By Russ Meyer, Nebraska Home Sales Realtor
As an experienced Realtor, I have come across many people who believe they may not have the finances to become a first-time home buyer. This may be true for some; just as many can take advantage of the many first-time home-buyer opportunities offered by organizations right here in Lincoln. Here’s a quick overview of some of these organizations, their missions, and their contact information.
NeighborWorks Lincoln is a great place to start. They offer buyer education classes and significant down payment assistance. They have income qualifications to be a part of the program and buyers must qualify for a mortgage. During the buying process, NeighborWorks works with buyers and their Realtors to ensure buyers get a great first home. NeighborWorks is also actively involved in community building and real estate development. Check them out at www.nwlincoln.org or call 402-477-7181.
Nebraska Housing Resource provides affordable housing opportunities by developing land and procuring lots for builders. They arrange generous financing for qualified first-time buyers. Buyers must purchase homes built on lots sold by NHR to builders. These homes must be moderately priced and homebuyers must qualify for mortgages through a private lender. A current development is underway in the Hub Hall Heights neighborhood off of North 48th. For more information, go to www.nehousingresource.com or call 402-904-7847.
Nebraska Housing Developers Association has a program called First Down. This program is a statewide initiative funded by the Federal Home Loan Bank in Topeka, Kansas. It provides down payment and closing cost assistance to eligible Nebraska borrowers who meet some specific criteria. A basic homebuyer education class is required. There is money available at the time of this writing. For more information, go to www.housingdevelopers.org or call 402-435-0315.
Finally, Nebraska Realtors Association Home Buyers Assistance Foundation offers small grants of $250 to qualifying first-time buyers. Amazingly, seventy-five grants were given this year. While a small amount, every penny counts. Buyers must complete a first-time homebuyer’s course and there is a cap on the price of the home in order to qualify. Contact the Nebraska Realtors Association or your favorite Nebraska Home Sales Realtor to get more information.