A Guide For a First time Home Buyer in Virginia

home sweet home a couple holding a cute sign in front of their first home In virginia

Welcome, first time home buyer in Virginia, and congratulations on taking the first step toward owning your own home. As you begin this exciting journey, it’s important to stay informed about the home-buying process and take advantage of any of the programs for first-time home buyers in Virginia. There are many grants and programs available to help make homeownership more accessible, including specific programs for military homebuyers.

Here we will walk you through the process of buying your first home in Virginia. From getting pre-approved for a mortgage to navigating the home-buying process. Whether you’re a recent college graduate, a young family, or finally looking to stop renting after all these years we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and make your dream of homeownership a reality!

a beautiful new home for first time buyers in virginia

A Guide For a First Time Home Buyer in Virginia

How do I Qualify for First Time Home Buyer VA?

To qualify for first-time home buyer programs in Virginia, you generally need to meet certain eligibility requirements. These programs vary depending on the specific program. However, here are some general requirements that you may need to meet:

First-time home buyer status. Typically, you must be a first-time home buyer, which is defined as someone who has not owned a home in the past three years. However, some programs may have more lenient requirements for first-time home buyers. You can find ones for individuals who have not owned a home in the past five years.

First time home buyer va income limits: Many first time home buyer programs in Virginia have income limits. These vary depending on the program and the location of the home. The most common numbers are from $76,000 to $116,000, depending on what area in Virginia you are looking to purchase your first home.

Credit score: You’ll typically need a credit score of at least 620 or higher to qualify for most first-time home buyer programs in Virginia. However, some programs may have more lenient credit requirements, or offer assistance to help you improve your credit score.

Completion of homebuyer education: Many first-time home buyer programs in Virginia require completion of a homebuyer education course. This course can help you understand the home-buying process, improve your financial literacy, and make informed decisions about purchasing and owning a home.

How Much do First Time Home Buyers have to Put Down in Virginia?

The down payment required for a Virginia first time home buyer can vary depending on a variety of factors. The most common include the purchase price of the home, the type of mortgage loan, and the borrower’s credit profile.

Conventional mortgage loans typically require a minimum down payment of 3.5% to 20%. The number changes depending on the lender’s requirements and the borrower’s credit history. However, first-time home buyers in Virginia may be eligible for down payment assistance programs that can provide funds to help cover some or all of the down payment and closing costs.

it can be hard to find the right numbers for your first time home buyer in virginia

What Financial Assistance Programs Are Available for First Time Home Buyers in Virginia?

There are three main programs to consider. They are the Virginia housing closing cost assistance grant, the down payment assistance grant, and the community homeownership revitalization program. Down below you can learn more detailed information on these first time home buyer programs in Virginia.

One of the biggest challenges that many first-time homebuyers face is figuring out how to finance their purchase. Fortunately, the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) offers a range of down payment assistance programs and grants to eligible homebuyers. These programs can help you cover your down payment, closing costs, and other expenses associated with buying a home. Some of the programs include

First Time Home Buyer Programs in Virginia

  • Virginia housing closing cost assistance grant. This program provides up to $7,500 in down payment assistance to eligible homebuyers who meet income and credit requirements. Niquo Hawkins can tell you what these requirements are, schedule a call! 
  • The Down Payment Assistance Grant. This program provides up to 3% of the home’s purchase price in the form of a grant that does not need to be repaid. This could easily be used by a first-time home buyer in Virginia who has no down payment at all. Want to know more? Niquo and his team of lenders would be happy to explain, reach them here!
  • The Community Homeownership Revitalization Program (CHRP). This program provides up to $50,000 in financing to purchase and renovate a home in targeted areas. This is one of the best Virginia 1st time home buyer programs. The details can be tricky, but Niquo has experience navigating this process.

You can read more about these first time home buyer in Virginia programs on the homeownership down payment website.

a man singing the papers for his very first home

The 4 Main Types Of Loans for First Time Buyers in Virginia


This type of loan typically requires you to put 3.5% down. Typically these types of loans are much more stringent in the qualifications on the condition of the home and what conveys. Common examples are undamaged siding, roof to be intact and not damaged, no loose wiring for electrical systems, all utilities must be in proper function like water, gas, electricity, and sewage systems.


