If it's your dream to own a home but your low income seems to make it impossible, think again. There are many options for purchasing a home even if you don't bring in much cash.
Special Loan Programs
There are several loan programs aimed at low-income buyers. Some programs, such as the USDA and VA (veteran) program have no down payment requirement. Others, like the FHA program, which is aimed at first time buyers, have low down payment requirements. Many of these programs also allow for lower-income restrictions and credit scores compared to conventional loans. VA loans, for example, have no credit score requirements. There are limitations to each of these programs, so you will need to research before you choose one.
Down Payment Assistance
One of the pitfalls of a low income is that you may be able to make a mortgage payment but you are unable to get a loan because you can't easily save up the necessary down payment. Down payment assistance programs can help you overcome this hurdle. There are programs offered by local and state governments, as well as private down payment assistance grants provided by churches, employers, and nonprofit organizations. The right real estate agent can help guide you to the programs that are best suited to your circumstances.
Sometimes the challenge isn't the mortgage loan but finding a home within your budget. You may need to look beyond the traditional stick-built home and check out other options. Manufactured homes have come a long way from the trailers of the past. You can find these homes in a variety of configurations and with many options. To those not in the know, a manufactured home can look no different than a stick-built home, but they are usually a fraction of the cost. Other alternatives are to look at fixer-uppers or homes in nearby, less expensive towns.
Going rural can make your dreams of homeownership a reality. Not all rural areas are far from the conveniences of town. By simply moving just beyond city limits, you may qualify for a low interest, no down payment USDA home loan, for example. Further, homes outside of city limits may be less expensive or they may have lower property taxes since they aren't taxed at the city rate.
Schedule a consultation with a real estate agent that specializes in low-income housing purchases for more assistance.