First Time Homebuyer Program

First Time Homebuyer Program

Download the First Time Homebuyer Program Packet

The Upper Darby Township First Time Homebuyer Program established in 2001 is funded through the Community Development Block Grant (CDGG) Program.

This Program offers a maximum of $10,000.00 for down payment assistance to qualified buyers. Financial assistance for this program is federally funded. The Federal government sets certain requirements for this program. Township assistance is based on the amount/gap between the maximum amount a mortgagee will lend and the total purchase price. Total purchase price includes the price of the house, the addition of the closing costs, and is reduced by the mandatory 3.5% down payment of the buyer. The total price of the home cannot exceed $200,000. (A calculation sheet is included in the packet) An Applicant under this program MAY NOT apply for a housing rehabilitation grant under the Township Program until 5 years from the date of settlement have passed. Also, the funds DO NOT apply to a Multi-Family Unit (i.e. duplex, etc.), only to Single Family Dwelling (i.e., row home, twin, single). This summary will introduce you to the program. Please take your time and read the summary thoroughly.
To find out if you are eligible call (610) 352-5555.

How do we determine eligibility?


To obtain financial assistance, the annual gross income of ALL DEED HOLDERS AND RESIDENTS must not exceed the FY 2023 limits shown below. These limits are subject to change annually:

Household Size Income Limit

Household SizeTotal Limit**

Less Than
1 person$62,500
2 persons$71,400
3 persons$80,.350
4 persons$89,250
5 persons$96,400
6 persons$103,550
7 persons$110,700
8 persons$117,850

*The income of any person listed on the deed, even if they do not live at the property at the present time, must also be taken into account.

**Total income for the year 2023 tax return, including earned income, pensions, workmen's compensation, welfare, unemployment, child support, alimony, dividend income, interest income, social security, rents received for rental property(s), etc.

Annual income is determined by the sum of the amounts on the prior year's Federal Tax Return, W-2, and 1099 forms, which you must provide in your application. ALL persons in the home 18 years of age and older must include their income unless they are a full time student. (If a student is buying the home income must be included) Incomes of people under the age of 18 are not to be included.


A "first time homebuyer" is defined as any low-income household that has not owned a home within the past three (3) years. Some families that have owned a home within the past three (3) years can participate if they meet the established definition of a "displaced homemaker" or "single parent" as defined by HUD.

Purchaser must be a United States citizen or a permanent resident alien with a minimum of five (5) years of continual residency and show proof of same.


Buyer is responsible to obtain a mortgage. The lender MUST certify to the Township, prior to the Township providing a commitment, that the proposed mortgage loan amount is the maximum amount that the borrower(s) can carry based on monthly cash availability using the Bank's underwriting. Lender must complete the enclosed form and it should be submitted with your application.


  • Single family, vacant, or owner-occupied existing or new construction properties located within Upper Darby Township are eligible. Rental properties are eligible only if they are vacant at the time of the agreement of sale or if the buyer is the current tenant. Multi-unit dwellings (i.e. duplexes) are ineligible. Please note that the properties must be located within the Township boundaries and not just be a part of the Township school district.
  • Properties must be in the conformity of the Federal lead-based paint requirements at 24 CFR Part 35 K WHICH STATE THAT THERE CANNOT BE ANY DETERIORATED PAINT SURFACES ANY WHERE INSIDE OR OUTSIDE OF THE PROPERTY.
  • Principal Residence - The purchasing household must use the property as its principal residence. Any violation of the principal residency requirement will automatically trigger repayment of the Township's subsidy.


As part of the approval process, the Seller(s) must sign and submit the enclosed Sellers' Responsibility for which states:

  • A Standard RESALE CERTIFICATION is required. A copy of the Certification must be submitted prior to settlement. (Follow Upper Darby Township Licenses & Inspections procedures. Call 610-734-7613 for assistance)
  • The Buyer does not have the power to eminent domain and, therefore will not acquire the property if negotiations fail to result in an amicable agreement.
  • The fair market value of the property must be determined by an appraisal of the property. NOTE: 1) You (the Buyer) are permitted to negotiate a sale price below fair market value. (Below the price in the appraisal) 2) If an appraisal has not been prepared by a licensed appraiser, the agreement of Sale must be contingent upon the Seller agreeing to sell at the lesser of Fair Market Value as determined in an appraisal prepared on behalf of the lender/buyer or a price negotiated by Buyer and Seller.

    If the Seller executes an option or contract of sale before he/she is informed of the property's fair market value and the fair market value is more than the option/contract price, the Seller must be provided the opportunity to withdraw from the option or contract after the appropriate disclosures (listed above and including an appraisal) have been made. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to avoid any dispute and to provide the Seller early written notice that you (the Buyer) do not have the power to eminent domain and that he/she (the Seller) does not qualify for the Uniform Relocation Act (U.R.A) Relocations Assistance.
  • Seller(s) must sign the enclosed form regarding compliance with the Federal Regulations on paint surfaces.


The buyer or buyers' realtor must consult with Upper Darby Township office of Community Development before executing a finalized purchase contract.

The Agreement of Sale must include the notice that the property must meet the program's paint inspection requirements. The buyer must have a full home inspection completed by an ASHI or NAHI certified inspection company and must submit to the Township a copy of the paid receipt from the company on a form which shows the inspection company's full name, address and phone number.

It is your responsibility to carefully examine all painted surfaces on the interior and exterior of the property and bring any defective paint surfaces to the attention of the Seller for correction prior to the requesting of Township's visual inspection. Defective paint surfaces found at the time of the Township's inspection will result in the property not being eligible under the program.


  • There is no requirement that the homebuyer remain income eligible after purchase.
  • Affordability Conditions:
    Buyers must use the property as their principal residence for the duration of the agreement; no leasing or rental is permitted. Any violations of the principal residency requirement will automatically trigger repayment of the Township's loan.
    • During the first four (4) years from the date of settlement there is no forgiveness of the township mortgage. The entire principal on this loan is payable to Upper Darby Township at the time of sale, transfer of the property, conversion to a non-residential use, conversion to rental property, default on the first mortgage, death(s) of the owner(s), or destruction of the property due to fire or unknown reasons. The Buyer is required to maintain fire insurance on the property for the duration of the agreement, which lists Upper Darby Township as a lien holder. A certificate of insurance, which shows this, must be submitted prior to or at the time of settlement.
    • Beginning with the 5th year and ending with the 10th year the Upper Darby Township mortgage will be forgiven at a rate of 16.67% per year. At the end of the 10th year (from the settlement date) the mortgage will completely dissolve and be removed. No payment is due.


All Borrowers must sign a Mortgage agreement with the Township for the amount of assistance provided. The Township mortgage must be in second position behind only the primary lender.

When funds from this program are used in connection with housing in which acquisition or new construction is financed with a mortgage insured by HUD then the applicable period for affordability must be equal to the term of the HUD-insured mortgage. In cases where the FHA mortgage insurance is terminated, the period of affordability will revert to the period that it imposed by the program regulations.

The Township's lien/mortgage interest in a property may be subordinated in the event of a refinancing, with prior consent of the Township. The Township's subordinated position will be no less then its original mortgage position, e.g., the Township is originally in place as a second-position mortgagee, it may subordinate to a new first mortgage. The Township will not subordinate to a position lower than its original position in any event. The subordination is subject to the interests of the Township being protected and as such, the loan-to-value ratio of all liens/mortgage may not exceed 105% of value. In no event, will the Township allow cash to be removed from the property for the buyers use or to pay other creditors in the event of a refinance.