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First Time Home Buyers in Colorado

Purchasing a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. It can also be a daunting experience, especially for first time home buyers. The process of finding the right home, securing a mortgage and navigating the legal and financial aspects of buying a home can be overwhelming. However, with the right information and guidance, the home-buying process can be a smooth and rewarding experience.

As a first time home buyer in Colorado, it is essential that you are well-informed about all of the mortgage programs and loan types that are available to you. There are many national and state-specific programs that can help you achieve your dream of homeownership. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the average home prices in Colorado, as well as the requirements for state-specific home buyer programs. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know as a first time home buyer in Colorado.

National First Time Home Buyer Programs

First time home buyers in Colorado have access to a variety of national mortgage programs and loan types, each with their own set of qualifications and requirements:

  • Conventional loans, for example, typically require a credit score of 620 or higher, a debt-to-income ratio of no more than 45% and a down payment of at least 5%.
  • FHA loans, on the other hand, are backed by the Federal Housing Administration and have more flexible qualifications, such as a lower credit score requirement of 580 and a lower down payment requirement of 3.5%.
  • VA loans are available to active duty military members, veterans and eligible surviving spouses and do not require a down payment.
  • USDA loans are designed for low-income borrowers in rural areas and also do not require a down payment.
  • Jumbo loans are designed for borrowers looking to finance a more expensive property and usually require a higher credit score and down payment than other loan types.
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In addition to these loan options, first time home buyers in Colorado can also consider Fannie Mae’s HomeReady and Freddie Mac’s Home Possible loan options. These programs are designed specifically for low- and moderate-income borrowers and offer flexible qualifications, such as lower credit score requirements and a smaller down payment.

Each loan type has its own set of qualifications and requirements, so it is important for first time home buyers to research and compare the different options available. The agents at Blue Water Mortgage can provide more detailed information about the loan types and help you find the best option for your unique financial situation.

Programs for First Time Home Buyers in Colorado

As a first time home buyer in Colorado, you have access to a variety of state-specific programs that can help with the purchase of a new home. These programs can provide financial assistance, down payment assistance or other forms of support to help make the home buying process more affordable.

The Colorado Housing and Finance Agency (CHFA) is one of the primary resources available for first time home buyers in Colorado. They offer numerous mortgage programs, including down payment assistance grants and second mortgage loans. These programs can provide financial assistance to help with the down payment and closing costs of a new home.

Another option is the NEWSED CDC Down Payment Assistance Program, which is designed to help low-income and moderate-income buyers with the cost of a down payment. The metroDPA Down Payment Assistance Program also provides down payment assistance to eligible buyers in the Denver metropolitan area. The Boulder County Down Payment Assistance Program offers similar assistance for eligible buyers in Boulder County.

The Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation (CRHDC) also offers the NeighborhoodLIFT Program, which provides down payment assistance and home buyer education to eligible buyers in certain areas of the state.

Finally, the Colorado Housing Assistance Corporation (CHAC) provides various forms of assistance to first time home buyers in the state, including down payment assistance, mortgage credit certificates and more.

It’s important to note that these programs may have different eligibility requirements and vary in the amount of assistance they provide. Therefore, it’s recommended that you research and compare each program to determine which one may best fit your needs and circumstances. Blue Water Mortgage is not able to offer all of the above-mentioned programs, but we are happy to provide guidance and connect you with the appropriate resources. We are dedicated to helping you navigate the home buying process and find the best program for you.

Requirements for Colorado First Time Home Buyer Programs

When it comes to state-specific home buyer programs, the requirements can be stricter than those for regular mortgages. It’s essential for first time home buyers to understand these requirements in order to determine which program may be the best fit for their particular situation. Review the table below to compare the various assistance programs available in the state of Colorado.

Program Min Credit Score Max Income Limit Max Loan Amount Loan Terms  Other Requirements
CHFA Down Payment Assistance Grant 620 Varies by county and program type 3% of the purchase price for a 30-year fixed-rate loan No repayment required
NEWSED CDC Down Payment Assistance No minimum Household income must be under 120% of AMI $10,000 3% deferred-fixed for 60, 84, or 120 months — deferred payments start on the 13th or the 25th month on the loan depending on the approval 45% DTI Ratio Max

Borrower must attend a Borrower Counseling Section (Pre-Purchase Meeting)

Property must be located in the Denver Metro Area: (Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson)

A property inspection is required. The property must meet with a decent, safe and sanitary condition.

metroDPA Down Payment Assistance 640 $176,700 $25,000 No-payment, zero-interest, forgivable assistance loan on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage Participating Area: most of the Front Range from Castle Rock to Wellington
Boulder County Down Payment Assistance N/A At or below 80% of median income for Boulder County Up to 10% of the purchase price or $40,000, whichever is higher For households earning between 61-80% Area Median Income (AMI): 3% interest loan amortized over 10 years


For households earning below 60% Area Median Income (AMI): Deferred loan. No monthly payments and 0% interest. The loan is repaid at due the sale or refinance of home, if there is a change of ownership, or the home is no longer the owner’s primary residence.

