5. Buy a New Home

Buying a Home in 2019? 3 SC Housing Programs Can Help

Owning a home in the new year may not be as far out of reach as you might think, especially if you’re one of the many aspiring homeowners who can take advantage of programs offered by the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority—a state agency better known as SC Housing that’s been making homeownership affordable for nearly 50 years.

“We help get people into homes,” says Bonita Shropshire, executive director of SC Housing. “We help mostly, but not exclusively, first-time homebuyers. We operate like a bank, making home loans with low, fixed rates and down payment assistance. We find that most people who can make a rent payment in this market can afford a mortgage payment, but have trouble saving the down payment and closing cost. That’s where we can help.”

For those making the New Year’s resolution to buy a home, three programs available through SC Housing can help.

Homebuyer Program

The Homebuyer Program, which serves mostly first-time homebuyers (which means you’ve never owned a home, or haven’t owned a home in three years) offers a low, fixed, 30-year mortgage rate and up to $6,000 in down payment assistance.

For a limited time, SC Housing is offering a $15,000 down payment assistance program for 24 ZIP Codes in Lexington, Richland and Sumter counties. In Lexington, they are 29006, 29033, 29053, 29063, 29070, 29073, 29210, 29123, 29160, 29170 and 29172. In Richland, they are 29016, 29044, 29052, 29061, 29063, 29203, 29204, 29209 and 29210. In Sumter, they are 29040, 29104, 29128, 29150, 29153 and 29154.

The $15,000 down payment assistance is forgivable; homeowners living in the home for 10 years will not be required to repay the amount. “This is a rare, possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for residents in these areas to get into a home of their own,” Shropshire says. “$15,000 will go a long way to making homeownership possible.”

Palmetto Home Advantage

Already own a home and looking to move up? The newest program, Palmetto Home Advantage, can help you do that. There are no first-time homebuyer requirements and reduced mortgage insurance coverage can lead to lower monthly payments. With a wider income range and home price ceiling, this may be the perfect way to make that move up.

SC Mortgage Credit Certificate

Finally, the SC Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) may get a homebuyer a tax credit for 50 percent of their mortgage interest up to $2,000 per year, as long as you remain in the home. Homebuyers using a mortgage product other than the SC Housing Homebuyer Program may save money by purchasing an MCC when they buy their home. (See the website for details and qualifications.)

Getting started is easy. Contact your lender or a real estate professional and tell them you want to explore the SC Housing homeownership options. More information, including income and home price guidelines, as well as a list of lenders and real estate pros who can guide you through the process, is available at SCHousing.com.