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How South Carolina Makes Buying A Home Easy

Home of the palmetto tree, South Carolina is a popular destination for individuals and families looking to purchase a home. If you’re considering buying a home in South Carolina, you’ll be happy to know that the state offers several programs for both first-time and repeat homebuyers. In this post, read along as we highlight and explore some of the programs the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority (SC Housing) has to offer.


SC Housing was created in 1971 in response to a call from former Governor John C. West. His idea was to “initiate new and innovative programs which will, in our time, provide adequate housing for all citizens of our State”. Since its inception, SC Housing has helped make homeownership affordable for more than 150,000 people. This success stems from several different programs tailored to both first-time and repeat homebuyers. With benefits like competitive mortgage loans and down payment assistance, SC Housing has a variety of programs future and present residents can take advantage of.


The SC Housing Homeownership Program helps individuals and families with low-to-moderate income achieve homeownership. Those who qualify can take advantage of benefits like competitive fixed interest rate mortgage loans and down payment assistance.

To be eligible for this program you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a minimum credit score of 620 – 640, depending on the loan program you select. SC Housing offers FHA, VA, USDA, and Conventional loan programs.
  • Make a down payment of at least 3% – 5%. Your minimum required down payment is dependent on the type of loan you choose.
  • Purchase an eligible property type. Eligibile property types include single-family homes, off-frame modular homes, townhomes, as well as FHA-approved and Conventional-approved condos.
  • Accept a loan term of 30 years.
  • Complete a homebuyer education course.
  • Have not owned a home in the past 3 years, except in Targeted Counties.

To learn more about the SC Housing Homeownership Program eligibility and targeted + non-targeted counties, please visit


The Palmetto Home Advantage is a conventional mortgage program that offers down payment assistance, reduced mortgage insurance premiums, no sales price limits, and is available anywhere in South Carolina. Assisting both first-time and move-up borrowers, those who qualify may take advantage of cost savings over the long term.

Granted through Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, eligible borrows can receive a conventional mortgage with 0%, 3%, 4% or 5% forgivable down payment assistance. If you’re looking to apply, you must have a minimum down payment of 3% and a maximum Loan-to-Value (LTV) of 97%.

While these are just a couple of stipulations, you can view a full list of requirements and qualifications at


The SC Mortgage Tax Credit Program assists eligible homebuyers by helping them receive a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC). An MCC allows a federal tax credit that may reduce a homebuyer’s tax liability. As a borrower, you may see an immediate increase in take-home pay or if you keep your withholdings at a constant level, you’ll have the potential to receive a larger refund when you file for your federal income tax return. Your tax liability may be reduced each year by an amount equal to 50% of the mortgage interest paid or $2,000.00, whichever is less. As long as you retain ownership, pay interest on the mortgage, live in the same home, and have an actual tax liability, you remain eligible to receive the tax credit.

View a complete list of qualifications and exclusions for the SC Housing Mortgage Tax Credit (MCC) Program at


The Hardest Hit Fund Down Payment Assistance (DPA) Program is an FHA mortgage program for first-time homebuyers in specific zip codes in Lexington, Richland, and Sumter counties. This program was created to strengthen demand and stabilize housing prices in those communities. For those eligible, this The Hardest Hit Fund DPA Program provides $15,000 in down payment assistance to each qualified recipient. If borrowers live in the home for a minimum of 10 years, their DPA will be fully forgiven.

With limited funding, this program is operated on a first-come, first-served basis. To see a full list of program criteria and eligible zip codes, visit


If you’re considering settling in the Palmetto state, SC Housing offers a variety of ways you can find the mortgage you want, thus helping you move into your dream home.

Ready to learn more? Talk to one of our SC Housing experts to confirm your eligibility and learn about which mortgage options may be right for you.

Talk to Our Team Today!