First Time Home Buyers 4 MIN READ

West Virginia First-Time Home Buyer Programs and Grants of 2021

Aerial view of mountain town in West Virginia Written by Adam Berns

Key takeaways:

  • West Virginia first-time home buyers can qualify for the Movin’ Up Program as new buyers and as previous home buyers.
  • The HOMEownership program offers buyers a nationally competitive interest rate of 3.03%.
  • The Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program is available for all WVHDF loan program participants.
Home key in the door opening to the livingroom

There’s nothing quite like unlocking the door and walking into your first home for the first time. And by understanding the financial assistance programs available to you, you can get even closer to holding those keys to your new home in your hand.

If you’re a first-time home buyer in West Virginia, there are several affordable and straightforward programs to make purchasing your dream home a reality. Whether you’re looking for down payment assistance or fixed-rate loan programs, we’ve created a list to help guide you in your home buying process.

West Virginia’s Home Buyer Programs

The Mountain State has two major programs available for home buyers looking to purchase their first house. The Movin’ Up and HOMEownership programs are available for low-income and moderate-income families who meet eligibility requirements. Choosing the right program for you will depend on your income level, location, and the price of the home you want to purchase. 

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Movin’ Up Program

Real estate agent reviewing paperwork with client

Unlike other programs, West Virginia’s Movin’ Up Program doesn’t require you to be a first-time home buyer. That means you can take advantage of this program’s opportunities whether you’ve purchased a home before or if this is your first time in the housing market arena.  

Through the Movin’ Up Program, home buyers can enjoy a few options for financial assistance including:

  • Home loans with a low interest rate – The current interest rate for the Movin’ Up Program is set at 3.75% (APR 4.236%).
  • Down payment/closing cost assistance – Some of the more taxing costs of buying a home are the down payment—the amount you pay to the seller—and the closing costs—the fees and expenses you pay for homeowners insurance, survey fees, escrow fees, and other associated costs.

    But the Movin’ Up Program can help alleviate that burden with 15-year fixed rate loans with a 2% interest rate. You can choose one of two cost assistance options:
    • $5,000 for loans with a loan-to-value ratio greater than 90% of the home’s price.
    • $8,000 for loans with a loan-to-value ratio less than 90% of the purchase price. 

Eligibility

There are several factors that influence home buyers eligibility for the Movin’ Up Program, including:

  • Income level – The income level for this program is set at $113,760 for one and two-person households and $132,720 for households with three or more members.
  • Home Type – Houses, condos, and townhouses, are all eligible purchase options. The program doesn’t have an acreage limit, but all homes must be in the state of West Virginia.
  • Home Buyer Education – This program does require a home buyer education course to qualify. Luckily, you can take the course in about a day from your own home for as low as $99. 

HOMEownership Program

The West Virginia Housing Development Fund has designed The HOMEownership Program to help first-time home buyers make the move into their first home. Thanks to down payment assistance and competitive low interest rates, home buyers in West Virginia can get even closer to owning their first house. 

  • Fixed-rate mortgage loan – Through the HOMEownership Program, first-time home buyers can enjoy a long-term fixed-rate loan for WV first-time home buyers. The loan is a 30-year loan, with up to 100% of the price of the home financed. The current interest rate for the HOMEownership Program is set at 3.03% (3.554% APR)
  • Down payment assistance – Sometimes the biggest obstacle is accumulating enough money for a down payment. The HOMEownership Program provides two options to help finance your down payment:
    • $7,500 if loan-to-value ratio is greater than or equal to 90% of the home’s price.
    • $10,000 if loan-to-value ratio is less than 90% of the home’s price

Eligibility

If you’re interested in applying for the HOMEOwnership program, the list below can help you determine whether or not you meet the qualifying criteria:

  • Income – The gross income limits for a home buyer depends on the county where the home is purchased and the size of your family. You can find a comprehensive list of income levels corresponding to counties on the WVHDF website.
  • Home Price – The price of the prospective home also influences eligibility. Like income levels, price points depend on the county where the home is purchased. Price points are available on the WVHDF website.
  • Ownership Interest – Prospective buyers may not qualify if they have had an ownership interest in their residence within a “three-year period ending on the date the program loan is closed.” This restriction only applies to certain counties.
  • Home Type – Houses, condos and townhouses located in West Virginia all qualify for the HOMEownership Program. However, there is an acreage limit—homes can’t contain more than acres. 
  • Home Buyer Education – All prospective program candidates must complete a home buyer education course to qualify. 
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Additional Resources for First Time Home Buyers in West Virginia

The journey to homeownership may feel like a long and difficult one at times—but there are plenty of resources to help you find your way to an amazing new home. 

USDA 502 Direct Loan Program

If you’re moving to a rural area, consider the USDA 502 Direct Loan Program. This is a federal program for very low-income and low-income families moving to a “federally-determined rural area.” The program offers a zero down payment loan with an interest rate of 2.5% in West Virginia.

Eligibility for a 502 direct loan depends on your income level and county. For more information on the loan program, visit the USDA’s website.

Mortgage Insurance

In order to qualify for a home buyer program, you may need to purchase mortgage insurance. Both the Movin’ Up and HOMEownership programs accept all mortgage insurance options. Find a West Virginia mortgage insurance provider that works for you on the US HUD website.

WVHDF Website

For other questions and concerns, such as refinancing a current mortgage or further eligibility requirements, head over to the WVHDF website

The Next Step for West Virginian First-Time Home Buyers

Purchasing a house for the first time is a big decision and selecting a loan program that works for you doesn’t need to be stressful. Once you’ve done your research and found a financial option that works for you, you can concentrate on making your new house a home. 


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