First Time Buyer Resources


The first time buyers market seems pretty impossible sometimes, and now the Spring Market is almost here again. We expect the competition will heat up with the weather, and prices will rise.

If it feels like you are getting outbid over and over again, the very best thing to do is talk to a trained, experienced professional at Grand River Realty. Our agents will bolster up your offer and actively advocate on your behalf with other agents and sellers. That said, here are a few additional incentives available only for first time buyers.

Advantage, you say? First time buyers?? Yep. We’ve collected as many as we can find for you, and we’ll keep adding to this list.

Hot Tip
Tired of offer deadlines and multiple offers? View some homes that have been on the market for a week or more. Here’s an active list of homes in Kent County that have been listed for 8-366 days. This avoids the hottest listings that will sell in the first few days on the market. This list does include new construction, condos, and multifamily investment properties:,18
Note, with some browsers the user will need to hit “refresh” 1-2 times before the “Days on Market” filter will kick in. We have a ticket into technical support about it. If you hit “refresh” 1-2 times and the number of matches drops, you’ve experienced this issue.

Please keep in mind that promotions do expire, details change, and additional stipulations exist. The following links are posted as a starting point and omit many of the specifics of each program in the interest of keeping the post concise, and in a “list” format. 

Fifth Third Down Payment Assistance Program
Get up to $3,600 toward your down payment or closing costs depending on the loan type you choose, no payback required

State of Michigan, MSHDA
$10,000 and $7500 DPA programs (These are no-interest loans)

Michigan Buyer Savings Account
This is new in 2022, its kind of like saving for college or retirement, the max you can save is $5,000, or $10,000 for joint filers. The benefit to doing this is “favorable state tax treatment.”

Freddie Mac Home Possible and BorrowSmart programs
Smaller incentives available from participating lenders.

Grand Rapids Homebuyer Assistance Fund (income qualified)

Here are some federal incentives
Nothing much new here but worth a first-time browse.

Flagstar Gift Program
• Borrower must qualify for the Fannie Mae Homeready product or Freddie Mac Homepossible program
• Borrower is able to receive a gift up to $7500 towards down payment or 3% of purchase price (whichever is less). There is no repayment on this gift from Flagstar Bank.
• Income limit varies based off location of home
• Minimum loan to value 95% ( borrowers can’t put more than 5% down payment )
• 620 credit score
• Conventional with PMI

Flagstar Destination Home Product
• 100% financing, no down payment, however borrower is responsible for 1% of the purchase price to be applied towards closing costs
• Income limit varies based off the location of the home

Rent to Own
Grand River Realty has partnered with an REIT to purchase homes with cash that are listed on the MLS. You become a tenant. When you are ready, refinance into homeownership with a mortgage. Qualify or get started here:

Appraisal Rebates
Coast One Mortgage, Gold Star Mortgage, others
Some banks have these and there are various qualifiers and stipulations. Its worth asking your loan officer.

Chenoa Fund
Down Payment Assistance for FHA Loans

Questions on any of these offerings? Want local contact numbers for one of these programs? Please ask Grand River Realty by filling out the contact form or by contacting your favorite Grand River Realty agent. You will receive an immediate response.