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Your guide to first-time home buyer programs in New Jersey

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If you’re a first-time buyer looking for a home in the Garden State, one of the first things you can do is get in touch with the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA), which provides a variety of programs for homebuyers seeking housing opportunities in New Jersey.

Programs offered by the NJHMFA assist qualified buyers with down payment and closing costs, and can help them get competitive home loans.

Here’s some essential information regarding programs offered by the NJHMFA for first-time home buyers:

NJHMFA Down Payment Assistance Program

The Down Payment Assistance Program (DPA) is available state-wide, providing qualified first-time buyers with $10,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance, offered as a 0% interest, five-year forgivable second loan with no monthly payment required.

Specific purchase price and income limits apply, and buyers are required to secure financing through a NJHMFA loan program. A credit score of at least 620 is also required in order to qualify.


  • The DPA applies to prospective buyers who have not owned a home within the past three years.
  • The property must serve as the buyer’s primary residence in any New Jersey county.

First-Time Homebuyer Mortgage Program

The First-Time Homebuyer Mortgage Program is the NJHMFA’s primary mortgage program, and can be combined with the Down Payment Assistance Program. Some restrictions apply depending on the property’s location, purchase price, and the buyer’s income.

Police and Firemen’s Retirement System Mortgage Program

This 30-year fixed-rate loan program is available for active members of the New Jersey Police and Firemen’s Retirement System with at least one year of creditable service. Members may use the program to purchase a home (first-time or trade up) or refinance an existing property. The purchase price of the home must fall under local purchase price limits.

For more detailed information regarding first-time homebuyer programs in New Jersey, visit the NJHMF’s official website.

National first-time home buyer programs

In addition to state assistance and loan programs, first-time homebuyers may also tap into national funding sources. Some municipalities offer housing assistance for residents as well.

Here are major programs offering zero to low down payment options for first-time homebuyers:

  • FHA Loans – These mortgage loans offer relaxed qualification requirements and are insured by the Federal Housing Administration.
  • Conventional Mortgage – First-time homebuyers can qualify for a conventional home loan that offers as low as 3% down, provided the mortgage meets requirements established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  • USDA Loans – This home loan program offers zero-down payment mortgages to lower-income buyers in rural and suburban areas.
  • VA Loans – VA Loans are mortgages guaranteed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, and are open to active military members, veterans, and surviving spouses.

Need help looking for your first home? Choose from the best selection of Hopewell Township, NJ homes for sale and Titusville, NJ homes for sale. Work with the top agents in the area today by getting in touch with David DePaola & Company Real Estate at 609.731.0581, or send an email to david(at)depaola(dotted)com