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NeighborhoodLIFT

For Greater Austin

BCL of Texas is proud to be part of the NeighborhoodLIFT program in collaboration with Wells Fargo and NeighborWorks® America. Learn how you can leverage up to $7,500 in down payment assistance to put your dream of purchasing a home within reach. Please note: You must take home buyer education with an approved agency to qualify for this program.

Eligibility Quiz

Limited NeighborhoodLIFT down payment assistance funds may be available! Take the Eligibility Quiz to find out.

1. Do you have a signed purchase and sale agreement on a home located in Travis County, Hays County or Bastrop County?

2. Do you have a mortgage pre-approval from an approved NeighborhoodLIFT lender?

If you answered “Yes” to both questions, go on to “Get Started” below.
If you answered “No” to either question, see “Get Prepared” below.

Get Started

To start the application process for NeighborhoodLIFT down payment assistance, you will need to make an appointment to assess your eligibility for the program. Please read and follow the instructions below.

1. Sign up online for an appointment. Appointments are only available online on a first-come, first-served basis. Appointment slots are limited to funds available. Appointments CANNOT be made by phone.

2. The number of available appointments matches the currently available funds. Once these appointments are filled, the only open appointments will come as a result of a cancellation. No waiting list will be kept—buyers should check the registration site frequently for any new availability.

3. Submit the two required documents below (a and b) within 24 hours of making your appointment. You may also submit the optional document (c). Failure to submit these documents within 24 hours or incomplete documents will automatically cancel your appointment. Documents must be submitted to LIFTdocs@bcloftexas.org. PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR FIRST AND LAST NAME IN THE SUBJECT LINE OF THE EMAIL. You will need to be able to submit electronic copies of the following documents:

a) Mortgage Preapproval from an approved NeighborhoodLIFT lender (REQUIRED)

b) Signed purchase and sale agreement, 1st, 2nd and signature pages, signed by all parties (REQUIRED)

c) Homebuyer education certificate, if it was completed within the past twelve months. Successful completion of the eight-hour HBE course is required prior to closing.

Your lender or real estate professional may be able to assist you with submitting these documents online.

4. We will confirm scheduled appointment requests within 48 business hours from receipt of all documents. You will receive an email accepting the scheduled date and time—the email will state that your “appointment was accepted.” This is NOT a confirmation of your eligibility for the program.

5. If you fail to submit all required documents within 24 hours, your appointment request will be cancelled. If you submit only partial documentation, your appointment request will be cancelled. You will receive an email letting you know your appointment request was cancelled.

6. Attend your appointment to confirm eligibility with the necessary documents in hand. If you do not bring the required documents to your appointment or you fail to show up for your appointment, your appointment will be cancelled and you will be required to schedule a new appointment if/when appointments become available.

7. You will receive a NeighborhoodLIFT Eligibility Letter if you meet the eligibility requirements and your required documentation is confirmed.

8. Your lender must submit all required documents to BCL of Texas no less than 13 days prior to your closing date.

For more information, please see our FAQs below.

NeighborhoodLIFT Required Documents

The following documentation is required for each employed household member age 18 and older. Please bring all applicable documents with you to your Eligibility Determination appointment. Failure to bring all required documents with you to your appointment will result in your appointment being cancelled and you will have to start the process over again if/when appointments become available.

  • Pre-approval letter from an approved NeighborhoodLIFT lender
  • Full signed purchase and sale agreement
  • 60 days of pay stubs with year to date information for all jobs worked by each borrower
  • Proof of any and all other income received by each borrower, such as Social Security Award letter, retirement pension, proof of unemployment income, death or disability payments, divorce/court decree for alimony and/or child support, etc.
  • Recent 2 months of personal and business bank statements
  • Federal tax returns for the past two years (1040s)
  • W-2s for the past two years
  • Current Profit and Loss Statement for self-employed individuals
Get Prepared

If you have not completed the required steps for an appointment, BCL of Texas can help you work toward homeownership. Completing the required steps does not guarantee an appointment. Appointments will be open only if NeighborhoodLIFT funds are available.

1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage by an approved NeighborhoodLIFT lender.

2. Find a house you want to buy and get a signed purchase and sale agreement to purchase that house. You must be in contract and have a signed purchase and sale agreement in hand to apply for NeighborhoodLIFT funds.

3. Contact BCL of Texas or e-Home America to register for homebuyer education. You may also receive your homebuyer education from any HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agency that has adopted the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling. Click here for a list of approved agencies in Travis County, Hays County or Bastrop County. Successful completion of the eight-hour HBE course is required prior to closing.

4. Explore other homebuyer programs in your area.

For more information, please see our FAQs below.

What are the terms of the NeighborhoodLIFT funding?

NeighborhoodLIFT funds are provided as a three-year forgivable loan program for owner-occupied properties. As long as the borrower resides in the home, the loan will be forgiven at a prorated amount each year on the anniversary date of settlement. If the house is no longer a principal residence or the property is transferred, repayment of the balance of funds will be immediately due.

Are there income restrictions for eligible borrowers?

Yes. Income limits are set for each market for NeighborhoodLIFT funds. The income limits are calculated based on borrower(s)’s income in connection with household size. To view income limits, click here.

If a person living in the home is not included on the loan to purchase the home does their income count in the calculation of household income?

