Chester County's First Time Home Buyer Program

Written by Bill MacDonaldSeptember 14th, 20222 minute read

Chester County's First Time Home Buyer Program

Thinking of buying a home in Chester County? If so, you're in luck: Chester County has a terrific program for first-time home buyers, offering up to $5,000 towards the purchase of a home.

The loan amount is based on the applicant's financial needs, and is repaid when the home is sold, transferred, or refinanced. And here’s the best part: the loan carries a 0% interest rate.

Closing cost assistance can be "coupled" with most loan types (FHA, VA, USDA, and conventional), including a Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency home loan (PHFA).

Program requirements


To be eligible for a loan, a borrower must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be at least 18 years old;
  • Meet the income requirements (see below);
  • Intend to occupy the home as your main residence;
  • Obtain a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage from a local lender;
  • You must not have owned a house in the previous 3 years, or be a displaced homemaker.

Buyer Cash Contribution

You must have at least $1,000 to go towards the purchase of the home, plus savings equal to 2 mortgage payments.

  • Maximum allowable down payment: 20% (Minimum LTV 80%);
  • Liquid assets of the borrower after closing cannot exceed $10,000.

Eligible Properties must:

  • Be existing or newly constructed single-family residences within Chester County;
  • Be detached, semi-detached, attached, or condominiums;
  • Meet HUD housing quality and lead-based paint standards;
  • Have a sales price that does not exceed FHA limits, adjusted annually per FHA.

Eligible Mortgage Programs: Fannie Mae |FHA |USDA

Mortgage loan qualifications

You must be creditworthy and able to qualify for a mortgage at or below the current market rate.

Income eligibility

Your total gross household income must be at or below 80% of the median income, adjusted for household size.

I think I meet the requirements. Now what?

Meet with a Housing Partnership of Chester County councilor, prior to signing a sales contract. You are required to have a 1-on-1 counseling session and participate in 2 workshops.

Once again, these counseling sessions must be completed prior to buying a home!

This seminar covers topics such as:

  • Closing/Settlement Day
  • Final Walk Through
  • HUD-1 Settlement Sheet
  • Importance of Budgeting
  • Inspections Life as Homeowner
  • Looking at Personal Finances
  • Obtaining a Mortgage
  • Potential Financial Rewards
  • Preparing for Closings Preparing for Homeownership
  • Title Insurance
  • Understanding your credit report

Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA)

Don't overlook the State of Pennsylvania home buyer programs for first-time and non-first-time home buyers. Some programs do not have income limits and the state also offers a down payment/closing cost assistance loan. Learn more.

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