Does Down Payment Assistance Matter in a Hot Market?

September 1, 2016

When your market’s median home price is more than $350K and most homes get multiple bids, could a down payment program actually help?

The Denver Post recently took a deep dive into this issue and contact us for information about available programs. Denver’s median home price is now $354,000, making a 20 percent down payment a whopping $70K. That’s a pretty steep cost to entry.

Even with low down payment options available today, buyers and agents report that offers with a low down payment are often passed over for all cash offers or those with at least 20 percent down.

What’s a first-time homebuyer to do?

The Denver Post highlighted local programs that can give buyers an edge, including down payment funds for 4 percent of home price and allowing incomes of up to $111,000. In the Denver metro area, there are at least 63 homeownership programs and more than half do not have a first-time homebuyer requirement. That’s great, but is it actually helping buyers in Denver?

According to the buyers and program administrators interviewed, with persistence and a bit of strategy, it’s working. In fact, the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) is seeing its highest loan volumes in history. The average CHFA grant is $6,000.

Pro tips in a hot market

Here are three pro tips from Denver lenders and housing finance agencies—apply these to any hot market:

  • Get your timing right. Try to buy in seasonally slow times, when homes typically sit longer on the market and there are more price reductions. Sellers will be more open to your offer.
  • Layer any grant money you qualify for with your own savings to boost your down payment.
  • Work with a good agent who can help you prescreen properties and write a strong offer.

Get the full story at The Denver Post.

Are you in a hot market? Find out what programs are in your area and if you may qualify.

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