Many first-time homebuyers enter the process feeling a sense of excitement and anticipation, only to become overwhelmed at the budget. After finding your dream home, you may find that the price is slightly out of range. Luckily, there are many programs available to assist new homeowners just like you to close the affordability gap.
Each state may offer a range of statewide programs for first-time buyers, as well as additional assistance programs on the local and city levels. In Mississippi, the statewide programs are primarily offered through the Mississippi Home Corporation (MHC). I’ve outlined these programs below to get you started, but Mississippians looking to purchase their first home should also check out the MHC website for more information on mortgage products and homebuyer process guides.
Who qualifies as a first-time homebuyer in Mississippi?
In Mississippi, an individual may qualify as a first-time homebuyer if he or she has not owned a home in the past three years as a primary residence. There are some exceptions to this, such as homeowners buying in federally designated Target Areas where incomes are typically low and some qualified veterans. When reviewing the guidelines for each program, check the specific requirements for exceptions.
Statewide First-Time Buyer Programs
The following programs are available statewide to Mississippi residents.
Mortgage Revenue Bond 7
For first-time buyers only, MHC offers the Mortgage Revenue Bond 7 (MRB7) program. The MRB7 program offers a competitive 30-year fixed rate mortgage, with up to $7,000 in a deferred 10-year second mortgage with 0% interest to be applied to closing costs. Qualified borrowers will meet specified income requirements by county. See website for details and how to apply.
Mortgage Credit Certificate
To assist homeowners in qualifying for a mortgage, the MHC Mortgage Credit Certificate reduces the amount of federal income tax the borrower must pay. This program, in turn, frees up income to qualify for a mortgage.
Eligible borrowers may take a tax credit equal to 40% of the annual interest paid on the mortgage loan. The remainder of the mortgage interest still qualifies as an itemized tax deduction. The specific dollar amount of the tax credit is dependent upon on how much interest the borrower pays on their mortgage loan. The tax credit cannot be more than their annual federal income tax liability and is capped at $2,000 per year. For more information and eligibility criteria, visit the MHC website.
Statewide Non First-Time Buyer Programs
While the above programs are strictly available for first-time homebuyers, there are other statewide programs to assist individuals looking to move from one home they have owned into another.
The Smart Solution program, offered through MHC, provides competitive interest rates for qualified borrowers and down payment or closing cost assistance. Down payment assistance is in the form of a 10-year loan for 3.5% of the purchase price and the interest rate is the same as the primary mortgage. Income limits and other restrictions do apply, so see website for additional details.
Housing Assistance for Teachers (HAT)
To combat the critical shortage of teachers in rural Mississippi, MHC has begun to offer the Housing Assistance for Teachers (HAT) program to incentivize teachers to purchase homes within their zoning districts. Qualified borrowers may be eligible for a grant of up to $6,000 for a down payment and closing costs. Eligible applicants must agree to serve as a teacher in the district for three years starting with the beginning of the school year. For details and eligibility criteria, visit the MHC website.
Homebuyer Programs by Location
In addition to statewide programs, there are often homebuyer assistance programs based in different cities and regions of a state.
First-time homebuyers in the City of Jackson may be eligible for the City of Jackson Homebuyer Assistance Program. This program offers down payment assistance for low-to-moderate income households within the city limits of Jackson. Income restrictions and other eligibility requirements apply, so be sure to visit the website for details.
In the City of Vicksburg, residents may apply for financial assistance through the local government. The Vicksburg Down Payment Assistance for First Time Homebuyers program offers funds to help low, very low, and moderate-income borrowers to close the affordability gap and make homeownership a viable option. Borrowers must meet specific requirements such as income limits and minimum credit score. To learn more, visit their website.
Purchase Your Dream Home
When you are looking to purchase your new Mississippi home, be sure to keep these programs in mind. You may find that your dream house is completely within reach with just a little financial assistance. You’ll be settling in to your new home before you know it!
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.