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10 best states for home buyers



Most Americans want to achieve the dream of homeownership, but for many, that dream is fraught with financial obstacles. That’s why all 50 states and Washington, D.C., offer specific home-buying-assistance programs to help residents turn homeownership into a reality.

HSH.com recently updated its database of the home-buying-assistance programs in every state. From that database, we have assembled a list of the states which offer the most robust set of programs to their residents.

What makes a set of programs the best? We rewarded states with home-buying programs open to the majority of borrowers with the most points -- four points per program. Down-payment assistance was assigned the second-most significant weight -- three points per program. Finally, all of the other ancillary programs were awarded equally -- one point per program. Using a weighted average system we scored each state based on the number and types of programs they offer.

What's presented here is HSH.com’s list of the 10 states with the best home buyer programs.


Score: 45

Number of programs: 11

Although tied for the second most programs overall, Pennsylvania is the top state in our ranking. Pennsylvania offers five first-time and repeat purchase programs, four down-payment-assistance or closing costs assistance programs, several other targeted programs and also offers and a mortgage credit certificate.

To learn more about the homebuyer programs offered in the state of Pennsylvania, be sure to visit: www.hsh.com/finance/mortgage/home-buyer-programs.html#pennsylvania

New York

Score: 43

Number of programs: 10

New York is a big state with housing markets that range from the heavily urban downstate markets to high-end suburbs to rural and scenic. One common thread is evident, though: Housing in the Empire State is expensive and help can be a very good thing. New York offers the fourth greatest number of program on our list, with 6 aimed at first-timers, three at other audiences and also offers a mortgage credit certificate.

To learn more about the homebuyer programs offered in the state of New York, be sure to visit: www.hsh.com/finance/mortgage/home-buyer-programs.html#new-york


Score: 38

Number of programs: 4

With only four overall programs, you might wonder how Utah made the top group. Simply, it's not the number of programs but to whom they are available. All four program are offered to first-timers, but three of them are also available to repeat buyers; as well, all contain forms of down payment and closing costs assistance, too, driving the state's score higher.

To learn more about the homebuyer programs offered in the state of Utah, be sure to visit: www.hsh.com/finance/mortgage/home-buyer-programs.html#utah


Score: 35

Number of programs: 12

Connecticut offers the greatest total number of programs in our survey, helping them to climb up the ranks. However, the Nutmeg State's overall score was held back as many are aimed only at select audiences. Still, the state does get high marks for the programs it does offer, which include loans for mobile homes, something many states don't make available.

To learn more about the homebuyer programs offered in the state of Connecticut, be sure to visit: www.hsh.com/finance/mortgage/home-buyer-programs.html#connecticut


Score: 34

Number of programs: 8

Colorado ranked highly when we last reviewed homeownership program and they maintained their position in the top ten this time around. With home prices rising strongly in recent years, it's a good bet that both residents new and old will take advantage of these programs. Three programs aimed at first-time buyers, one at repeat purchasers and offers that help with down payments, closing costs and a veteran's program make for a wide range of available help.

To learn more about the homebuyer programs offered in the state of Colorado, be sure to visit: www.hsh.com/finance/mortgage/home-buyer-programs.html#colorado


Score: 33

Number of programs: 9

Wyoming may not be the most populated state, but it does offer folks that want to buy homes there some solid assistance. Nine overall programs are available, with 4 pointed at first-time buyers, 1 at repeat or trade-up homeowners with down payment assistance and mortgage credit certificate also on the menu.

To learn more about the homebuyer programs offered in the state of Wyoming, be sure to visit: www.hsh.com/finance/mortgage/home-buyer-programs.html#wyoming


Score: 31

Number of programs: 11

Alaska is tied for the second most number of programs available. Three are aimed at first-time buyers; down payment and closing cost assistance are available and there are loans available for manufactured homes. The state also offers a range of other programs aimed at multifamily and rural housing and more.

To learn more about the homebuyer programs offered in the state of Alaska, be sure to visit: www.hsh.com/finance/mortgage/home-buyer-programs.html#Alaska

North Dakota

Score: 31

Number of programs: 6

North Dakota covers a lot of potential homebuyers with just six programs. Half apply to first-time buyers and offer down payment and closing cost assistance, and one offer is even aimed at single parents.

To learn more about the homebuyer programs offered in the state of North Dakota, be sure to visit: www.hsh.com/finance/mortgage/home-buyer-programs.html#north-dakota


Score: 30

Number of programs: 6

Wisconsin is another state that achieves wide coverage with just a handful of support programs. Of the six total offers, three are pointed at first-timers and one applies to trade-up buyers. Available down payment and closing cost assistance, programs for veterans and a mortgage credit certificate round out the menu.

To learn more about the homebuyer programs offered in the state of Wisconsin, be sure to visit: www.hsh.com/finance/mortgage/home-buyer-programs.html#wisconsin


Score: 28

Number of programs: 5

Vermont offers just five programs, with two available to first timers and two available to repeat buyers, which helps to move the score up. Additional offers cover down payment assistance and credit towards property transfer taxes with mortgage credit certificates rounding out the list.

To learn more about the homebuyer programs offered in the state of Vermont, be sure to visit: www.hsh.com/finance/mortgage/home-buyer-programs.html#vermont

Using a weighted average system, HSH.com assigned a score to each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C.

States that offered first-time and repeat buying programs were awarded most generously (four points per program). Down-payment and/or closing-cost assistance options were weighed as the second-most important feature (three points per program). Finally, all the other ancillary programs were awarded equally (one point per program).  

We divided the programs into several categories: first-time and/or repeat buyer purchase programs, down-payment assistance, mortgage credit certificate, energy efficient, home improvement, veterans, disabled homebuyers, and job-specific.

For states that had a tie score, we used higher population (the ability to help more residents) as the tie-breaker.

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