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State programs can help with first home

States still have special mortgages, down payment assistance or other help for first-time homebuyers.

Some programs don’t have as much money as they did before the mortgage crisis hit.

State programs for first-time homebuyersA few states — notably Alabama, Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin — have had to suspend some loan programs temporarily because of the difficulty of selling revenue bonds to pay for them. (They say they hope to restart the programs once the markets rebound.)

But some states are offering new programs, including short-term, interest-free loans so borrowers can tap in advance the $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time buyers.

A few also have interest-free loans for buying or repairing foreclosed properties.

These programs usually have restrictions, such as limits on how much money you can make or the price of the home you want to buy. Good credit helps. Steady work is a must. Some require that you take a homeownership course.

Applying isn’t any more difficult or time-consuming than applying for a conventional mortgage, but the potential benefits are appealing enough that all first-time buyers should find out what’s available.

Here’s where to find links to each state’s first-time buyers programs.

Remember that these programs can change, so it’s wise to check the Web sites periodically for updates.

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