Homebuyer Program

(updated 9/20/2022)

Dear First Time Buyer:

The purpose of the Program is to provide assistance to qualified low and moderate-income families interested in purchasing their first home. The Program provides financial assistance toward the downpayment and with the closing costs associated with home purchase.

Not everyone is eligible for this unique Program. To qualify, you must be 18 years of age or older, and have not owned property (or had a deed in your name) for three (3) years prior to the date of application. You may also qualify if you are a displaced homemaker.

Your household’s income must fall at or below the income limits outlined on the attached chart. Funds are only available for those households with an income at or below 80% of the Median Family Income (MFI). Furthermore, applicants may not have signed an Agreement of Sale for any property prior to undergoing group and individual counseling.

It is necessary that you provide at least $1,000 towards the purchase of your home. You must also complete homeownership counseling classes. The funds are considered 0% interest loans, which must be repaid upon the future sale or transfer of the property, unless you purchase a house in the Revitalization areas of Delaware County (see application) in which case the loan is forgiven if you reside in the house for a period of five years. In addition, the County will only subordinate for the refinancing of the existing first mortgage to a lower interest rate. The new loan amount cannot exceed the existing principal amount plus closing costs associated with the new first mortgage. The County will not subordinate for any type of home equity or debt consolidation loan and will require that all County funds be returned to the County upon the settlement of any such loan.

Program Description

Purpose: To provide homeownership opportunities to first time homebuyers in Delaware County through pre and post purchase homeownership counseling, as well as, downpayment and closing cost assistance.

Eligible Homebuyers: Low and moderate income (see attached Income Limits) first time homebuyers, purchasing a home in Delaware County (to view list of HOFirst Communities use the link above). A first time homebuyer is someone who has not owned a home in the last three (3) years, or is a displaced homemaker.

Eligible Properties: Single family, residential, owner occupied houses (detached, twin, rowhouse, townhouse or apt. condominium) which are in compliance with County housing quality standards. Renter occupied properties, duplexes and properties that are located in and pay property taxes to Chester City, Haverford Township or Upper Darby Township are also not eligible.

Primary Lenders: Applicants are required to secure a first mortgage. Local banks or mortgage companies will be encouraged to offer discounted interest rates and fees for first time buyers. First mortgages must be 30 year fixed, at or below market interest rate, with no more than three points charged, and have a minimum 95% loan to value ratio.

Minimum Contribution: A minimum of $1,000 toward the purchase of the home must come from the borrower. Typically, lenders will require at least 3.5% of the sales price from the borrower’s savings. A borrower’s liquid assets, excluding retirement funds, may not exceed $10,000.00.

Homebuyer Assistance: Each borrower will be evaluated based upon income, credit history, and available assets. Total assistance will not exceed $10,000. Down- payment assistance will be limited to an amount equal to 2% of the sales price of the home. The balance of funds will be applied to eligible closing costs as needed.

Additional Requirements: Eight (8) hours of group homeownership counseling and a minimum of one individual counseling session are mandatory. A Certificate of Achievement for the successful completion of the homeownership counseling will be issued once the client establishes good credit and completes all items identified in their Action Plan.

Maximum Sale Price: $266,000.00 (effective June 1, 2022)

2022 Income Limits

(effective 6/15/22)

To qualify for the Homeownership First Program, your current household income may not exceed 80% of the Median Family Income (MFI) for the area. Remember that household income includes the income of all household members, eighteen years of age or older, who will be residing in the new property. The MAXIMUM gross annual income limits are as follows:

Household Size<80% MFI

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