Downpayment Assistance Programs to Help Achieve the Home Ownership Dream
The rules for the programs will vary from county to county or region to region, so if you are looking outside of Dufferin County, I suggest reaching out to a contact for more information.
Earlier in March, I had an excellent conversation with the contact at the Dufferin County office who thoroughly explained the rules of their program, and I thought it would be extremely beneficial to share.
First, read up and familiarize yourself with the program's qualifying criteria to see if you could benefit from the Downpayment Assistance Program. CLICK HERE for details. (scroll down to Home Ownership Program)
Although most of the criteria is outlined on the Dufferin County website, one key piece of information is that this program is NOT intended for buyers who do not have any savings at all. The program covers the “downpayment” meaning they will provide 10% of the purchase price to a maximum of $45,000 ($450,000 Purchase Price); however, this can NOT include the mortgage default insurance premium.
In most situations, buyers will blend the CMHC insurance premium into the mortgage, but this is not permitted under the program. In addition to the default insurance premium, buyers must also be prepared to show savings equating to 1.5% of the purchase price for closing costs. Each county and region does have their own limitations and/or restrictions, so be sure to check on what programs are offered outside of Dufferin County and how those programs work.
Here are the steps to starting the process for the Dufferin County Home Ownership Program:
- As mentioned above, carefully read the qualifying criteria to make sure your Client will meet all conditions for approval
Call Dufferin County and get on the waiting list. This is a ‘first-come, first-served’ program, and when the funds are depleted, applicants must wait until the following April. When the program is ready to continue accepting applicants, those on the waiting list will be called in order, and will be expected to produce the required documentation immediately. Once the applicants who qualify exhaust the grant, any new applicants will be put back on the waiting list for the following year.
After receiving the Waiting List call, have your client visit a Mortgage Broker for a formal pre-approval. It is highly recommended to produce all documentation (income & proof of funds for closing) to ensure there are no discrepancies that could jeopardize the purchase. Not all banks will accept these grant programs as a form of downpayment, so it is important to work with a knowledgeable Broker who has experience with Lenders and these programs.
Following the formal pre-approval, the Client will return to the County and complete their application and start the search for a new home!
I have helped many clients with the Dufferin County Home Ownership program (among others) throughout the years. If you have any questions, or know someone else who could benefit, please feel free to reach out to me for more information!