Getting your first home isn’t easy. You have to save up for the down payment, apply for a mortgage, and then do all the paperwork before finally moving in and exhausting all your savings on the furniture — as well as appliances — that you’ll need to buy. But what if there was an easier way? Well, there actually is. You could try to get a home buyer grant.

What is a home buyer grant?

These grants are government initiatives that are aimed at helping more people become homeowners and fewer people default on their mortgages. They can help you with paying a lower down payment — and sometimes not even having to pay a down payment at all — as well as make it easier for you to qualify for lower interest rates which will make it easier for you to stay up to date on your monthly payments. There are many different types of home buyer grants that you could try to apply for, but today we’re going to look at some of the most popular and/or easiest.

First-time Home Buyers Grants and Programs

1. Good Neighbor Next Door

This is one of the best grants that you can get if you manage to qualify. This program is run by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. It aims to get productive members of society in good neighborhoods so that they can assist their neighbors if they are ever in need such as during civil unrest or any other disturbance. Those that qualify for these grants are often emergency services such as paramedics or firefighters as well as law enforcement agents.

Teachers also qualify for these grants since, while they don’t have the skills to neutralize a home invasion, they provide the education necessary to reduce the number of home invasions annually — thus protecting and educating the community all at once. In certain regions of your city known as revitalization areas, you could get a discount of up to 50% on the listed price for any specific home. If you’ve spent all your life serving others and keeping the public safe, you could finally get a return on your investment by getting this grant that will give you your first home. Bear in mind that you’re unlikely to be approved if you were terminated for improper conduct such as extrajudicial killings or negligence causing death.

2. HUD Dollar Home Program

Okay, so let us start by saying that these homes do not retail for an actual dollar. That’s just an example used to represent their cheap costs. If a foreclosed home has been on the market for six months or more, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development offer these homes to low-income families at very cheap prices so that they can get rid of excess inventory while helping people get their first house. It’s sort of a win-win for both the government and the recipient of the new home. It’s worth noting that some of these homes may be in undesirable areas seeing as no one has bought them since they were foreclosed half a year ago, but it’s still worth checking the home out. Perhaps the neighborhood is perfectly safe but just far away from all the good shopping malls and Starbucks joints leading to its availability.

3. FHA loans

Ever since the real estate market collapsed in 2008, the Federal Housing Administration has been keeping busy ensuring the no such event repeats itself. It has been over 10 years since that trying time, but they haven’t stopped yet. They aim to turn more people into homeowners and make it easier for people to afford their monthly payments to ensure that no collapses happen in the future. If your credit score meets the 580-mark, you could get a home loan with a down payment as low as 3.5%. Talk about cheap.

That said, even if your credit score is below that, you aren’t out of luck just yet. The FHA loans accommodate those with lower credit scores. If your credit score is below 580 but at 500 or more, you will still be eligible for an FHA loan. The only issue is that your down payment will be at 10% rather than 3.5%, but that’s still a pretty fair price. It’s recommended that you raise your credit score to 580 or better before getting your FHA loan to qualify for the lower down payment. All the closing costs are added into the loan meaning you won’t have to cover them yourself upfront — making the process easier, faster, and cheaper for you.

4. USDA loans Programs

That’s right, the same USDA you’re thinking — United States Department of Agriculture — actually provides home loans too. You might be wondering why the federal farming agency is helping you buy a house. Well, seeing as they’re in charge of all things related to agriculture, the USDA has decided to take initiative and fill up the rural areas of the country with productive members of society as opposed to letting the urban centers have all the fun and income. These loans make it easier for low-income families to get homes on the cheap provided they’re in rural areas. It might not be the most fun life to live miles from the nearest shopping mall, but if you’re willing to make that sacrifice to get your own home, then the USDA housing loans might be the right option for you. You could even try your hand at farming once you get there — which is what the USDA hopes you’ll do after they give you a home for so cheap. You’ll make extra income and always have food on the table.

5. VA loans Programs

If you’re a veteran, getting a VA loan could be a great way to buy your first home. It’s a sad truth but many veterans actually don’t have their own homes. They were too busy serving their country to go into business and grow their savings accounts. Luckily, the Veterans Affairs Administration has been hard at work for the past few decades and can now provide affordable loans to those who have spent a lifetime trying to protect the interests of our great country. The Veterans Affairs administration acquires its own funding meaning it’s available even during the government shutdowns that occur every now and then. The interest rates are low for VA loans qualifying is easy, but the main benefit of these loans is the fact that you don’t have to give a down payment upon getting the loan. That’s right, you could pretty much get a loan without any upfront cost and just pay the monthly charges as if you were renting.

Conclusion

There are many ways to lighten the cost of getting your first home. If you’re a veteran, police officer, teacher, or someone who really wants to live the Little House on the Prairie lifestyle, you could apply for one of these programs and get yourself a house of your very own without bankrupting yourself or falling into a pile of debt. Remember, living in a rural home that you own is far better than struggling to keep up with the payments on an urban mortgage.