First-Time Homebuyer Program

Do I Qualify?

Applicants for the First-Time Homebuyer Program must meet OHFA income limits, and properties must meet purchase price limits. The limits vary by county. Check participating lenders, income and purchase price limits.

To qualify for OHFA's First-Time Homebuyer Program, you must meet at least one of the four qualifying categories:

All OHFA qualified borrowers must meet each of the following three criteria:

  • Meet credit score requirements. The minimum credit score for borrowers using OHFA's First Time Homebuyer Programs are as follows for the various loans below:

    FHA = 660
    <= 95% LTV = 640
    >95% LTV = 680
    VA, USDA = 640
  • Have a signed Purchase and Sales Agreement for a qualifying property.
  • Qualify for the loan being requested. Lenders will assess your ability to afford a home by considering income, assets, job stability, liabilities, and other criteria.

Additional property requirements:

  • Properties are limited to two acres within a municipal corporation and five acres outside a municipal corporation unless additional acreage is required by local health or safety code.
  • Qualifying properties include:
    • Existing homes: single-family dwellings, conforming condominiums, duplexes, and up to four-unit properties
    • Newly built spec/nearly completed homes: one-unit single-family dwellings
    • Modular/manufactured (mobile-style) homes: one-unit single-family dwellings, permanently affixed to a foundation

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How to Apply

OHFA partners with a variety of Ohio lenders including banks, mortgage companies and credit unions to make our loans available on a continuous basis year round. Learn more about the loan process or contact a participating lender to apply.

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Loan Types

To meet each homebuyer's needs, OHFA offers several different loan products including:

  • Fannie Mae conventional loans with special features and flexible terms
  • Government-insured loans including traditional FHA, VA, and USDA-RD loans

OHFA also permits Streamlined 203(k) loans and certain weatherization options. All OHFA loan products offer competitive rates and other beneficial features. Your lender can help you choose the right loan for your needs.

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Loan Features/Benefits
  • Available to any qualified homebuyer
  • For new or existing homes
  • Competitive market, 30-year fixed interest rate
  • Flexible rate options
  • Available in all 88 Ohio counties
  • Generous purchase price and income limits

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Loan Fees

The following fees may apply to your OHFA First-Time Homebuyer Program loan:

  • .50% Origination Fee – Payable to Lender
  • .25% Adverse Market Fee on Conventional Loans – Payable to US Bank (FNMA charge)
  • $350 Funding Fee – Payable to US Bank
  • $85 Tax Service Fee – Payable to US Bank
  • $100 Admin Fee – Payable to OHFA

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Down Payment Assistance

If you need or want assistance with your down payment and closing costs, OHFA offers either Down Payment Assistance or a Grants for Grads product which can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.

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Homebuyer Education is Required on All OHFA Homebuyer Programs

Visit the homebuyer education page to learn more.

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About Recapture Tax

OHFA will reimburse borrowers for the full amount of any recapture tax in the rare instances where tax repayment is required. Learn more.

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Downloadable Information

You can download information about our loan products from our download center.

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Your lender and/or real estate agent can guide you through the home buying process and answer any questions you may have regarding the OHFA First-Time Homebuyer Program. You can also check out our homeownership FAQs.

If you need additional information, please contact:

Office of Homeownership
Ohio Housing Finance Agency
57 East Main Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215

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Not a First-Time Homebuyer?

You can still take advantage of OHFA’s competitive rates by purchasing a home in a target area. Learn more.

Are You an Ohio Hero?

Benefit from a 1/4% lower interest rate on your loan. Learn more.


The Ohio Housing Finance Agency is an Equal Opportunity Housing entity. Loans are available on a fair and equal basis regardless of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, military status, disability or ancestry.


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