Ohio Down Payment Assistance

Ohio is one of the states with the lowest average mortgage debt and lowest median house prices in the country! This means that those looking for a good deal on real estate may be able to find options here. Potential home owners can also find savings thanks to programs that offer down payment or closing cost assistance.

If you're thinking about purchasing a home in Ohio, you may have options to help with the down payment or closing costs. Read below to learn more about any program and see if it can help with your home purchase!

Cuyahoga County Down Payment Assistance Program

This program, offered by the Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland, can assist qualified individuals with the expenses associated with a home purchase. Seventeen percent of the house’s purchase price is offered as down payment assistance, and an additional 5% is offered as closing cost assistance. This is a loan with deferred payments, and 50% of the loan amount can be forgiven after a residency of 10 years. Any loan amount due does not need to be paid back until the house is sold or transferred.

Only first-time homebuyers who have not owned a home in the previous three years can apply. Applicants must also fall within the below annual household income limits:

1 person household: $38,050
2 person household: $43,450 
3 person household: $48,900
4 person household: $54,300
5 person household: $58,650 
6 person household: $63,000
7 person household: $67,350 
8 person household: $71,700 

These numbers are accurate as of 2020.

Applicants cannot be behind on their tax payments, nor can their LTV be higher than 80%. Applicants have DTI limits too – 28% for the housing debt-to-income and 43% for overall debt-to-income. Applicants also have an asset limit – after putting down 3% of their funds towards the home purchase, they cannot have more than $7,000 or 6 months PITI (whichever amount is higher) in liquid assets.

Only primary residences can be purchased using this program, and that property must be a new or existing single-family house. The property must be either occupied by the seller, or empty for a minimum of 90 days before closing. Houses will need to pass an inspection prior to being approved for this program. If the house does not pass, the deficiencies must be corrected before it will be considered for approval.

As of 2020, the purchase price limit for this program is $129,000.

Dayton Down Payment Assistance Program

Homebuyers in Dayton, Ohio may be able to utilize this down payment assistance program. Offered by the Homeownership Center, as much as 10% of the purchase price of a house can be utilized by first-time homebuyers as down payment and closing cost assistance. This assistance is offered in the form of a loan with 0% interest and deferred payments. It does not have to be paid back until the property is sold, refinanced, transferred, vacated, or becomes a rental property. As funds for this program are limited, its availability is first-come, first-serve.

The applicant’s total annual household income must be at or less than 80% of the area median income, or as follows (as of 2020):

  • 1 person household: $35,650
  • 2 person household: $40,750
  • 3 person household: $45,850
  • 4 person household: $50,900
  • 5 person household: $55,000
  • 6 person household: $59,050
  • 7 person household: $63,150
  • 8 person household: $67,200

Applicants must be able to pay a minimum of $500 from their own funds towards the home purchase. Further, applicants must complete homebuyer education and counseling.

Houses must be able to pass an inspection; if they cannot, the issues must be fixed prior to being approved for this program.

One-to-two unit properties (including condos and Planned Unit Developments) are allowed, as long as they will be serving as the applicant’s primary residence.

Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance Program

The Ohio Housing and Finance Agency (OHFA) offers Your Choice! to provide qualified individuals with down payment and closing cost assistance. 2.5% or 5% of the loan amount is then offered to help the individual with the costs of the down payment, closing, and other approved expenses. This is a forgivable loan that does not need to be paid back unless the applicant sells or refinances their property within 7 years.

Applicants must fall within specified income and purchase price limits. Applicants must also have a minimum score of 640 (or 660 for certain loans). Applicants must have a completed Purchase Agreement, and must finish a homebuyer education course.

Properties must meet certain requirements. The property cannot be more than 2 acres if inside a municipal corporation, or 5 acres if outside of a municipal corporation. However, additional acreage will be accepted if it is required by safety or health codes. Existing single-family dwellings, conforming condominiums, duplexes, and up to four-unit properties, new one-unit single-family dwellings, and one-unit modular homes are all allowed.

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