage. It can severely impact your ability to qualify. Are you Worried that your current vehicle might be a lemon? Check out this blog post for information on how to sue a car dealership.

Are you worried about your ability to repay your mortgage if you are laid off? With the economy in such bad shape, that is a valid concern. But, if you do get behind on your mortgage, there are options. Learn more about bankruptcy to stop foreclosure.

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