Buying a home is the American Dream and one of the most exciting times in a person's life! However, for many first-time home buyers, one thing often stands in their way...a down payment. The long-lived myth that you need a 20% down payment to purchase a home is just that...a myth. There are several loan programs that require less than a 20% down payment: Conventional (5%), FHA (3.5%), USDA (0%) and VA (0%); however, home buyers can also get help through Down Payment Assistance programs!
Down Payment Assistance (DPA) programs are a great option to consider if you want to become a homeowner, but struggle coming up with your down payment. DPA programs are available through a variety of sources including federal, state, county and city agencies, as well as non-profit agencies. They provide a fixed amount of money to qualified buyers that can be used for a down payment, and even closing costs on a home purchase. The amount of money available to a home buyer depends on the agency administering the funds. Money provided through DPA programs are generally considered to be one of three things:
An interest-free loan
A debt you repay in the future
There is a misconception that DPA programs are only available to first-time home buyers. A little more than 60% of programs cater to first-time home buyers; however, there are programs available to repeat buyers as well. Although down payment assistance is available, not every home buyer will qualify for it. Each program has its own rules for determining a buyer's eligibility. Where a person lives and how much money they make will influence eligibility for some DPA programs. "There are geographical zones and income limits, depending on those zones and how many people are in the household," says mortgage expert and author, Elysia Stobbe. Other qualifying factors may also come into play. These include, but are not limited to:
Debt-to-Income ratio (DTI)
Completion of a homebuyer education course
Employment in a public service position
Still think you need a 20% down payment to purchase a home? Think again. Down Payment Assistance programs are readily available and designed to help those who want to purchase a home, but might otherwise be shut out of the market.
Tried and true Cathy and her team always deliver and work hard to keep up great communciation throughout the process. As a listing agent I feel confident with offers from InterLinc and Cathy's team, in knowing we will make it to the closing table and on time.
There are no other words. The service was exemplary! I would refer everyone if I could.
Never in over 30 years have I experienced such a complete team.
Cathy, you & your team are simply AMAZING! This was our third time working with you and our experience was even better than the first two times! The sellers were very skeptical using an out of town lender but we & our Realtor assured them there wouldn’t be any problems. After closing they told us how great you all were & that they planned on referring others to you!! Thank you so much for your communication, timeliness and support.
I will highly recommend Cathy Gapen and team! Very impressed with the level of service.
Working with Cathy, Machelle and Rachel was an incredible experience and we owe MUCH THANKS to this incredible team for getting us to that closing table. We are so grateful!!
Very quick closing on a second home in another state, very professional team and will absolutely work with them again!
The experience from start to finish was professional and much appreciated. Everyone involved was very informative and transparent. I will use InterLinc Mortgage on any transaction moving forward and will recommend to anyone I know in the market for a home purchase.
Probably the best mortgage experience we have ever had. Cathy and her team kept us informed and adjusted to our preferences in how to get the documentation needed to complete the process in a timely and secure manner. Best of all no last minute surprises and closed on time.
Thank you for such a smooth, quick close! I will recommend you highly to all of my clients here on out! So glad to have met you!
Cathy and her team are amazing, professional and fast.
Cathy and her team were very responsive to all our needs. From creating multiple pre-approval letters to support various offers, to answering all our random questions along the way. We greatly appreciate Cathy and the team always making us feel like we were their only clients and providing excellent customer service.
Your office made the experience of purchasing a home during a pandemic very efficient with your client portal and friendly video reminders about next steps. Your staff kept in constant communication with me and even when there was a problem, I appreciate receiving a personal phone call from Cathy to acknowledge the problem and getting things back on the right track. Thank you for your leadership and your team's professionalism. I have personally recommended you to my friends.
Cathy Gapen and her entire team are the absolute best in the business! They were there for us every step of the refi process. We have used their team with every home purchase and just recently on our refi. We would never use anyone else because they are the most professional, genuine, and knowledgeable group I have ever worked with. It's easy to see that they truly care about their clients and will go above and beyond to ensure they have a pleasant experience.
It was a pleasure to work with Cathy and her team at InterLinc. She and they provide the highest level of customer service.
