City of Scranton First Time Home Buyer Program

Sold sign in front of a houseLiving in a home that you own provides a lot of personal satisfaction, and for many individuals, having a home is their main means of accumulating money. Unfortunately, the most difficult barrier to homeownership is accumulating enough money for a down payment.

Fortunately, the City of Scranton's First Time Home Buyer Program offers qualified First Time Home Buyers a forgiven, deferred payment loan to help with down payment and closing expenses.

The City of Scranton offers a down payment assistance loan of up to one-half of the purchase price. The loan will match the cost requirement dollar for dollar (up to $7,000) or 10% of the home's sales price, whichever is less.
In addition, the City of Scranton will cover all qualifying closing expenses up to $5,000.00.

Prospective homebuyers are not obliged to repay the assistance loan to the City of Scranton if they keep the house as their primary residence for at least five years.

If you sell your home during the first five years, you must repay the subsidy to the City of Scranton. However, each year, 20% of the aid grant is forgiven.
For example, if a homeowner wants to sell his current house after the third year of occupation, 3/5ths of the subsidy is forgiven, with the remaining 2/5ths payable upon sale or transfer of the property.

Are you eligible?

Your gross family income cannot exceed the yearly income limitations set by the Department of Urban Development for the City of Scranton (HUD).
Household income is defined as the total expected gross yearly income of all people residing in the house over the following twelve months.

The income computation is based on the family income as of the application date and excludes income earned by full-time students in excess of $480, unless the full-time student is the applicant buying the property. The buying household must be income qualified at the time the home-buyer occupies the property or at the time of closing, whichever comes first.

Eligible properties for the City of Scranton First Time Home Buyer program include; single-family homes, vacant homes, and new construction starts. Two to four family properties, which are vacant, by the tenant purchasing the property, or are owner occupied are also eligible.

However, if you are buying a two, three, or four-unit rental property, you will only be subsidized for the owner-occupied unit, which will be based on the square footage values included in the appraisal of the property to be purchased.

For example, if you are buying a duplex and qualify for a $7,000.00 down payment subsidy but the owner's unit is 50% of the home's square footage, the down payment help would be $3,500.00 (50% of $7,000.00). Existing residents will not be evicted as a direct consequence of the purchase.

A "home-buyer" is a household that does not own a home or another property on the closing date. The house must be your primary residence. The buyer(s) must move in within 30 days after closing.

Property Cost Limits:
1 Family - $200,160
2 Family - $256,248
3 Family - $309,744
4 Family - $384,936