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Guest author: Scott Fournier on the Nehemiah Down Payment Assistance Program

Scott Fournier, of Integrity Home Mortgage, writes:

As many of you may know, The Nehemiah Program, through court litigation won the ability to remain a viable approved source for downpayment assistance when buyers are using FHA loan programs.  Nehemiah is a program by which a seller makes a contribution to a non-profit organization, then the non-profit keeps a fee and then makes a contribution to a buyer.  In this way, the buyer’s downpayment and closing costs can be paid for in their entirety.  It is an excellent option in our market with many sellers paying buyer’s costs… and remains a viable 100% option for FHA loans when conventional 100% financing is nearly non-existent.

Recently, several people have also inquired about the Ameridream Program.  This program is another flavor of ice cream, but still functions the same as Nehemiah.  Its benefits are similar in that a seller can contribute monies as a gift to the program, and the program will then give money back to a buyer which can be used for downpayment and closing costs.  These two programs in many aspects are the same… however… Ameridream charges a fee of $750 whereas Nehemiah only charges a fee of $499.  For this reason, and this reason alone, it makes no sense to use Ameridream when Nehemiah provides the exact same benefit with lower cost taken from the seller’s gift, hence… more money available to then pay a buyer’s costs.

Please feel free to reply to this email or call me with any questions.
I hope this explanation clearly shows you which option will be best for your clients in future.

Ps. By the way, did you know that Integrity Home Mortgage is now fully approved to underwrite, process, close and fund all FHA loans from our Winchester office?  Unlike any other major lender in the area, we can keep the entire process in-house and close government loans for FHA buyers as quickly as necessary with better control and fewer headaches.  Combine this with the benefits of Nehemiah and you can see why we are closing so many of these loans per month.  Please, allow us to show you what excellent service is all about.

Scott Fournier.

I can heartily recommend Scott’s service and professionalism. You can reach him at 540-450-0222 in the office, or visit his website at . I have helped a buyer utilize the Nehemiah program to purchase a home; if you would like more information on the program, just ask!


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6 Responses to “Guest author: Scott Fournier on the Nehemiah Down Payment Assistance Program”

  • We just had a rep from Ameridream come into our brokerage and pitch us on their program and they offered something very interesting. You mentioned in your article that both programs are the same (which they are) thus go with the cheaper one. Well Ameridream offered our brokerage a sort of prefered vendor deal where if we all committed to using them instead of Nehemiah they would only charge our clients $395. Do you think Nehemiah would consider doing something like that? It’s kind of cool now that they’re out of the courts they can now compete against each other and drive that price down!

    Feel free to check our my blog at

  • heatherelias
    Written on

    Hi Clay! Thanks for visiting the site and for your comment…I put your questions to Scott, and here is his answer–one of these days he’ll figure out how to log in and answer himself 😉

    Scott writes:
    Yes, yes, yes… the joys of capitalism spread far and wide… however, remember and consider this: for everything good there is a cost… a cost for freedom, a cost for rights… and yes, a cost for the DAP programs. From my point of view, I’d rather give $499 to Nehemiah who paid to fight the legal battle and insure this ability for FHA buyers; when all other programs were disavowed, Nehemiah spear-headed this issue and won. For that reason alone, I’d give them the business in addition to the fact that their price without negotiation is already better than the other non-profit’s.

    Ever worked hard to get a builder’s business or a specific listing… completing all the research and demographics, then had someone else offer to work for cut commissions once the builder subdivision was rolling along or the seller was confortable to sell? Who deserves the right to that business? Shouldn’t we justify those who pay the cost… by paying their cost :^)

    Just a thought

  • Heather Elias
    Written on

    Thanks for the heads up on that, I will verify. Do you prefer Ameridream over Nehemiah? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the differences between the two programs.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


  • Mike
    Written on

    I understand how these programs work, but I acnnot imagine approaching the seller to “donate” $10-20K to a not-for-profit, especially in this economy. What incentive is there to the seller?

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Michael and Heather Elias are full time real estate professionals and licensed REALTORS at Century 21 Redwood Realty. They sincerely hope you enjoy reading this blog, and would love the opportunity to work with you.

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