Fast, efficient, very professional. Warm, friendly staff - patient and able to explain any of our questions in understandable terms. Smooth sailing from beginning to end! Can't thank you enough.
Pam and her team went above and beyond serving my client. From always answering the phone to resolving issues quickly, her professionalism and passion is why I would recommend Pam to anyone in need of mortgage services.
I was very impressed by the ease and the communication throughout the whole process.
They always exceed my expectations. The follow up and communication is better than anyone else in the business.
I have the highest expectations from you and your team & I am never disappointed. Your handling of my first-time buyer was spectacular. She never felt lost or confused by the mortgage process & today she is a very happy homeowner!
I have purchased many homes and work with mortgages and mortgage companies in my job, and this is by far one of the best experiences I have ever had obtaining a mortgage. Thank you Cathy and Team Gapen!
My husband and I have bought many houses and this has been the best experience of all. Cathy and her team are amazing. I’d also like to say how precious Cathy is!!! I highly recommend Cathy and her team.
I appreciate Cathy, Rachel and the rest of the team keeping us abreast of what was going on during the process. Not all lenders do that. It really helps for realtors to know how things are going.
Cathy and her team were on top of everything and were able to lock me in on an incredible interest rate. Made this entire process a breeze and I’m very appreciative for that!
Thank YOU so much Cathy! As usual, it was a pleasure to work with you and your staff. Dave and I really appreciate your exemplary customer service, as does Gail. You and she are both consummate professionals!
She is super intelligent, knows her craft, is hard working and is committed to achieving the best possible outcome for her clients. Her patience is immeasurable and her love for people is immense. When you know a person truly cares about you, not only as a client but as a human being, it makes such a stressful project as securing a loan enjoyable. Don’t walk to her office, run!
A wonderful group to work with! This team was very knowledgeable and patient throughout the whole process, which was great news for a 1st-time buyer and not to mention the personalized touch with their adorable closing gifts. Thank you for helping us get our dream home!
Thank you to the entire Cathy Gapen Team for working to get the closing handled. Y’all were great to work with and always so available to us.
Cathy and her team are truly the best in the business. From the very beginning, Cathy and her team had me and my wife's best interests at heart throughout the mortgage process. She gave us a great interest rate, involved us in every step of the process, and was always available to answer any of our questions with the utmost expertise. With Cathy and her team, the closing was a breeze, and we could not recommend their services enough!
Always love working with people who know what they are doing and have been doing it well for many years!
The best and most professional in the area! Gets the job done and on time!
Cathy and her team are wonderful! They made my first home buying experience go so smoothly and stress-free. Cathy, stays in touch with her clients and still to this day checks on my husband and I. I have recommended two friends her way and she helped finance their first homes as well. I would recommend her and her team to anyone.
Pam has went above and beyond our expectations! She always made sure we understood exactly what was happening and was patient with me when I was impatient. Pam was God sent. By now, she feels like family! Couldn't have asked for a better mtg lady.
Hi Cathy, First off let me say thank you for the manner that you and your team of "PROFESSIONALS" handled this transaction. I have been in the Real Estate industry in Montgomery, Al for almost 30 years. I have worked with several Real Estate Companies, as well as owning my firm. Over the years I have had every experience imaginable with lenders. Needless to say, this is the first time that I have ever felt compelled to write to commend a company for their services rendered. The manner in which you "managed" this transaction, as well as the client from start to finish, was superb! As I said you guys are a team of "PROFESSIONALS"... Which I believe is a word or title in today's society that is taken too lightly. Many may profess to be… but you guys OWN IT!! Continue the good work, and success will be unavoidable.
Cathy and her team are amazing! As a first-time homebuyer buying from out of state, I was dreading the process! Would I be able to communicate effectively? Would I be a priority with someone that I never met? I was soooo blessed to be referred to Cathy! Every email responded to promptly! Every question was answered! I came to closing with everything being in place. Cathy and her team were honest and explained things in a way I could understand. Transparency, professionalism and southern hospitality – you can’t go wrong with Cathy, Machelle, and Rachel!