What to Know About Buying a Home in Wyoming
If you’re a first-time home buyer in Wyoming, you know that home prices in Equality State have been rising rapidly, even faster than nationally. And that can be a real challenge when you’re saving for a down payment.
Fortunately, Wyoming offers great help, including low-interest mortgages, homebuyer education classes, and, if you qualify, down payment assistance of up to $10. $000. Here’s how to start.
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Introducing the Wyoming Home Buyer
The median sale price in Wyoming in April 2022 was $375,000, according to Redfin. This represents an increase of 26.1% over the previous 12 months.
Such house price inflation can make it difficult for first-time homebuyers to save for a down payment. But help may be at hand. So, read on for the details.
Homebuyer Stats in Wyoming
|Average home sale price in WY||$375,000|
|Minimum deposit in WY (3%)||$11,250|
|20% deposit in WY||$75,000|
|Average Credit Score in WY1||722|
|Maximum grant for the purchase of a WY home2||$10,000 “silent mortgage”
statewide loan (WCDA)
Installment amounts are based on the state’s most recently available average selling price. The “minimum” down payment assumes a 3% down payment on a conventional mortgage with a minimum credit score of 620.
If you qualify for a VA loan (backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs) or a USDA loan (backed by the United States Department of Agriculture), you may not need a down payment at all..
Loans for buying a first home in Wyoming
If you are a first-time home buyer in Wyoming with a 20% down payment, you can get a conventional loan with a low interest rate. And you’ll never have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Of course, few first-time home buyers have saved enough for a 20% down payment. But the good news is that you don’t need a lot. Not by far.
Borrowers can often get into a new home with as little as 3% or even 0% down using one of these low down payment mortgage programs:
- Conventional 97: Supported by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. 3% down payment and 620 credit points minimum. You can usually stop paying mortgage insurance after a few years
- FHA loan: Supported by the Federal Housing Administration. 3.5% down payment and a minimum credit score of 580. You are required to purchase mortgage default insurance until you refinance another type of mortgage, move house, or pay off your loan.
- VA loan: Only for veterans and military. No deposit is required. Minimum credit score varies by lender, but often 620. No outstanding mortgage insurance after closing. These are arguably the best mortgages available, so check your eligibility if you have a history of military service
- USDA Loan: For low to middle income people buying in designated rural areas. No deposit required. Credit score requirements vary by lender, but often 640. Low mortgage insurance rates
- WCDA: Special low-rate mortgages for first-time home buyers in Wyoming. Plus, down payment assistance for eligible borrowers (see below)
Note that government loan programs (including FHA, VA, and USDA home loans) require you to purchase a primary residence. This means you cannot use these loans for a vacation home or investment property.
Additionally, most programs allow you to use donated cash or down payment assistance (PAD) to cover your down payment and closing costs. Depending on the mortgage you choose, you could potentially walk into your new home with minimal cash out of pocket.
If you’re unsure which plan to choose for your first mortgage, your lender can help you find the right plan for you based on your finances and buying goals.
Homeownership Programs in Wyoming
The Wyoming Community Development Authority (WCDA) says its standard product for first-time home buyers offers special mortgages with low fixed interest rates. And your loan can come with down payment assistance (more on that below).
As usual with state-backed mortgage programs, these loans have income limits and purchase price caps that vary by household size and county. Click this link to check if you are eligible.
Other first-time home buyer loan eligibility criteria in Wyoming include:
- You must be a first-time home buyer. This means you cannot have owned or co-owned a home in the last three years
- You will choose your lender from a list of over 100 participating mortgage companies
- You occupy the accommodation as your main residence
- You will use an FHA, USDA, or VA mortgage (see above), which the WCDA accommodates
- You will complete a home buying training course through the Wyoming Housing Network
In addition, the house you buy must:
- Be a single-family home (no rentals or multi-family dwellings)
- Sit on no more than 10 acres of land
If you are buying a manufactured home, it must be on a permanent foundation and meet FHA requirements.
Click on the WCDA website for full details on this mortgage loan program.
Grants for First Time Home Buyers in Wyoming
Although the WCDA does not offer grants to first-time home buyers in Wyoming, its DPA Home $tretch loan product down payment assistance program may still be attractive to the right people. This is a “silent” second mortgage of up to $10,000, which is an interest-free loan with no monthly payments. The money can be used for your down payment, closing costs, and/or prepaid items (property taxes and home insurance) due at closing.
Of course, you will eventually have to repay your loan. But you only have to do this “in the event of a home sale, refinance, or 30-year term.”
Another WCDA program is the Amortizing DPA loan product. You repay this fixed rate loan in small, equal installments over a maximum of 10 years. And you’ll need a minimum credit score of 620 to qualify.
This may be preferable if you plan to move again soon enough and prefer not to have to pay off your entire Home$tretch loan at that time.
Buying a Home in Major Cities in Wyoming
Casper is on average the most affordable of the three largest cities in Wyoming. And its home prices have grown more slowly between 2021 and 2022. Both Cheyenne and Laramie have higher home prices that are close to the state average. And their home prices have risen more sharply than Casper’s. In the case of Laramie, prices are up 29.3% year over year.
Considering how many people live in Wyoming, it’s perhaps unsurprising that its cities and counties don’t seem to have their own down payment assistance programs. At least we couldn’t find any, although you might want to call your local authority to check. Of course, anyone eligible statewide can apply to WCDA for its programs (see above).
Cheyenne first time home buyers
The median home listing price in Cheyenne was $365,500 in April 2022. That was up 17.9% year over year, according to Realtor.com.
At these real estate prices, making a down payment in Cheyenne could cost:
- $10,970 for 3% deposit
- $73,100 for 20% deposit
We were unable to find a traditional down payment assistance program on the City of Cheyenne website. However, its family self-sufficiency program can help those saving for their down payment.
Casper first-time home buyers
The median listing price for homes in Casper was $279,800 in April 2022. That was up 14.4% year-over-year, according to Realtor.com.
At these real estate prices, making a down payment in Casper can cost:
- $8,390 for 3% deposit
- $55,960 for 20% deposit
First-Time Home Buyers in Laramie
The median listing price for homes in Laramie was $375,000 in April 2022. That was up 29.3% year-over-year, according to Realtor.com.
At these real estate prices, making a down payment in Laramie can cost:
- $11,250 for 3% deposit
- $75,000 for 20% deposit
Where to Find Help Buying a Home in Wyoming
All of the organizations we’ve listed above should provide advice freely to any first-time home buyer in Wyoming.
In addition to our selection, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides a list of statewide and city and county programs in Wyoming. The list is as follows:
What are today’s mortgage rates in Wyoming?
You can check current mortgage interest rates in Wyoming here.
When you’re ready to buy, be sure to apply to at least three to five lenders to ensure you get the lowest mortgage rate available.
Rate quotes can vary widely from lender to lender, so researching rates could save you thousands of dollars on your new home.
1Source: Experian.com 2022 study of 2021 data
2Based on a review of available state DPA grants at the time of writing this article
The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute advertising for products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent company or affiliates.