How Do Buyers Apply for a First-Time Home Buyer Grant?

Home buyers should take several steps to apply for first-time home buyer grants, as detailed by SF Gate: researching state programs, gathering qualifying documents, finding approved mortgage lenders and filling out forms. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awards grants to state-wide and local organizations in all states as of October 2015.

Buyers can find links to grants by choosing their states from the State Info section on the online HUD portal, and then clicking Homebuying Programs. The home ownership assistance page for each state lists state-wide programs with links to their official websites and links to city and county pages for more localized programs. For instance, clicking on Harris County on the Texas ownership assistance page takes visitors to the eligibility requirements for the Harris County first-time home buyer's Downpayment Assistance Program.

Once buyers have found grants that they qualify for in their areas, they must gather all the required documents. Documents can include proof of assets, income information and citizenship documents, as is shown by the Harris County DAP. Some programs require buyers to take special home buyer education courses and meet minimum credit scores. Often a program will provide a list of approved mortgage lenders for home buyers to choose from.

Home buyers usually fill out both mortgage applications and program applications with the approved lenders that they choose, as with the Harris County DAP. The mortgage lender works with the buyer to provide all the necessary documentation and usually submits program applications to the state or local agency for approval.