Down Payment Assistance for New Orleans Homes

Down Payment Assistance for New Orleans Homes


Right now, it can seem a little daunting in the New Orleans real estate world. Do you have enough money to buy a home? Maybe, maybe not. But there are options for down payment assistance in New Orleans! Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or not, many of these programs work for ALL homebuyers. As your New Orleans real estate agents, we want to make sure you know all the options out there for yourself.

Look at down payment assistance and 0% down payment financing options!



100% Financing Options

You can save money by going the route of 100% financing for your New Orleans area home.


#1. Rural Development Loan / USDA Loan

In the real estate industry, we call this an RD loan. This loan offers 100% financing and can used only in certain areas. You can use it in most of the metro area EXCEPT for Orleans Parish and the Eastbank of Jefferson Parish.

This loan type uses the household income to determine eligibility. Your household income cannot exceed $110k. This rule will likely change in October/November of 2024 to only count the person’s income on the application and not the entire household.



#2: VA Financing 

Established by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, VA loans help veterans, current service members, and qualifying family members become homeowners. You do not need to be a first-time homebuyer; the benefits can be re-used. 

The VA does not have a minimum credit score, but most lenders require you to have at least a 620 credit score.

Any lender can help you with the loan and waive various fees for these types of loans. We love Courtlin Donner with NOLA Lending for your VA loans.



#3: 0% Down Payment FHA Loan

Dave Garretson with Crescent City Mortgage offers an FHA loan with 100% financing. While this loan’s interest rate is slightly higher than normal, you can refinance in 7 months! While only a 580 credit score is required, some requirements must be met first. If you have over a 620 credit score, this loan has fewer restrictions.


Heather Eller with Premier Lending also offers a 0% down FHA Loan. Normally, for an FHA loan, you are required to put down 3.5% of the purchase price. In this case, you’re receiving a grant from the lender who is paying the down payment. The catch is that the interest rate is higher; you can refinance within six months to get the interest rate back down. This loan is for people who are first responders and ANYONE who has ever volunteered. That’s right! If you have ever volunteered, you can qualify!



#4: 0% Down Conventional Loan

Heather Eller offers this loan as well! The lender will provide you with a credit of 3% of the purchase price, up to $15k, to use towards your down payment. Things to note about this offer: the minimum credit score is 620, and you must pay this back when you sell or refinance your home. There is also an income limit of 80% of the area’s median income. As of June 2024, this is approximately $69k. Please confirm with the lender for the most up-to-date info!



Grants for New Orleans homes




Down Payment Assistance, Bonds & Grants

This section will go over what assistance programs are out there for you to utilize when buying a home.


#1: Louisiana Housing Corporation MRB Program

This is a state program for first-time home buyers in Louisiana. It requires a minimum credit score of 640 and a household income limit of $86k. You can receive up to 4% of the loan amount to assist with down payment and closing costs. You must remain in the home for five years or pay a percentage of the assistance back. This also applies if you refinance the home in less than five years. Courtlin Donner with NOLA Lending is well versed in this program!



#2: Keys For Service Program 

This state program is designed to help first responders, certified teachers, and other essential workers. The maximum household income limit is $125k. The assistance offered is 4% of the loan amount. It is worth noting that a higher interest rate is involved as this is how the program is funded. There are penalties if you sell or refinance before five years of owning the home. This program is only serviced by certain lenders. We recommend Courtlin Donner with NOLA Lending.



#3: Jefferson Parish Financing Authority Comfort of Home Program

This program is offered exclusively for Jefferson Parish homes. You can receive up to 4% of the price towards a down payment or closing cost assistance as a second mortgage. This mortgage is forgiven after five years of owning the home. Which also means you cannot refinance during this window of time. Using this program will also mean you will have a higher interest rate. However, it may be worth it to you!



#4: City of New Orleans Direct Homebuyer Assistance Program

There is much to learn about this program, but we will only hit the highlights! This soft second mortgage can provide a homebuyer up to $55k towards their down payment plus another $5k towards closing cost assistance.

  • There are income limits. A single-person household can only make up to $48.650. A two-person household is $55,600. Three-person household is $62,550. A four-person household is $69,450. This includes anyone above 18 in the home.
  • You must stay in the home for ten years or have to pay back some or all of the funds given to you.
  • Using this program will take two months to close.
  • You will be required to carry flood insurance, no matter what flood zone the property is located in.
  • The maximum sales price is $324k
  • There is a very strict Debt-to-income ratio of 29-33% that you must fall within.
  • It can only be used in Orleans Parish
  • Only certain lenders can use this program. Message Heather Eller for more info.



#5: FANO Down Payment Assistance 

This Orleans Parish program offers a forgivable second mortgage on your home to aid your down payment. You can receive between 2% and 4% of your home loan. This is another program with higher interest rates and a 3-year condition for remaining in the home or refinancing. You must also have a credit score of at least 660 and make less than $99k for the household. Talk to our lender, Courtlin Donner, about this one!



#6: First Horizon Bank Grants

First Horizon Bank offers a grant that may appeal to you. For more information and questions about this program, contact Chris Brinson at the bank.

This grant is for $9k or $10k. The income used to qualify is not based on the household but only on who is on the loan. Also worth noting, this is not a second mortgage—it is a grant! There is no minimum timeline to refinance or sell the property.

If the property falls into a minority-majority census tract, the maximum income to qualify for this grant is $115k.

If the property does not fall into the above-mentioned census tract, the qualifying income limit is approximately $65k.

This grant can be used in Orleans, Jefferson, and St. Tammany parish. It can also be used for closing costs or down payment assistance. Noteworthy, you can still ask the seller for closing costs assistance.



As your New Orleans real estate agents, we pride ourselves on trying to find solutions for every homebuyer. We hope one of these can work for you!



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