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Down Payment Assistance Programs in Northeast Ohio

By Michael Zuren, PhD Updated on 2/24/2014

ohio down payment assistance programsOne of the biggest challenges first time home buyers face is coming up with the required down payment. According to a 2013 survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), twelve percent of buyers cite down payment as their main difficulty in purchasing a house.

In 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau documented that the source of nearly nine percent of down payments came from inheritance, gifts, other sources, or were not reported. This figure included all home buyers not just first time home buyers. First time home buyers; typically do not have the advantages of second time buyers. Seasoned home owners (second time buyers) often have equity from the sale of their home or investments to draw from for down payments. 

Fortunately, there are a variety of down payment assistance programs available in the State of Ohio. These assistance programs serve a diverse group of individuals. Within the various programs, eligible buyers include first time home buyers, veterans, police and other emergency personal, health care workers, teachers, and second time home buyers purchasing an owner occupied property in an area designated by the State of Ohio.

The most inclusive down payment assistance program in the State of Ohio is offered via the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA). The OHFA down payment assistance program offers 2.5% of the sales price towards down payment assistance. There are numerous first time home buyer programs offered through OHFA which have several restrictions. These restrictions include but are not limited to income, sales price, and no homeownership in the past 36 months. All first time home buyer programs require the purchaser to occupy the property. The information below lists the basic information on OHFA, and some other prevalent down payment assistance programs offered in Northeastern Ohio. 

The programs above require home buyer education and for the home buyer to live in the property for a predetermined amount of time. If you are ready  to buy your first home but have been reluctant due to the down payment requirements, you now have the information to obtain the American dream of homeownership.


National Association of Realtors©. (2013). Profile of home buyers and home sellers.

U. S. Department of Commerce (2012) United States Census: American housing survey.

Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA)  

About The Author:
Michael Zuren, PhD
I have 25 years experience in the mortgage banking industry. My experience includes the following loan types: (1) HomePath, (2) OHFA, (3) FHA 203k, (4) VA, and (5) USDA financing. I have been serving Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, and Ashtabula counties in Northern Ohio... more

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