Colorado is famous for its authentic views and glorious seasonal transitions. Just imagine the fall leaves turning into the snowy backdrop of your new, expansive backyard space. But settling down in the Centennial State’s picturesque landscapes and natural beauty may seem out of reach because of the cost. While many first-time homebuyers are looking to the market, it can feel overwhelming to find an affordable Colorado home right now.
Fortunately, a number of programs are available that help first-time homebuyers stress less about the financial leap. Whether in the form of low- or zero-interest loans, down payment assistance or grants to help with closing costs, Colorado offers generous programs to assist first-time buyers just like you in securing their dream home.
Who Qualifies as a First-Time Homebuyer in Colorado?
Each state may define the term “first-time homebuyer” differently. In Colorado, if you have not owned a home within the previous three years, you would qualify as a first-time buyer.
Statewide First-Time Homebuyer Programs
Take a look at the following programs available statewide to Colorado residents.
CHFA FirstStep and FirstStep Plus Programs
The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) offers two programs exclusively for first-time buyers. Some veterans and individuals purchasing a home in targeted areas may also qualify. Borrowers are required to complete a homebuyer education course prior to the closing date.
The FirstStep program offers a 30-year fixed-rate FHA 203(b) purchase loan. Upon approval for the loan, first-time eligible borrowers may apply for the FirstStep Plus program that provides down payment assistance in the form of a second mortgage. Credit restrictions and income limits may apply, so be sure to refer to the CHFA website for current eligibility requirements and application details.
CHFA HomeAccess and HomeAccess Plus Programs
The HomeAccess program is exclusively for first-time homebuyers and qualified veterans and offers a 30-year fixed-rate FHA 203(b) and USDA-RD purchase loan. Approved borrowers must have a permanent disability or be a custodial parent of a child who has a permanent disability. The HomeAccess Plus program includes additional opportunities for down payment and closing cost assistance. Credit restrictions and income limits may apply, so be sure to refer to the CHFA website for details.
CHFA SectionEight and SectionEight Plus Programs
The SectionEight program is restricted to first-time homebuyers and qualified veterans who receive Section 8 assistance from an approved Section 8 agency. This program offers 30-year fixed-rate FHA 203(b) and USDA-RD purchase loans to qualified borrowers. Additionally, CHFA DPA Grant or CHFA DPA Second Mortgage Loans are available for down payment and closing cost assistance with the SectionEight Plus program. See the CHFA website for credit restrictions and income limits.
CHAC Down-Payment Assistance Program
The Colorado Housing Assistance Corporation (CHAC) also offers financial assistance to first-time buyers throughout the state. Its Down-Payment Assistance Program provides low-interest, flexible loans for qualifying low- to moderate-income first-time homebuyers. Borrowers are required to complete a homebuyer education course before closing. Assistance is provided in the form of a second mortgage loan, typically with monthly payments, but start dates may vary. Restrictions and exceptions may apply, so be sure to check out the CHAC website for current requirements.
Statewide Non-First-Time Homebuyer Programs
While the above programs are strictly available for first-time homebuyers, other statewide programs assist individuals looking to move from one home they currently own into another.
CHFA SmartStep and SmartStep Plus Programs
The CHFA also offers the SmartStep and SmartStep Plus programs for existing homeowners. Borrowers are still required, however, to complete a homebuyer education course prior to the closing date.
The SmartStep program offers 30-year fixed-rate FHA, VA and USDA-RD purchase loans for eligible borrowers. Similar to the FirstStep program, approved borrowers may apply for the SmartStep Plus program, which provides down payment assistance in the form of a second mortgage. Credit restrictions and income limits may apply, so be sure to refer to the CHFA website for current eligibility requirements and application details.
CHFA Preferred and Preferred Plus Programs
The CHFA Preferred and Preferred Plus programs are also not limited to first-time buyers. The Preferred program includes a 30-year fixed-rate Fannie Mae HFA Preferred or Freddie Mac HFA Advantage purchase loan. Approved borrowers for the Preferred program may apply for the SmartStep Plus program, which provides down payment assistance in the form of a second mortgage. Credit restrictions and income limits may apply. Visit the CHFA website for more details.
CHFA Preferred Very Low-Income Program
The Preferred Very Low-Income program is not limited to first-time buyers, but it is restricted to lower-income borrowers only. The program includes a 30-year fixed-rate Freddie Mac HFA Advantage purchase loan with the potential for down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a second mortgage. View current income limitations and credit requirements on the CHFA website.
