Delaware is a state full of historical landmarks, beautiful forests, and sandy beaches. Rising housing prices may create difficulty for potential homeowners looking to buy in Delaware, however. Luckily, local and national programs exist that offer down payment assistance and grants to qualified applicants. The New Castle County Department of Community Service is one organization that offers such programs.
If you're thinking about purchasing a home in Delaware, you may have options to help with the down payment or closing costs. Click on any program below to learn more and see if it can help with your home purchase!
First-time homebuyers in New Castle County can receive between $1,000 and $5,000 in assistance funds from the New Castle County Department of Community Service’s Down Payment Settlement Program. The assistance can be put towards down payment or closing costs, and the specific amount that an applicant receives is decided by a housing counselor.
The assistance is offered in the form of an 8-year loan. The first three years of the loan, monthly payments are not required and interest accrues at a rate of 3%. After the three years are up, payments must be made each month. If the borrower pays the loan off within the first three years, any interest on the loan is forgiven. The full loan amount becomes due if the house is sold or transferred in another way.
In order to qualify, an individual cannot have owned a house for the previous three years. Borrowers must also put forth at least $500 of their own funds towards the down payment. Eligible properties are existing, residential structures or new construction houses in New Castle County but outside of Wilmington City limits. The property cannot have a purchase price higher than $379,500 (as of 2020), and must be the applicant’s primary residence for as long as they have the loan.
Applicants must finish a Homebuyer Education course and fall within the following annual household income limits for 2020:
- 1 person household: $45,450
- 2 person household: $51,950
- 3 person household: $58,450
- 4 person household: $64,900
- 5 person household: $70,100
- 6 person household: $75,300
- 7 person household: $80,500
- 8 person household: $85,700
The New Castle Department of Community Services created the ReVaMP (Remediating, Vacancies Making Progress) program in order to help encourage homeownership and the sale of vacant properties.
Down payment and closing cost assistance for up to $5,000 is offered for borrowers purchasing vacant houses in select areas of New Castle County. This is a 5-year loan with 0% interest that can be forgiven if the applicant uses the house as their primary residence for at least five years.
In order to qualify, applicants must have an annual household income that meets the following limits for 2020:
- 1 person household: $67,560
- 2 person household: $77,160
- 3 person household: $86,760
- 4 person household: $96,360
- 5 person household: $104,160
- 6 person household: $111,840
- 7 person household: $119,520
- 8 person household: $127,200
In addition, applicants must finish a Homeownership Education course.
The property being purchased cannot have a purchase price higher than $379,500. As only select areas of New Castle County qualify for this program, interested individuals should first verify that the house they are looking to purchase is in one of these areas.