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Nehemiah Program Explained

Since I’ve seen so much interest with regard to the Nehemiah Down Payment Assistance Program, I asked Scott Fournier, a lender with Integrity Home Mortgage, to explain for us exactly how it works. Scott writes:

A seller will agree within a real estate contract to make a donation to the Nehemiah Program – a non-profit 501©3 corporation whose purpose is to create funds available to help homebuyers purchase a home with little or no money out of pocket. This contribution can be up to 6% of the contract sales price.  Additionally, a seller is still allowed to pay separately up to 6% of a client’s closing costs… meaning that the client could have a larger downpayment, all closing costs paid for, and their interest rate permanently bought down with any extra remaining funds.

That gift from the seller is taken out of the seller’s proceeds at closing, and simultaneously, Nehemiah wires funds of that amount less a $499 processing fee to the settlement agent.  These funds are then used to pay for a buyer’s downpayment and closing costs. The process is truly that simple and only a handful of forms are necessary to have signed.

Here are the nuts and bolts from the Nehemiah site:

Thanks to The Nehemiah Program ®, more than 250,000 individuals and families now own homes.
Let us help you achieve the American dream:
·         Gift funds up to 6% of the final contract sales towards your downpayment and/or closing costs
·         Gift funds for both first time and repeat homebuyers
(Nehemiah charges a nominal processing fee that may be paid by the seller, homebuyer, or lender.)
·         Gift funds for both new construction and resale homes
·         No repayment of gift money
·         No income or asset limits
·         No geographical restrictions
If you are a qualified homebuyer using an eligible loan program, such as an FHA loan, The Nehemiah Program can help you become a homeowner.

With the current market climate in northern Virginia, sellers (banks included!) are willing to help on closing costs, so this is an excellent time to make use of this program. If you are interested in learning more about how you can utilize the Nehemiah program to purchase a home, please call me at 571-233-5491 or email me at


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2 Responses to “Nehemiah Program Explained”

  • Hello Heather,
    I wanted to share the latest news with you about how Congress’s new housing bill may affect downpayment assistance programs and what is being done to champion this concern. It can’t be said better than Nehemiah themselves… take a peak and voice your concerns as well! Agents should be just as active in this fight as the lenders are becoming…

    Consider how much of your business is FHA financed, and then consider that 40% of FHA’s loan volume is for Downpayment Assistance loans. Again, see below for the latest news.

    Support New Bill (H.R. 6694) to Reform and Save DPA!

    Take Action Now

    As we mentioned earlier this week, the President signed H.R. 3221, Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, into law. The bill contains a provision (SEC. 2113) that forbids FHA from insuring mortgages in which the downpayment comes directly or indirectly from an interested third party (such as the seller), beginning October 1, 2008. As of this date, the minimum downpayment will be increased from 3% to 3.5%.

    We are pleased to announce that a new bill, The FHA Seller-Financed Downpayment Reform and Risk-Based Pricing Authorization Act of 2008 (H.R. 6694) was introduced by several members of Congress on Thursday, July 31, 2008. Representatives Maxine Waters, Gary Miller, Al Green and Christopher Shays sponsored this bill that if passed and signed into law will allow downpayment assistance to continue indefinitely.

    Scott Syphax, President and CEO of Nehemiah Corporation of America praised this group earlier today.

    “Maxine Waters, Gary Miller, Al Green and Christopher Shays have demonstrated the willingness to understand all sides of this issue and the courage and leadership to follow their conscience. All those who understand the importance of working class American’s having their shot at homeownership, need to work together to encourage our elected officials to pass this bill.”

    “There are dire consequences to America waking up on October 1st without downpayment assistance. In fact, 300,000 working class families will be locked out of homeownership in the next year alone.”

    In order to save downpayment assistance, we need to come together NOW to convince Congress to pass H.R. 6694 that allows downpayment assistance to continue.

    Two Ways To Take Immediate Action…

    Write Your Elected Officials
    Please take a minute to submit your comment regarding the urgent need to pass H.R. 6694 that allows for downpayment assistance to continue indefinitely.

    Submit your comments through our Legislative Alerts and Updates page.

    Call Your Elected Officials
    A phone call to your U.S. Senators and House Representative will make a huge impact to save private downpayment assistance programs.

    Locate your elected officials

    Should you have any questions, our Customer Service Department is available at 877-634-3642 from 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. EST to answer your questions.

    Nehemiah Corporation of America
    424 N 7th Street, Suite 250
    Sacramento, CA 95811
    Toll Free: 1-877-634-3642
    (877) NEHEMIAH

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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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