Homebuyer Programs by Location
In addition to the statewide programs, homebuyer assistance programs are also based in different cities and regions of the state. Many are open to both first-time and repeat homebuyers. See each individual program for more details.
Aurora’s Home Ownership Assistance Program offers affordable housing assistance for low- to moderate income families in Aurora. This program offers up to $10,000 in financial assistance to qualified, first-time homebuyers to help cover down payment and closing costs. Properties must be located in the city of Aurora and the borrower may be subject to credit restrictions and other eligibility requirements. Visit the official website at the link above to review current income restrictions and application details.
If you are looking to settle down in the beautiful and breathtaking landscapes of Boulder, you might take advantage of one of several financial assistance programs for either first-time or repeat buyers with moderate to low income. The city of Boulder offers three programs: Permanently Affordable Homes, Down Payment Assistance Grant (Solution Grant) and House to Homeownership: Down Payment Assistance Loan. Each program is limited to specific eligibility criteria. More details can be found on the city’s website above.
If you are looking to relocate to Commerce City, be sure to browse the city website for available homebuying incentives. The Commerce City Housing Authority Homebuyer Program and similar statewide partners fund programs that offer down payment and closing cost assistance for both first-time and repeat borrowers. See the program’s website for additional details and eligibility requirements.
Considering a move to the Mile High City? Denver’s Department of Housing Stability Ownership Program is available to qualified, modest-income residents seeking affordable homeownership. Financial assistance is available in the form of down payment and closing cost assistance. Denver residents may apply for this option, and homes located within some neighboring cities and counties may also be eligible.
The Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation in the Denver-Aurora area also provides eligible homebuyers, including first-time buyers, with up to $15,000 in down payment assistance on qualified properties through the NeighborhoodLIFT Program. See the program’s website for additional requirements and eligibility terms.
Located midway between two of the state’s largest cities, Denver and Colorado Springs, Douglas County holds Lone Tree, Castle Rock, Parker and parts of Aurora, Littleton and Castle Pines. This area offers the Douglas County Down Payment Assistance Program for low- to moderate-income first-time homebuyers. Other restrictions and requirements may apply, so check out the program’s website to learn more.
Eagle County, which encompasses the towns of Avon, Eagle, Gypsum, Minturn, Red Cliff and Vail, offers financial assistance for both first-time and repeat homebuyers. Down payment assistance is offered through several of Eagle County’s homeownership incentives, all listed on the county’s website. These programs are subject to specific requirements and restrictions.
El Paso County (Colorado Springs)
In El Paso County, the “Turnkey Plus” Mortgage Program offers a partially forgivable down payment assistance loan to individuals and families purchasing a home in El Paso County, including Colorado Springs. There is no first-time homebuyer requirement for this program, but borrowers must complete an approved homebuyer education course. Income limits and other restrictions may apply, so be sure to check out the official website for details and to apply.
Just northeast of Boulder lies the city of Longmont. Folks settling in Boulder County can take advantage of the Boulder County Down Payment Assistance Program, which provides down payment and closing cost assistance to first-time home buyers. This is available to eligible borrowers whose purchased property is outside the city limits of Boulder. Other restrictions may apply, so be sure to visit the program’s website for more information.
In Pueblo, first-time homebuyers may be interested in applying for the Home Down Payment Assistance Program. This program offers affordable-housing mortgage assistance through Pueblo’s Department of Housing and Citizen Services in conjunction with private lenders to help low- to moderate-income individuals and families. This program is available only to eligible first-time homebuyers, and other restrictions may apply. Visit the city’s website for more details and to apply.
Find the Perfect Colorado Fit
While buying a home for the first time may seem stressful in the beginning, hopefully this list gets you started on the hunt. With some research, a little time investment and a bit of budget analysis, you can find your perfectly sweet Colorado residence. Picture the breathtaking scenery outside your window every day, just waiting for you to call this beautiful state your new home.
The links on this site were researched by NewHomeSource. This is as cohesive a list as possible. Individual homebuyers should contact entities to fully understand requirements and processes.
Melanie Theriault is a writer, counselor, and lifelong learner. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Southwestern University, where she discovered her passion for fostering human connection through storytelling.