First-Timer Primer: Virginia’s Home Buyer Assistance Programs

Lark Turner | UrbanTurf Finance, Real Estate

by Lark Turner
Courtesy of

This article was originally published on UrbanTurf in early 2014, but we re-publish from time to time with updated links to remind readers of the homebuyer programs available in Virginia.

Over the last month, UrbanTurf has re-published articles that look at programs in DC and Maryland that help buyers defray the costs of buying a home. This week, we check out similar programs for those looking to buy in Virginia.

Virginia Housing Development Authority Loans: This statewide program offers several options to help eligible buyers afford a house. The loans have low, fixed rates, and one program also helps cover down payment and closing costs for those that qualify.

Virginia Individual Development Account (VIDA): Some first-time homebuyers may qualify for Virginia’s IDA program, available to income-qualified people who are saving up for a big expense, including a down payment on a house. The VIDA program is particularly good in comparison to other area IDAs; it matches $8 for every $1 a participant deposits, up to $4,000. But the program has strict income limits, so check them out before moving forward with this option.

Down Payment Assistance (DPA): First-time buyers whose income is at or below 80 percent of the area median income in certain parts of the state qualify for Virginia’s DPA program, which offers both down payment and closing cost assistance. Buyers who meet the requirements can get a down payment loan covering between 10 and 15 percent of the home’s sale price, depending on the area where the property is purchased, as well as up to $2,500 in closing costs. 

Moderate Income Purchase Assistance Program (MIPAP): This program is just for buyers looking to purchase in Arlington. MIPAP offers low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers a no-interest loan covering up to 25 percent of the purchase price. You don’t have to live in Arlington to qualify.

Other Local Programs: Depending on where you live, you may have access to other programs seeking to make homeownership more available. There are too many to name here, but check out this list for more.