The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) helps make the mortgage process more affordable for first-time homebuyers, with the Smart Start program. Smart Start offers assistance with down payment and closing costs in the form of a second mortgage, of up to 4 percent of the first mortgage.

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HMFA Smart Start

Financial Assistance for Homebuyers in New Jersey

The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) aims to make the mortgage process more affordable for first-time homebuyers with the Smart Start program. The program’s purpose is to make funds available for eligible applicants who are interested in purchasing a home but need financial help to pay the upfront costs associated with a mortgage transaction, which include the down payment, closing costs, and prepaid items.

Available Assistance:
Smart Start offers assistance with down payment and closing costs in the form of a zero-interest, second mortgage, up to 4 percent of the primary loan amount. For those receiving down payment assistance, there will be an add-on to the interest rate of the NJHMFA first mortgage.

Eligibility requirements:
In order to be eligible for the Smart Start program, all applicants must meet certain requirements. They must be first-time homebuyers, financing their home with an HMFA primary mortgage. This could be either the Agency-originated 100% Financing Program, the First-Time Homebuyer Program, or the Homeward Bound Program. While there are no income limits for the Smart Start program, applicants must meet the income limits of the program providing the first mortgage.

Property Guidelines:
Any property being purchased must serve as the applicant’s primary residence within 60 days of closing and must be located in a Smart Growth Area, as determined by the Agency’s Site Evaluator. While there is no maximum purchase price for the program, it cannot exceed the limits of the Agency program providing the first mortgage loan, if any
 
*Seller-funded down payment programs were eliminated in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, but States and Local government agencies are still permitted to help borrowers finance their homes with second mortgages and grants. These agencies set different requirements that a borrower needs to meet in order to qualify for the grant programs, such as property location, and purchase price and income limits.
 

Down Payment Grants in New Jersey

The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) helps make the mortgage process more affordable for first-time homebuyers, with the Smart Start program. Smart Start offers assistance with down payment and closing costs in the form of a second mortgage, of up to 4 percent of the first mortgage.

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