Buying a home on a teacher's salary can be challenging for some educators. What many teachers might not realize is that there are program's available to make it easier for them to become homeowners. If you are a teacher and looking to buy a home, here is what you need to know.
What Assistance Is Available?
At the federal level, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, has created the Good Neighbor Next Door program to help educators find affordable housing. The program is available to educators who teach grades pre-kindergarten through 12th.
The program provides a discount on certain HUD-approved homes. The homes are generally located in areas in which community revitalization is the focus. For instance, areas in which foreclosures are high tend to be part of the program.
What Do You Have to Do?
In addition to being an educator, there are several requirements that must be met to qualify for the program. One of the most important is that you must agree to reside in the home for at least three years. If you fail to complete this requirement, you could face having to pay the full value of the home.
You also have to select a home that is approved by HUD. Your real estate agent can obtain a list of homes in your area that meet the qualifications. It is important that there are time restrictions placed on how long a home is available and you could also face significant competition from other educators on a home in which you are interested. It is imperative that you take action as soon as you find a home that you want to buy.
What If You Do Not Qualify?
A disqualification at the federal level does not necessarily mean that your dreams of becoming a homeowner are ruined. There are also state programs that are available to educators.
For instance, the state of California offers the Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program. The program offers loans to educators who are first-time homebuyers. In the state of Texas, the Homes for Texas Heroes Program provides down payment assistance and fixed rate mortgages for educators. Contact your state's Department of Housing to find out which programs are available in your area.
Your real estate agent can also help with locating additional programs for educators and even help determine if you qualify for assistance with other home buying-related costs.