No. Only borrower income is calculated. To view the income chart click here.

Are there other financial requirements to participate in the program?

You may be required to make an additional down payment contribution from your own funds if your ‘remaining liquid assets’ at the time of settlement will exceed $20,000.

How are liquid assets determined?

‘Remaining liquid assets’ are defined as your available funds in bank accounts such as checking, savings or money market accounts that are readily accessible without withdrawal restrictions or penalties after you have met any out-of-pocket settlement requirements from your own funds.

Liquid assets do not include Retirement Accounts (such as 401(k), IRA or pension accounts), Investment Accounts (such as stock, bond or mutual funds), Certificates of Deposit (CDs), Business Checking or Savings Accounts.

Liquid asset determinations and contribution requirement estimates are made at the time of the first mortgage loan application. Liquid asset funds that are subsequently transferred to restricted accounts after first mortgage application will not be excluded from contribution calculation requirements.

Is there a way to participate in NeighborhoodLIFT since I did not attend the event on August 26-27?

Yes. Down payment assistance funds will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis for eligible buyers who have completed the required steps.

What first mortgage lenders are eligible to participate in the NeighborhoodLIFT program?

A complete list of participating partner lenders is available here.

What is homebuyer education and how do I get it?

Homebuyer education is an eight-hour class that teaches about the home buying process. You may schedule a class with BCL of Texas or participate in the online class through partner eHome America. You may also receive your homebuyer education from any HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agency that has adopted the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling. Click here for a list of agencies in Travis County, Hays County or Bastrop County.

I have a homebuyer education certificate from an agency that is not HUD Approved. Will that be accepted?

No. Only homebuyer education certificates from HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies that have adopted the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling are eligible for NeighborhoodLIFT funds. Click here for a list of agencies in Travis County, Hays County or Bastrop County.

Can I own another home and still qualify for the NeighborhoodLIFT program?

Yes, if you currently own a home but will be selling it prior to closing on the NeighborhoodLIFT property, you can still be eligible for the program. At the time of closing you may not own any additional properties including investment properties.

Are short sale properties eligible for NeighborhoodLIFT funds?

Short sale properties are eligible for the program. The purchase agreement for the short sale property must be signed by the buyer and the seller to apply for LIFT funds. The lender (lien holder of short sale property) must ratify the agreement prior to closing.

NeighborhoodLIFT funds can be used in connection with the financing of a Wells Fargo short sale but only if Wells Fargo is not the new first mortgage lender on the short sale purchase. Another lender must originate the new first mortgage loan.

What expenses can I use the NeighborhoodLIFT DPA funds to cover as part of my home purchase?

NeighborhoodLIFT down payment assistance funds may be used for any eligible purpose including closing cost assistance, down payment assistance, or borrower minimum out-of-pocket investment if allowed by the first mortgage loan program. NeighborhoodLIFT funds may cover the closing costs or out-of-pocket requirements of a FHA first mortgage or other type of first mortgage loan, however for a FHA mortgage the borrower must still provide their own 3.5% down payment. You should consult directly with your first mortgage lender and BCL of Texas to determine how NeighborhoodLIFT program funds may be used in connection with your home purchase.

Can I qualify for additional incentives along with NeighborhoodLIFT funds?

Yes. There may be several programs eligible for layering incentives together with NeighborhoodLIFT funding. Programs sponsored by local municipalities or the state of Texas could potentially be included. A list of additional third-party incentive programs is available here. For other incentive programs that are not listed, contact BCL of Texas to determine eligibility.

How do I know if I am eligible for additional incentive programs?

Eligibility for each program is determined by the program administrators. Contact them directly to participate in their programs.

Are there any properties that are not eligible for NeighborhoodLIFT funds?

Yes. Wells Fargo REO (real estate owned) properties are not eligible for NeighborhoodLIFT funds or properties outside of the defined geographic area. Click here for a map.

Once a buyer is determined to be eligible for NeighborhoodLIFT, how quickly will the process move forward?

Once a buyer with an executed contract is determined to be eligible, a commitment letter will be issued with a copy sent to the first mortgage lender. The lender will then prepare documents for closing and provide copies of the required documents to BCL of Texas at least 13 business days prior to closing. BCL of Texas will then have all documents prepared for the closing.

Will extensions be allowed for clients who do not have a contract on a home within 60 days of the event?

No. Extensions are only available for clients who have met the program requirements and are preparing for settlement.

If a contract falls through can the client change to another property?

It depends on which step the client is in the process. If this happens the client should follow up with BCL of Texas directly.

What happens since I was not pre-approved for a first mortgage at the event?

Event attendees who were not able to qualify for a loan were offered financial fitness classes and counseling to occur after the event. The classes and counseling are designed to help prepare clients to get approved for a first mortgage, and provide information on how to manage income and create a budget based on that income, how to save, how to obtain a credit report, as well as how to apply for and use credit. Click through for more information on our financial classes and counseling.

Where to Find Us
AUSTIN 2212 S. Congress Avenue Austin, TX 78704 P: 512.912.9884 F: 512.610.2568 NMLS #1114924
DALLAS 1322 Record Crossing Dallas, TX 75235 P: 214.688.7456 F: 214.688.7465 NMLS #1114924