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First Time Homebuyers Guide

Find out how HDF turns First Time Homebuyers into Homeowners

Thinking about buying a home?

HDF can make buying your first home affordable with our first time home buyer education and downpayment assistance programs. We are there every step of the way to help you succeed in buying your new home!

In order to be eligible for HDF’s Downpayment Assistance Programs, you must meet HDF’s eligibility criteria.  Please review the eligibility criteria below before your start your application. 
Eligibility Criteria: 
  • You have not owned a home in the last 3 years. (This is HDF’s definition of a First Time Homebuyer.) The applicant, co-applicants, and non-borrowing spouses must also be first-time homebuyers
  • You have NOT had a bankruptcy in the last 4 years.
  • You have NOT had a foreclosure in the last 7 years.
  • You DO NOT have any knowledge of collections, charge-offs or current past-due accounts on my/our credit report.
  • You are prepared to purchase a home in the next 12 months and will have:

•  Funds available for borrower contribution of at least 1% of the purchase price, pre-closing costs, and emergency reserves
•  Steady work history of the past 2 years in the same industry
•  On-time bill payment and debt management history

If any of the above statements are false, HDF is not currently your best option.
Check out our resources to find out how to get back on track

If all of the above statements are true, you can click the ‘Start Your Journey Here’ button below to start your profile.
For more information, you can read about HDF’s Step-by-Step homeownership process here:

To ask a specific question about one of our programs, please select “First Time Homebuyer Program” on our contact form and we will get in touch with you via email.

Learn More about our programs

For a quick overview of our programs and services, watch our video below.

Download our Orientation Guide


Homebuyer counseling

HDF offers Free Homeownership Counseling to clients looking to buy a home. A HUD Certified Counselor will assess your current situation to determine your mortgage readiness.

At HDF, all clients work with a Counselor to chart a path to homeownership from start to finish. Together you will develop an action plan to increase savings, reduce debt, and identify programs that work for you.


Downpayment and closing costs Assistance

Lender License Number ML840392

On top of HDF’s free advice, first time homebuyers can take part in a number of our downpayment and closing cost programs. This is because many of our loan products are stackable, helping make homeownership affordable and sustainable.

See the full list of available loan products below to discover what HDF can make possible for you!

Available Loan Products
  • SmartMove CT Low interest downpayment assistance for CT first time homebuyers for up to 25% of purchase price when used for down payment and qualified closing costs. (Flyer: English, Español)
  • SmartMove NY Low interest downpayment assistance for NY first time homebuyers for up to 20% of the purchase price. (Flyer: English, Español)
  • Live Where You Work CT Up to $20,000 in 0% downpayment assistance for first time homebuyers purchasing homes in the city where they work (Flyer: English)
  • Homeownership Equity Fund Up to $20,000 in 0% downpayment assistance for BIPOC first time homebuyers (Black Indigenous People of Color) purchasing homes in the State of Connecticut.  Other terms and guidelines apply and can be found here: Terms and guidelines.
  • Local Downpayment Assistance Programs Additional loan programs available to people buying in specific towns and cities (amounts and terms vary).

Home buyer Education (chfa)

Home Buyer Education classes are open to everyone, whether you’ve already applied for a mortgage or not. No matter where you are in the home buying process, this 8-hour course will help you on your way.

These classes are mandatory for CHFA loan applicants and may be required for other loan programs as well. All HDF borrowers in our First Time Homebuyer Program must also complete an 8-hr Home Buyer Education Class before closing.

To learn more about your options and register for home buyer education courses, visit our homebuyer education page.


Got questions? See our FAQs here

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