When you buy a house, chances are the mortgage company is going to want a down payment and some earnest money to show that you do have funds to pay at closing and beyond. Getting a grant to buy a home is a logical step if you don't have the cash on hand to pay these costs. Your chances of being eligible for a grant to buy a home are highest if you are a new home buyer, a military veteran, or a member of special charitable program to help disadvantaged people buy homes. People who agree to do certain things with their homes, such as raising foster children, can also apply for special government grants to assist with the purchase of a home.
Visit the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website and the Grants.gov website (links below). The HUD website has helpful information about the process of registering on Grants.gov and how to apply for HUD grants through the site.
Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you are a business or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for an individual. You can get both of these numbers at the IRS.gov website.
Get a DUNS number, which stands for Data Universal Numbers System number. You need this number to apply for grants online. To get a DUNS number you simply need to call Dun & Bradstreet at 866-705-5711. The process takes about 10 minutes and there is no charge to get a DUNS number.
Register with the Central Contractor Registration (CCR). You need your EIN/TIN and your DUNS number in order to do this. The CCR registration must be completed annually to continue to be eligible for grant opportunities. See the link below.
Register with what is a called a Credential Provider who will verify that you are who you say you are. Then register with Grants.gov (all links below). You will need the login information provided by the Credential Provider in order to register with Grants.gov. Once you are registered, you will receive an email requesting that you confirm that the person who signed up is authorized to apply for grants under your taxpayer ID or EIN.
Find home grants by using the search function on Grants.gov. Click "Browse by Category" and choose "housing." Once you find a home buying grant program that applies to your specific situation, review the details, download the home grant application package, fill it out, and send it in electronically per the instructions. Be sure that you have included everything that the application requires so that you won't experience a delay or have your application denied due to a technicality.
- You can also go to your local town office and inquire about local homeowner grants for first time home buyers. There is also a special mortgage program called "seller's assist" in which the seller of a house can grant you a small percentage of the home value (usually about 3%) to go directly toward your closing costs. Ask you Realtor or lender if you are eligible for seller's assist help.