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Quarterly Homeownership Program Index Debunks 5 Down Payment Myths

down payment houseAtlanta-based Down Payment Resource, the nation's only databank for homebuyer programs, released its Third Quarter 2015 Homeownership Program Index. The volume of programs increased to more than 2,400, making it the fourth consecutive increase in programs.

The index reveals the wide range of homeownership opportunities available for homebuyers across the country. Recent surveys, including the America at HomeAmerica at Home survey by NeighborWorks America, show that consumers have the desire to buy, yet many are unaware of all their home financing options, the home buying process and may overestimate the down payment and home maintenance costs.

"Today's consumers are motivated to buy, but the down payment continues to be a primary obstacle. Most homebuyers don't know to look for or ask about homeownership programs that could help them both in the short and long term. The requirements and benefits of programs vary greatly and may help buyers save on their down payment and closing costs, gain a lower interest rate or enjoy a healthy tax credit for the life of their loan," said Rob Chrane, CEO of Down Payment Resource.

Five misconceptions about down payments may be keeping buyers on the sidelines for longer than necessary.

Myth 1: Programs are only for first-time homebuyers.

While first-time homebuyer programs may be common, it's important to note that the definition of a first-time homebuyer is someone who has not owned a home in three years. In addition, the index finds that 37 percent of programs do not have a first-time homebuyer requirement.