Ohio Housing Finance Agency

Welcome to Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA).

As the state’s affordable housing leader, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) provides opportunities for Ohioans to locate affordable housing. The Agency offers a variety of programs to help first-time homebuyers, renters, senior citizens and others find quality affordable housing that meets their needs. The Agency also works with developers and property managers of affordable housing throughout the state. Discover how OHFA’s programs can help you.

Whether you are a first-time buyer or a buyer in a target area, OHFA and Option Financial, LLC as an OHFA approved lender,  have a program that’s right for you. Qualifying first-time homebuyers can choose from competitive conventional and government-insured loans, all with 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages.

FIRST TIME HOME BUYER

Thousands of low- and moderate-income Ohioans have purchased homes of their own thanks to OHFA’s First-Time Homebuyer Program. The competitive interest rates and mortgage options on our 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loans make it affordable for qualifying buyers to realize the dream of homeownership.

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 city and town.

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

  • Have never owned real estate;
  • Have not owned or had an ownership interest in your principal residence in the last three years;
  • Be a qualified military veteran; or
  • Purchase a home in a target area.
Additional requirements:
  • Be creditworthy. Minimum credit scores may apply.
  • Have a signed Purchase and Sales Agreement for a qualifying property.
  • Qualify for the loan being requested. Option Financial, LLC will assess your ability to afford a home by considering income, assets, job stability, liabilities, and other criteria.
  • Properties are limited to two acres unless additional acreage is required by local health or safety code.
  • Qualifying properties include:
    • Existing homes: single-family dwellings, duplexes, and up to four-unit properties
    • Spec/Nearly completed homes: one-unit single-family dwellings
    • Modular/Manufactured homes: one-unit single-family dwellings, permanently affixed to a foundation

Learn more about OHFA’s First-Time Homebuyer program requirements.

OHFA’s First-Time Homebuyer program offers several loan products for buyers based on their needs. Products that fall under the First-Time Homebuyer program include:

 DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE 

If paying for a down payment and closing costs have kept you from getting into a home of your own, OHFA’s Down Payment Assistance may be able to help. Eligible borrowers utilizing in the First-Time Homebuyer program, Target Area Loan product, and Ohio Heroes product can use the grant to greatly reduce the out-of-pocket expenses associated with buying a home.

If you qualify for one of OHFA’s home loan products, you can choose to take advantage of the Down Payment Assistance.

  • OHFA will issue a grant in an amount of 2.5% of your home’s purchase price.
  • You can use the grant to pay for the down payment, closing costs, or other prepaid expenses incurred prior to closing. Keep in mind that while the grant will greatly reduce your expenses, you may still be required to pay for some costs out of pocket.
  • If you take advantage of the grant, your mortgage interest rate will be .5% higher than OHFA’s current mortgage rates.

Do I Qualify?

To qualify for Down Payment Assistance, you must meet all requirements for your OHFA loan product. Check requirements for the First-Time Homebuyer Program, Target Area Loan product, and Ohio Heroes product.

In addition, you must either:

  • Complete a free homebuyer education course offered by any HUD-approved housing counseling agency, or
  • Use OHFA’s Streamlined Homebuyer Education.

Learn more about your homebuyer education options.

You can download information about OHFA loan products from OHFA’s download center.

Questions?

Option Financial, LLC and/or real estate agent can guide you through the home buying process and answer any questions you may have regarding OHFA’s Down Payment Assistance. You can also check out OHFA’s homeownership FAQs for more information.

OHIO HEROES PRODUCT

Ohio heroes make a difference in our lives by working hard in critical jobs every day. Through OHFA’s Ohio Heroes product Ohio’s heroes can receive all the benefits of our First-Time Homebuyer program at a .25% lower interest rate.

Do I Qualify?

