Financing options for a new home are overwhelming for everyone, and if you are on the front lines of helping, you likely already have enough to worry about.  Of course, traditional financing options are available, but did you know that there are specific financing options for first responders? Eligible firefighters, emergency medical technicians, police officers, and pre-k through 12th grade teachers can obtain mortgage help through HUD’S Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Program.  HUD offers up to half off participating home listings in selected areas.

The program is looking to incentivize homebuyers in revitalizing areas by offering a 50% discount on the home’s list price.

So what’s the catch?

  1. The home must be in a HUD-designated Revitalizing Sales Area. These areas are authorized by Congress under the provisions of the National Housing Act and are chosen  “to promote “the revitalization, through expanded homeownership opportunities, of revitalization areas.”  As a part of this program, you will not only be able to purchase a home at an enormous discount, but you will also be a part of revitalizing a neighborhood in need of your help and dedication.
  2. You must meet the HUD requirements as a Law Enforcement Officer, Firefighter, EMT, or pre-k through 12th-grade teacher in order to be eligible. You must be employed full-time in one of these careers. Teachers, firefighters or EMS must also be working within the area where the home is located.
  3. In return for the savings, you must agree to live in the house yourself for no less than 36 months. This home must be your sole residence, and not used as a rental or vacation, or second home.
  4. Homes for sale are listed exclusively for sale through the Good Neighbor Next Door Program. Check the listings for your state or with your real estate agent.  Your real estate agent will be able to help you navigate the site and listings more easily as the number of properties is limited and changes weekly.
  5. Homes are only available for purchase for seven days so it’s best to work with your real estate agent to ensure availability. Because the application time is short, it is important to use your licensed real estate agent to help ensure that your application gets completed, submitted, and reviewed while the property is still available.
  6. If several offers are made on the same property, a buyer will be chosen via lottery.
  7. For the discount amount you will be required to sign a second mortgage known as a “silent second.” No payment or interest will be due on this as long as you occupy the home as your sole residence for the required 36 months. At that time the second mortgage will be released.

Buying a home is a huge decision and not one to be made lightly. HUD and your real estate agent can help you to get the most for your money.  If you are already a teacher or a first responder, you are among those changing the world every day.  This program can help your biggest purchase change the neighborhood in which you serve and live, all while giving you the deep discount that our everyday heroes deserve.

As always, seek a financial expert before making any decision. This blog is for informative purposes and should not be taken as financial advice or council.