With a conventional loan the down payment it varies between 3.5%-20% depending on the program, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio. Home condition is a lot more relaxed as well. But, if you’re purchasing conventionally typically this isn’t your first home. Meaning you’re a bit more prepared and ready for homeownership and the financial responsibilities that homeownership comes with. 


With VHDA it can be a conventional loan or an FHA loan and the same stipulations apply with each of the above descriptions. The benefit of VHDA is that it’s a down payment assistance program that wraps the down payment into a secondary loan.

Don’t freak out about a secondary loan. It’s normal and the amount is low being that it’s only for 3% of the total purchase price “funding limits apply”. You would finance this amount over the same terms as your primary loan. Typically the amount of the secondary mortgage is around $100.00 a month and varies on price point. But this option is still very affordable for most people. 

Va loan:

VA loans are for active and retired military members with ongoing benefits from the VA. The beauty of a va loan is that there aren’t down payment funds needed. This is because the VA wraps the down payment into the loan itself to alleviate the out-of-pocket expenses.

Also, you are protected by not having to pay for a termite and moisture inspection. The qualifications for a home are more stringent just like the FHA loan on the condition of the home. Including but not limited to handrails, cracks in concrete, yard condition, fence condition, windows, roof, etc.

Other Factors To Consider

Another important factor to consider when buying a home is your credit score. In general, first-time home buyer Virginia qualifications are a credit score of 620 or higher. If your score is lower than that, you can take steps to improve your credit before you apply for a mortgage. A few tips are paying down debt and making payments on time.

Once you have your financing and first time home buyer benefits in Virginia in order, it’s time to start shopping for your dream home! When considering your options, there are several things to keep in mind. Location is an important factor to consider.

This is because it can impact the value of your home and your quality of life. You’ll also want to consider the size of the home, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and any special features that are important to you, such as a backyard or a garage. Luckily for you, The Hawkins Group are experts in all areas of Virginia!

a couple happy to have home Keys in their hand

Military First Time Home Buyers in Virginia

For military homebuyers, it’s important to consider the unique challenges and opportunities that come with buying a home while serving. One advantage is that military homebuyers may be eligible for additional benefits. These include programs like the VA Home Loan program.

This first time home buyer program in Virginia offers flexible credit requirements, competitive interest rates, and the ability to finance up to 100% of the purchase price of a home. Military homebuyers may also be eligible for other benefits. This includes the VA Funding Fee exemption, which can save you thousands of dollars.

There are also special grants available for military homebuyers. For example, the Virginia Department of Veterans Services offers the Veterans Housing Assistance Program (VHAP). This program provides veterans and active-duty military personnel with low-interest loans to help them purchase their first home in VA. Military homebuyers may also be eligible for special financing options and reduced interest rates. It is important to check with lenders who specialize in VA loans.

In addition, military homebuyers should be aware of the potential for frequent relocations and the need to sell their home quickly. Working with a real estate agent in Virginia who understands the unique needs of military homebuyers can be extremely helpful in navigating these challenges. At the Hawkins Group, we love and support our military and have helped countless families buy and sell their homes.

a military family enjoying their first home in virginia

Working With a Real Estate in Virginia

It’s important to work with a real estate agent like Niquo Hawkins who knows the local market and can help you find homes that meet your criteria. He can help you navigate the negotiation and closing process and ensure that everything goes smoothly. One of the most important things he can help with is the va first-time home buyer’s interest rate. 

As a first-time homebuyer, there are a few special tips to keep in mind. One tip is to look for homes in up-and-coming neighborhoods. While you may be tempted to buy in a trendy, established neighborhood, homes in these areas can be expensive. Buying in an up-and-coming neighborhood can be a more affordable way to build equity and increase the value of your home over time.

Another tip is to be prepared for unexpected costs, such as repairs and maintenance. Owning a home can be expensive. It’s important to have a plan in place to address any unexpected expenses that may arise. You may also want to consider purchasing a home warranty to help cover the cost of repairs and maintenance.

a real estate agent in virginia helping with first time home buying process


Overall, being a first-time home buyer in Virginia can be an exciting and rewarding experience! But it’s important to stay informed and take advantage of any resources available to you. Whether you’re a civilian or military homebuyer, there are many programs and grants available to help you achieve your dream of homeownership.

With careful planning and working with the Hawkins Group, you can find the perfect home and enjoy all the benefits that come with being a Virginia first-time homebuyer. Let’s get started today!

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