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Down Payment Assistance

 

The state of South Carolina provides a program to help residents of the state become homeowners. The information here is on Georgetown, Horry, and Williamsburg counties. For details on other counties, visit www.schousing.com.

Down payment assistance is available in conjunction with State Housing's First Mortgage Program. The state works through mortgage originators throughout the state to provide first mortgages. There are a few qualifications:

  • The price of the home must be no more than $225,000.
  • The income for those living in the home must not be more than $66,000 per year for one or two people or $77,000 for three or more people.
  • The borrower(s) must not have an ownership interest in a principal residence at the time of closing  the loan.
  • Eligible properties are stick-built single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, or off-frame modular homes (no steel framing - double-wides do not qualify).

The down payment assistance will provide up to $5,000 that can be applied to the down payment, closing costs, and prepaid items (the borrower(s) may not receive cash back at closing except for funds contributed to the transaction such as earnest money or up-front fees). The assistance will be provided with a second mortgage on the home. The interest rate will be 4%, but payments are deferred until the third anniversary of the first payment on the first mortgage. (This means that the second mortgage will not be counted in the borrower's debt-to-income ratio.) No interest will be charged during the three-year period. If the maximum $5,000 is taken, the payment will be $92.08 per month for five years after the three-year period ends.

Here is even better news: for some, the second mortgage is forgivable! The borrower must live in the home for five years for the loan to be forgiven. The price of the home is limited to $202,500. The income limits are lower and are based on the number of people living in the home:

County

1 Person

2 Person

3 Person

4 Person

5 Person

6 Person

7 Person

Georgetown

$29,700

$33,900

$38,150

$42,400

$45,800

$49,200

$52,600

Horry

$29,350

$33,500

$37,700

$41,900

$45,250

$48,600

$51,950

Williamsburg

$27,100

$30,950

$34,850

$38,700

$41,800

$44,900

$48,000

Those who are below the income limits in this table are in what the state refers to as Category II. Those who are above these limits but within the $66,000 or $77,000 limits mentioned above are in Category I. The interest rate on the primary mortgage will be determined by the Category. The rate is fixed after the loan is made, but the rates do change from-time-to-time before that. See the state web site for the current rates at www.schousing.com. There is also a Category III with even lower rates for those that are within somewhat lower income limits.