A Guide To South Carolina First-Time Home Buyer Programs

Jan 04, 2024 By Susan Kelly

Are you a first-time homebuyer in South Carolina? If so, you’re in luck! The state of South Carolina offers a variety of programs for first-time buyers that can make purchasing your first home much easier and more affordable.

This blog will review the many options available as a first-time homebuyer and any other key information you should know before taking the plunge into homeownership.

SC Housing Homeownership Program

The SC Housing Homeownership Program is among the most popular programs for first-time buyers in South Carolina.

The program provides low-interest, fixed-rate mortgages to eligible first-time home buyers through participating lenders in South Carolina. The program also offers down payment assistance and closing cost assistance to qualified borrowers.

To qualify, applicants must meet specific income requirements, have a good credit history, and attend an SC Housing-approved pre-purchase counseling session.

This program also offers down payment and closing cost assistance through grants or forgivable loans up to $6,000, depending on household income and other criteria.

USDA Rural Development Loan Program

The USDA Rural Development Loan program is designed to help low-income families purchase homes in rural areas of South Carolina. This loan program offers 100% financing with no down payment required and also provides closing cost assistance of up to $2,500 for qualifying applicants.

To qualify for this loan program, applicants must meet specific income requirements and have good credit and stable employment histories.

South Carolina Down Payment Assistance Program

The Down Payment Assistance Program (DPAP) offers up to $10,000 towards the down payment or closing costs on a primary residence for eligible first-time homebuyers in South Carolina.

The funds are provided in the form of a loan that is forgiven over 10 or 20 years as long as the borrower remains in their home.

Applicants must meet specific income requirements and participate in an approved pre-purchase counseling session before receiving funds from DPAP. Additionally, recipients must contribute at least 2% of the sales price from their funds towards purchasing their new home.

South Carolina Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program

The MCC program provides eligible borrowers a federal income tax credit equal to 20% of their annual mortgage interest. This credit is available for up to 30 years and helps lower your taxable income, resulting in significant savings for qualified applicants.

Applicants must be first-time home buyers and have not owned a home in the previous three years.

Eligible borrowers must meet certain criteria, including having an annual household income below $75,000 and purchasing a single-family primary residence within South Carolina.

Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) Program

The HOME program assists qualified low- and moderate-income individuals looking to purchase or rehabilitate an existing home in South Carolina.

Eligible applicants must meet some criteria, including having an annual household income below 80% of their area’s median income and being able to contribute at least $1,000 towards their down payment and closing costs. The program offers up to $10,000 in assistance which can be used for down payments, closing costs, or other related expenses, such as repairs or improvements made prior to close on the property.

South Carolina Housing Palmetto Home Advantage

If you want a home, use the Palmetto Home Advantage program! It makes owning a new home more affordable by passing savings up to $2,500, depending on the loan type.

This grant program helps South Carolina residents finance their homes more easily through a cash grant of up to 4% of the loan amount that comes directly from the closing costs.

Certain income levels, dwelling types, and credit score criteria determine eligibility. The Income Limits & Property Requirements provide eligibility information and allow an easy search of homes in your area. With this helping hand from the state, now is a great time to finally make your dream of buying a home in South Carolina a reality.

South Carolina Housing Country First Initiative

It is an innovative program designed to address housing affordability issues throughout the state. This initiative aims to provide access to ownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers and repeat buyers, preserve existing rental stock, and create thriving communities with accessible green and healthy neighborhoods. The assistance amount is 8,500 dollars for closing costs and down payments. Depending on the loan type, the applicants must have a credit score of 620 or 640 and have completed an education course in homeownership.

In addition to these programs, several other state and local initiatives and private lenders offer special financing terms for first-time buyers, such as reduced down payments or discounted interest rates. It’s essential to do your research before applying, so you can find out what type of funding best fits your needs.

Finally, it’s important to remember that these programs have specific eligibility requirements to be met before qualifying for assistance.

For example, some programs require applicants to have an income below certain levels, while others may restrict applicants based on their credit scores or the amount of debt they carry each month. So make sure you read up on all the requirements before applying!

Final Takeaway

Purchasing a home for the first time can be exciting and intimidating simultaneously - but luckily, plenty of options are available if you're looking to buy your first home in South Carolina!

From low-interest mortgages to down payment assistance programs, you should be able to find something that fits your needs and budget perfectly!

Be sure to do your research beforehand so you can choose the best option for your needs!

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