Arizona Down-Payment Assistance Program Turns Renters Into Homeowners

Arizona was one of the states hit hardest during the housing crash. But it’s now well on the road to recovery. Home prices across the state have been rising steadily for several years now. Prices have risen so much, in fact, that many Arizona home buyers are having trouble affording down payments. The Arizona Housing Finance Authority (AzHFA) has stepped in to help such residents, by offering a down payment assistance grant program for qualified Arizona home buyers.

The new program is called Home Plus, and it’s aimed at renters who want to buy a house but lack the funds needed for a down payment. AzHFA officials are quick to point out the program is designed for creditworthy individuals who can afford the monthly payments associated with a mortgage loan.

Here are some additional details for Arizona home buyers seeking down payment assistance:

Home Plus: Down Payment Assistance for Arizona Buyers

Working with various partners, the Arizona Housing Finance Authority provides 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loans to qualified home buyers. The loans come with a down payment assistance grant equal to 4% of the amount being borrowed. (Example: For a mortgage loan of $200,000, an eligible borrower could qualify for a grant of up to $8,000.)

Military service members could qualify for an additional 1% in down payment assistance money, for a total of 5% of the loan amount.

According to AzHFA, the money is provided in the form of a “non-repayable grant” and can be used for both the down payment and closing costs. This is a key point, because closing costs can easily add up to thousands of dollars and must be paid out of pocket in most cases.

The assistance offered through this program will make homeownership possible for financially responsible Arizona home buyers who lack the upfront cash needed for down payment and closing costs.

Program Highlights and Eligibility Requirements

Arizona home buyers who wish to apply for down payment assistance must meet the requirements outlined below, at a minimum.

  • The home being purchased must serve as the borrower’s primary residence (as opposed to a second home or vacation property).
  • The borrower’s income should not exceed $88,340.
  • The price of the home being purchased must not exceed $353,360.
  • All home buyers participating in the program must complete an educational course prior to closing. Web-based home buying courses offered by mortgage insurance companies like Genworth Financial and MGIC are acceptable, as are the courses offered by other HUD-approved education providers.
  • The mortgage loan must be provided by one of the Arizona Housing Finance Authority’s approved lenders. Participating lenders will help home buyers navigate the process and register for the down payment assistance grant.

This program offers 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. Borrowers can choose between an FHA-insured loan, a “regular” conforming loan, or the VA and USDA programs. A credit score of 640 or higher is required in most cases, with a 680 score requirement for borrowers who make smaller down payments.

More information: For a list of approved educational courses and mortgage lenders, and for other important details, visit https://housing.az.gov/. Interested parties can also contact Dirk Swift, the program administrator, at (602) 771-1091, or by email: dirk.swift@azhousing.gov.

Please note that the Home Buying Institute is merely reporting on this program. We do not have any additional information regarding down payment assistance grants for Arizona home buyers, or the specific requirements for such programs. For more information, please use the reference and contact information provided above.