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City of Scranton First Time Homebuyer Program

Nice house with sold signThere's a lot personal pleasure in living in a home that you own; and for many people, owning a house is their primary vehicle to build wealth. Unfortunately, saving enough money for the down payment is the biggest obstacle to homeownership.

Fortunately, the City of Scranton First Time Homebuyer Program provides eligible, first time homebuyers a forgivable, deferred payment loan to assist homebuyers with the down payment and closing costs.

The City of Scranton provides an assistance loan of up to l/2 of the down payment. The loan will match dollar to dollar the cost requirement not to exceed $7,000) or 10% of the sales price of the home, whichever is less. The City of Scranton will also pay all eligible closing costs up to $5,000.00.

Prospective home buyers are not required to pay the assistance loan back to the City of Scranton, provided the home buyer(s) maintain the home as his or her's primary residence for at least five years.

If you sell your house within the first five years, the assistance must be repaid to the City of Scranton. However, 20% of the assistance grant is forgiven annually. For example, if the homeowner wishes to sell his existing home after the 3rd year of occupancy, then 3/5ths of the subsidy is forgiven and 2/5ths is due upon sale or transfer of the property.

Are you eligible?

Your gross household income cannot exceed the annual income limits for the City of Scranton established by the Department of Urban Development (HUD). Household income is defined as the total anticipated gross annual income for the next twelve months, of all persons who will be living in the home.

The income calculation is based on the household income as of the date of application, and does not include income received by full-time students in excess of $480, unless the full-time student is the applicant purchasing the home.

The purchasing household must be income eligible at either the time the home buyer occupies the home, or at the time of closing whichever is later.

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.

It should be noted however, that if you're purchasing a two, three, or four unit rental property, you will be subsidized only for the owner occupied unit which will be based on the square footage values contained in the appraisal of the property to be acquired.

For example, if you are purchasing 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 assistance would be $3,500.00 (50% of $7,000.00). Existing tenants cannot be evicted from the property as a direct result of the acquisition.

A "Homebuyer" is defined as a household that does not own a home or another home at the time date of closing. The home must be used as your principal residence.

The buyer(s) must move into the home within 30 days of closing.

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