The Ohio Heroes product is available to the following full-time employees who are:

  • Active Military, Active Reserve, or a Veteran – Qualified Active Duty Service personnel include Armed Services or Reserve Forces. Qualified veterans include military members honorably discharged from any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians or Paramedics – Sworn paid members of a fire department whose regular duties include fire suppression or prevention, emergency medical response, hazardous materials response.
  • Health Care Workers – Certified, accredited, or licensed health care workers who are employed full-time as a medical resident or fellow, dental hygienist, nurse, nursing assistant, pharmacist, pharmacy technician, physician’s assistant, medical technician, technologist, or therapist.
  • Police Officers – Individuals commissioned as a police officer by a federal, state, county, or municipal or township government, or a public or private college or university; must be sworn to uphold, and make arrests for violations of federal, state, county, municipal, or township law or respond to terrorism.
  • Teachers – Individuals employed full-time by an accredited or state recognized public school, private school, or federal, state, county, or municipal educational agency as a state-certified classroom teacher or administrator in grades K-12 or higher education. Full-time instructors must teach a minimum of 12 credit hours per academic term. License and paystub from education facility required to validate credentials.

Applicants for the Ohio Heroes product must:

  • Meet OHFA’s income and purchase price limits. The limits vary by county.
  • Be a first-time homebuyer—someone who has not owned or had an ownership interest in his/her principal residence in the last three years. Not a first-time homebuyer? Check out our Target Area Loan product.
  • Be creditworthy. Minimum credit scores may apply.
  • 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.

GRANTS FOR GRADS

Recent college graduates can now receive down payment and closing cost assistance and a favorable mortgage interest rate from Option Financial, LLC with the Grants for Grads product. Eligible borrowers can use the product to reduce the out-of-pocket expenses associated with buying a home.

If you are an income-eligible first-time homebuyer, have graduated from high school or have a GED and have earned an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate or other postgraduate degree within the last 24 months and have not had ownership interest in a principal residence in the past 3 years, you can take advantage of the Grants for Grads product.

  • OHFA will issue a grant in an amount of 2.5% of your home’s purchase price.
  • You can use the grant to pay for the down payment, closing costs, or other prepaid expenses incurred prior to closing. Keep in mind that while the grant will help cover some of your up-front costs, you may still be required to contribute some money as well.
  • The grant will be issued as a second mortgage with a 0% interest rate with no payment due. The loan is forgivable after five years. However, if you move out of Ohio prior to the five-year mark, you are responsible for paying a portion of the grant back to OHFA as indicated below:

 

Months resided in home Amount of grant owed to OHFA if you move out of state
Less than 12 months 100%
12 months to 24 months 80%
24 months to 36 months 60%
36 months to 48 months 40%
48 months to 60 months 20%

Do I Qualify?

To qualify for the Grants for Grads product, you must:

  • Be a first-time homebuyer purchasing a single family home
  • Meet OHFA income and purchase price limits. The limits vary by county.
  • Be a high school graduate or have received a GED
  • Apply for the grant within 24 months of graduating from an educational institute recognized by the Ohio Board of Regents having earned an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree
  • Obtain a mortgage through an OHFA participating lender

In addition, you must either:

  • Complete a free homebuyer education course offered by a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, or
  • Use OHFA’s Streamlined Homebuyer Education.

Learn more about your homebuyer education options.

NEW HOME SWEET HOME

The New Home Sweet Home product is an extended lock option for homebuyers who purchase a new home and want to use OHFA’s First-Time Homebuyer Program. By allowing for a conditional loan reservation, a lender can offer a rate lock for up to 180 days while a builder completes the construction of the home. The interest rate at the time of reservation will be set at .25% higher than OHFA’s standard rate.

The New Home Sweet Home product is available through Option Financial, LLC. Homebuilders must have a relationship with a participating lender to reserve a loan on behalf of qualified borrowers. For details on lender participation, please contact Pete Simpson, Lender Relations Manager, at 614-466-8155 or at psimpson@ohiohome.org.

Do I Qualify?

A first-time homebuyer is defined as someone who has not owned or had an ownership interest in his/her principal residence within the last three years or is a qualified military veteran. Not a first-time homebuyer or a military veteran? Target Area Loan applicants do not have to be first-time buyers. All buyers must meet certain household income limits and purchase price limits. The limits vary by county.

Check income and purchase price limits.

Additional property requirements:

  • One-unit single-family dwellings only.