Various government and private programs exist to provide financial assistance to first-time home buyers. Among the most popular is the IRS's first-time home buyer exception, which allows IRA owners to use up to $10,000 from their account to fund expenses associated with buying, building or rebuilding a first home. IRS guidelines for determining first-time home buyer status are generous. Please contact your Realtor to interview a number of different banks and lenders to find the best program for you. There are numerous programs, all offering some combination of lower down payments, higher qualifying ratios, more attractive rates, and allowable gifting situations.