Advice · Financial Assistance

Financial Assistance for First-Time Homebuyers in Ohio

Buying a home can be an expensive endeavor, but there are resources available to help reduce the costs and turn the dream of homeownership into a reality. The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) has been helping Ohioans with low-to-moderate incomes find and purchase affordable housing all over the state. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or you’re looking for your next home to purchase, OHFA might be able to offer financial assistance.

Eligible first-time homebuyers will find OHFA’s First-Time Homebuyer program extremely beneficial. The loans and assistance options vary for buyers based on their needs. Products that fall under the First-Time Homebuyer program include:

  • Target Area Loan product – Competitive interest rates available to ANY qualifying buyer purchasing a home in specified area.
  • Ohio Heroes product – Active Military and Veterans, Fire Fighter/Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic, Health Care Workers, Police Officers, and Teachers are eligible to receive all the benefits of the First-Time Homebuyer program at an interest rate up to .25% lower.
  • Down Payment Assistance – See below.
  • Grants for Grads product – High school graduates, those with a GED, and those who have earned an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate or other postgraduate degree within the last 24 months and have not had ownership interest in a principal residence in the past 3 years are eligible for a grant in an amount of 2.5% of the home’s purchase price.
  • Mortgage Credit Certificate product – An income tax deduction that reduces a household’s federal income tax liability.
  • 203(ks) Loan product – Combine a repair loan and a mortgage loan into one long-term, fixed-rate mortgage to finance both the acquisition and the rehabilitation of property in need of repair.

If you qualify for down payment and closing cost assistance, OHFA will provide 2.5% of the home purchase price (up to $10,000) to use toward your future home’s down payment, closing costs, and any other expenses incurred before closing. If you choose to use the assistance, your mortgage rate could be up to .5% higher than the current OHFA rate, and the loan is forgivable after five years. It’s worth noting that if you sell or refinance before five years passes, you will be responsible for paying the assistance back to OHFA.

To qualify for assistance, you must meet the OHFA income and purchase price limits, which vary by county and family size. To see if you’re eligible, start by finding an OHFA-approved lender and discuss your needs with them. For more information about OHFA and the programs they offer, visit

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