Generally speaking, Down Payment Assistance Grants start off as forgivable loans, that decrease over a specific period of time. If you receive a $10,000 Down Payment Assistance Grant, you are required to own your home for 5 years. If you sale your home in less than five years, you repay a prorated portion of the grant back. This isn't a bad deal considering most grant providers require that you only invest $1,000 - $2,000 of your money. Some grant providers don't require any of your money be used.
There are many types of Down Payment Assistance Grants currently available. The common thread between the different types is the promoting of home ownership for a particular income, bracket, or geographic location. Each program has different criteria. Some of which are income bracket, ownership status and length of ownership. The following is a brief list of some, but not all criteria.
n Income Guidelines - maximum income on a sliding scale based upon the
total number of people in the household
n Ownership Status - haven't owned nor sold a home in past three years
(this period changes grant to grant)
n Required Length of Ownership - depends on amount of grant money