Complete a Homeownership Training Course: The course must be completed before final eligibility for the Program will be determined. Course certificates are valid for 12 months from the date of the class and a certificate must be valid at the time an application is submitted.

Total combined housing debt (first mortgage and all subordinate financing) may not exceed 100% of the value of the property at the time of closing. 

Meet with the housing counselor for a one-on-one budget session

Contribute a minimum of $2,000, or 1% of purchase price (whichever is greater) of own funds (lenders and/or developments may require more)

The home must be in Boulder County, outside the City of Boulder limits.

CRHDC NeighborhoodLIFT N/A $88,600; Income limits are higher for military service members, veterans, law enforcement officers, Pre-K–12 teachers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians $15,000 Funds are provided as a five-year forgivable loan program for owner-occupied properties. As long as the borrower resides in the home, the loan will be forgiven at 20% each year on the anniversary date of settlement. If the house is no longer a principal residence or the property is transferred, repayment of the balance of funds will be immediately due. Must be located in Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas or Jefferson County

Must be the primary, owner-occupied home of the buyer(s)

Must be a detached home, townhouse, condominium, 1–4 unit property or planned unit development

CHAC Down Payment Assistance N/A Throughout Colorado, First Time Home Buyer ONLY: 80% of Median Income

Denver-specific, First Time Home Buyer ONLY: 80% of Median Income

Jefferson County-specific, First Time Home Buyer ONLY: 80% of Median Income, Minimum Financial Contribution: $1,000

Throughout Colorado: Max Loan Amount is $5,000

Denver-specific: Max Loan Amount: 6% of the purchase price or $10,000 (lesser of the two)

Jefferson County-specific: Max Loan Amount: 6% of the purchase price or $10,000 (lesser of the two)


30 Year Fixed at 2% OR 30 Year Fixed at 6% with payments deferred for the first 5 years

Jefferson County-specific, First Time Home Buyer ONLY: 30 Year Fixed at 2% OR 30 Year Fixed at 6% with payments deferred for the first 5 years 

Minimum Financial Contribution: $1,000

How Colorado First Time Home Buyer Programs Work

First time home buyers in Colorado have access to numerous programs that can help make purchasing a home more affordable. However, it’s crucial that you understand the process of these programs in order to take full advantage of their benefits. Below is a breakdown of the steps involved in Colorado first time home buyer programs.

  1. Completing home buyer education requirements: Most programs require home buyers to participate in home buyer education classes before they can be approved for assistance. These courses provide valuable information on the home buying process and help buyers understand their responsibilities as homeowners.
  2. Gaining mortgage approval through an approved lender: To be eligible for assistance, home buyers must work with an approved lender. The lender will help the home buyer obtain mortgage approval and assist in the application process for the home buyer program.
  3. Understanding and qualifying based on each program’s income limits: Each program has its own income limit requirements. It’s important for home buyers to understand these limits and make sure they qualify before submitting an application for assistance.
  4. Understanding any payback requirements: Some programs may require home buyers to pay back the assistance they receive, while others do not. It’s essential for home buyers to understand the payback requirements of any program they are considering before applying.
  5. Anticipating higher interest rates: Home buyers should be aware that some programs may require them to pay a higher interest rate on their mortgage. This is because the assistance provided by the program is essentially a loan, which must be paid back over time.

Knowing how Colorado’s first time home buyer programs work can help buyers to be better prepared for navigating the process and making informed decisions that will benefit them in the long run.

Average Home Prices for Colorado

As you begin your search for your first home in Colorado, it’s helpful to take note of the medium home prices for popular markets throughout the state. Here’s a breakdown of the average home prices and monthly mortgage payments for various cities in Colorado, plus for the state at large. Keep in mind that these values fluctuate in real-time depending on market conditions.

