If you are in the market to purchase your first home, make sure that you do some research into first-time home buyer programs. There are a variety of federal, state, and local programs that are designed to help first time home buyers with purchasing a home. These programs can offer you a number of advantages, so be sure to look into them.  

Good Neighbor Next Door

The Good Neighbor Next Door program was originally called the Teacher Next Door Program. However, the name of the program changed as the intentions of the program expanded. 

The Good Neighbor Next Door program is offered through the Housing and Urban Development Department for the United States Government. 

This program offers teachers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and law enforcement officers a discount on homes in revitalization areas. Foreclosed homes in the area are offered to qualifying individuals for a set-time period on an HUD website for 50% off. With this program you have to move fast, but if you work in one of the above professions, you could get a home at a great discount as long as you live in the home for 3 years. This program can really help new home buyers get a good deal on a home.  

U.S. Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture actually has a home-buying program that is designed to promote home ownership in rural areas. The best part is you don't have to be a farmer or other occupation to apply, you just have to want to live in a rural area.  

Through the program, the U.S. Department of agriculture offers a mortgage guarantee to lenders, thus making it easier for you to secure a home loan. The program has income requirements, which vary based on where in the United States you are trying to purchase a home.  

Federal Housing Administration 

The Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, has one of the most popular first-time home buying programs. The program is designed to help both first-time home buyers as well as home buyers who have low credit scores, or buyers who fall into both categories.  

With an FHA loan, you don't have to save up anywhere close to 20% for a down payment. You are able to put down a much smaller down payment, and the FHA guarantees your loan, making it much easier for you to get a loan. You also qualify for more favorable interest loan terms.  

You do have to pay for mortgage insurance with an FHA loan, but that is built into your monthly payments.

If you are a first-time home buyer, be sure to look into the programs above and contact a mortgage agency like Cornerstone Residential Mortgage. Also, find out if your state or local area offers additional programs for first-time home buyers. These programs can often help you secure a home for a lower price, with a lower down payment, and with better interest terms than you might be able to get on your own.