New Castle County Down Payment Settlement Program

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

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