First Front Door Program

First Front Door (FFD) is a grant program for first-time homebuyers. Administered by the FHL (Federal Home Loan) Bank of Pittsburgh, participating lenders such as JVB use FFD grants to match your down payment and closing costs on a 3-1 basis. So for every dollar you contribute, FHLBank provides $3, up to the maximum grant amount of $5,000.

FFD grant funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Funding rounds open each year in the spring, so it is helpful to prepare in advance if you are interested in this program. Our lenders can help you determine if the FFD program is a good match and inform you of the date the next funding round opens. You’ll want to act quickly so you don’t miss this limited time offer.

Am I Eligible For First Front Door?

FFD is designed for first-time homebuyers, which FHLBank Pittsburgh defines as people who have “not owned a home within the past three years or owned a home only while married, but not as a single person, within the past three years.” This means you can qualify if you have never bought a house, or if you were a homeowner at some point but have not owned a home for at least three years.  If married, at least one person has not owned a home in previous three years.  

Benefits of First Front Door

Saving for a down payment and closing costs can be a major obstacle to home ownership for first-time buyers with below-median incomes. Therefore, the primary benefit of the FFD program is the opportunity to use up to $5,000 in grant money (which you do not need to repay as long as you own the home for at least five years) for a down payment and closing costs. You still need to contribute some of your own money, at least one-third of the total grant amount, but FFD reduces the total amount you need to save for, making home ownership easier and perhaps swifter to attain.

FFD Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for the First Front Door program, you need to meet one of the previously described definitions of a first-time homebuyer. Also, the personal funds you contribute must consist of your savings, a gift from friends or relatives, tax refund money, an inheritance, or any other type of personal money. You may not use other grants, loans, or seller assistance programs as your personal contribution. Other eligibility requirements include:

  • At the time of your FFD enrollment, the income of your entire household must fall at or below 80 percent of the median income in your area.
  • You are not a student working less than 30 hours per week.
  • Before you buy a home with FFD grant money, you must complete at least four hours of homeownership counseling. This counseling must be provided by an approved agency and include the topic of predatory lending.
  • You may not receive any more than $250 cash back at settlement for any reason.
  • You must own your home for at least five years after the loan closing date. If you sell it before the five-year mark, you may need to repay a portion of the grant you received.

What types of homes qualify for FFD?

  • Primary residences
  • Single-family homes, townhomes, condos and modular homes

What types of properties do not qualify for FFD?

  • Investment properties
  • Manufactured homes that are permanently attached to a site

How Does First Front Door Work?

The first step is to contact a participating FFD lender such as JVB. Your lender will complete the FFD application for you as part of your overall mortgage application process. It takes about 10 business days for your FFD application to be approved. If your application is successful you will have six months to buy a home with the grant money. Remember that within those six months you must also complete the required homeownership counseling.

Applying For First Front Door

The 2018 First Front Door Program opens for funding applications on April 4th. To start the application process, talk to one of our lenders today. You can call us at 1-855-582-5101 from 8:00-5:00 Monday through Friday. During those same hours you can also take advantage of our live chat feature by clicking the link on the top right corner of our website. Or visit your nearest JVB branch office in Juniata, Huntingdon, McKean, Mifflin, Perry, Centre, and Potter counties.

Alternatives To First Front Door

If you missed the current FFD application period or don’t meet the eligibility requirements, you still have options for finding an affordable mortgage. Visit our Mortgage and Home Equity Loans page to learn more about conventional mortgages with a low down payment and government-backed home loan programs with attractive terms such as FHA loans, USDA loans for rural homebuyers, and VA loans for military veterans.

As a community bank serving Central PA for over 150 years, JVB is dedicated to meeting the financial needs of our local communities. We provide personal help from mortgage experts who understand the local real estate market. Call us at 1-855-582-5101 to speak with a JVB lender about the best mortgage options for your situation and needs.