Location Average Monthly Mortgage Payment Average Home Price
Denver $2,445 $623,003
Aurora N/A $505,242
Colorado Springs $1,350 $472,081
Pueblo $1,053 $309,695
Grand Junction $1,048 $384,017
Pitkin County (Aspen and Glenwood Springs) $2,681 $706,430
Colorado (at large) $1,962 $571,262

Colorado First Time Home Buyer FAQs

Q: Who qualifies as a first time homebuyer in Colorado?

A: A first time home buyer in Colorado is typically defined as someone who has not owned a home within the past three years.

Q: Can I qualify for down payment assistance in Colorado?

A: There are various down payment assistance options available for first time home buyers in Colorado, including those offered by the state government and local municipalities. Eligibility requirements and terms vary depending on the program, so it’s important to research and consult with a lender to determine if you qualify.

Q: How much of a down payment do I need to buy a house in Colorado?

A: The amount of down payment required to buy a house in Colorado will depend on the type of loan you obtain and the lender’s requirements. Generally, most conventional loans require a down payment of at least 3%–5% of the purchase price, while FHA loans have a minimum down payment of 3.5%. However, it’s always best to consult with a loan officer to determine the specific down payment requirements for your situation.

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Blue Water is locally owned, so we aren’t beholden to banks. That means we’re able to offer a more diverse portfolio of mortgage products tailored to your specific needs, as well as more competitive rates and lower closing costs.
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The Mortgage Process

Blue Water’s mortgage loan process timeline involves a series of five steps, some of which require sitting down with one of our experts to analyze all aspects of your financial health. Here’s what you can expect:
Getting to Know You & Getting On Track
In our first meeting, we’ll answer your questions and talk about the programs we offer that would best fit your situation.
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Getting Pre-Qualified
The next step in the mortgage loan process is applying for pre-qualification, which enables us to confidentially verify your credit, income, assets, and liabilities.
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Assessing Loan Programs & Rates
At this point, we’ll start to sort through and evaluate which mortgage best fits your needs.
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Obtaining Loan Approval
Once you’ve submitted your loan application, we’ll work with our lenders to help find you the best rate and most favorable terms possible.
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Closing the Loan
After your loan is approved, we’ll review the details once more to make sure you feel confident about the financial commitment you are about to make. Once all of your questions are answered, we will schedule a closing.
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Better, “Counties where mortgage payments have jumped the most in the past two years,”

Business Insider, “The Average Monthly Mortgage Payment by State, City, and Year,”

City of Longmont, Colorado, “Boulder County Down Payment Assistance,”

The Colorado Housing and Finance Agency, “Down Payment and/or Closing Cost Assistance Options,”

Community Resources & Housing Development Corporation, “NeighborhoodLIFT,”

The Denver Post, “Denver Homebuyers Face 20% Rise in Monthly Mortgage Payments Compared to Start of 2022,”

Fannie Mae, “HomeReady Mortgage,”

FHA, “FHA Loan Requirements,”

Forbes, “Conventional Mortgage: What You Need To Know To Qualify,”

FHA, “CHAC Down-Payment Assistance Program,”

Forbes, “What is a Jumbo Loan and Who Needs One?,”

Freddie Mac, “Home Possible®,”

metroDPA, “metroDPA Down Payment Assistance,”

Mortgage Solutions, “Average Monthly Mortgage Payment in Colorado by City,”

NEWSED, “Down Payment Assistance available for buyers purchasing in the Denver Metro Area,”

US Department of Agriculture, “Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program”

US Department of Veterans Affairs, “VA Home Loans,”

Zillow, “Aurora Home Values,”

Zillow, “Colorado Home Values,”

Zillow, “Colorado Springs Home Values,”

Zillow, “Denver Home Values,”

Zillow, “Grand Junction Home Values,”

Zillow, “Pueblo Home Values,”

Please be advised that your actual rate, payment, and cost could be higher. Get an official Loan Estimate before choosing a loan. This estimate is provided for informational purposes ONLY, to assist you in determining an estimate of cash that may be required to close and an estimate of your proposed monthly mortgage payment. Actual charges may be more or less, and your transaction may not involve a fee for every item listed.

Rate and APR based on the following assumptions: Purchase Price of $250,000, loan amount of $200,000, 75% loan to value, 780 credit score, single family property, primary residence, escrowing taxes and insurance, debt ratio within program guidelines.

Rates posted are effective as of 4/17/2024.