New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency

Homebuyer FAQs

These questions and answers are intended to provide general information and are not the final word on program requirements. For more information, see the information for the program you are interested in, get paired with a Participating Lender, or call our toll free hotline 1-800-NJ-HOUSE (654-6873).

Am I a First-Time Homebuyer?
You are considered a First-Time Homebuyer if you have not owned a home for the past three years. If the house you are buying is in one of the designated  Urban Target Area  neighborhoods you do not have to be a first-time buyer. However, you cannot own any other houses.

Do I have to be a New Jersey resident to apply for a loan?
No, but the property you are buying must be in New Jersey and you must occupy it as your principal residence.

Do I have to be a citizen of the U.S. to apply?
No, but you must be a permanent legal resident.

Are there income and purchase price restrictions for the first-time and Urban Target Area homebuyers?
Yes, the federal tax laws require that maximum household income and purchase prices be set for each county.

Where do I apply for a loan?
Loan applications are made through our participating private lenders. When you're ready to move forward in the homebuying process, fill out the form on our Participating Lenders page and we will pair you with a lender in your area that offers our programs.

How do I know if I'm ready to move forward with contacting a lender?
First, set a budget and think about where you'd like to purchase your home. Then, explore our homebuyer programs and see if one is right for you. Consider homebuyer counseling, which will give you an in-depth look at the homebuying process and what goes into purchasing and owning your own home. Then, you're ready to be pre-qualified and pre-approved for a mortgage through one of our Participating Lender Partners! From there, you will be able to see what kinds of homes fit your budget and begin your home search in earnest. For more information about the home buying process, view our First-Time Homebuyer Guide.

Are there any penalties or other downside to having an Agency loan?
Under the First-Time Homebuyer Program, there is a federal requirement that during the first nine years a portion of the gain on the sale of the home be recaptured by the U. S. Treasury if the property and borrower income have increased significantly. For more information, see the discussion of the Recapture Rules.

What are the requirements for the Police and Firemen's Retirement System Mortgage Program?
Borrowers must be active members of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System (PFRS) with at least one year of creditable service. There are no income or purchase price limits, but there is a maximum mortgage loan amount. 

Can I refinance my loans with your program?
NJHMFA is not offering refinance transactions at this time. Police & Fire (PFRS) refinances are governed by the PFRSNJ Board, and may be offered from time to time. Please check with your Participating Lender for terms and availability.

What if I have bad credit or no credit?
Every borrower's credit history has to be individually considered. It is not a good idea to make assumptions about whether one's credit is good or bad. You can have a lender to evaluate your credit history and pre-qualify you for a loan or advise you about what you need to do to prepare to become "mortgage ready." Credit counseling agencies are an excellent resource if your credit needs to be repaired. 

How much can I borrow based on my salary?
The amount varies based on the interest rate, length of the mortgage term, taxes and insurance costs, condo fees, and other factors. Use our online mortgage calculator to get an estimated amount.

What is the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency?
NJHMFA is a statutorily authorized entity of the State of New Jersey. The Agency is empowered to raise money by issuing tax-exempt bonds. Since the Agency's borrowing costs are low, it can pass the savings along in the form of low-interest rate mortgage loans to qualified homebuyers. The Agency also is empowered to finance multifamily rental housing and is the allocating agency for the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.