Become a FirstHome Certified Agent

FirstHome™ Certified Agents (FHCA) have specific knowledge of North Dakota Housing Finance Agency’s (NDHFA) FirstHome and related homeownership programs. These agents have attended a course conducted by NDHFA that describes program eligibility including income and acquisition cost limits, the loan origination process and other information relevant to the agency’s programs. The course is certified by the North Dakota Real Estate Commission and agents earn continuing education credits for attendance.

How to become a FirstHome Certified Agent:

  • Must be a licensed and active real estate agent in the state of North Dakota.
  • Must attend and complete the FirstHome Certified Agent course.
  • Must register as a FirstHome Certified Agent here and maintain FHCA status by updating your contact information when needed.

For more information on the FHCA course, contact the NDHFA’s homeownership division or your local real estate board.

FirstHome Certified Agents

Interest Rates

  • All NDHFA homebuyer loans have a 30-year term.
  • Loans can be pre-paid at any time without penalty.
  • Co-signers are not allowed.
  • Mortgagor, mortgagor’s spouse, or anyone secondarily liable on the mortgage must meet NDHFA’s program eligibility requirements.
  • Projected 12 month income of the mortgagor, mortgagor’s spouse, or anyone secondarily liable on mortgage required to determine eligibility.
  • All payments are due on the first of the month and must commence no later than 60 days from loan closing.
  • The late fee charged on all loan types is four (4) percent.
  • All loans are required to have an escrow account, no exceptions.
  • Cannot finance closing costs (exception: FHA upfront premium, RHS and VA guarantee fees).
  • Cannot finance personal property, and land or outbuildings not necessary to maintain the basic livability of the residence).
  • Mortgaged property must contain all major systems (water, sewer, etc.).
  • Mortgaged property must have direct access to a publicly maintained road.

FirstHome™ and Start 

  • Mortgagor, mortgagor’s spouse, or anyone secondarily liable on the mortgage must meet all eligibility requirements.
  • Affidavit of Seller completed and returned to lender.
  • Personal Property Addendum signed by seller and returned to lender.
  • NDHFA requirements and guidelines explained to home buyer.

The following apply to rural properties.

  • Direct access to publicly maintained road.
  • Verified that water/sewage systems are on mortgaged property.
  • Property consists of less than 10 acres.

Start Program

  • Start program parameters explained to home buyers.
  • Property consists of only one or two units.
  • Home buyer and property are both eligible.

Downpayment Closing Costs Assistance (DCA) Program

  • DCA program parameters explained to home buyers.
  • Lower Income Limits apply.
  • Property consists of only one or two units.
  • Requires completion of a NDHFA approved homebuyer education course.
  • Home buyer and property are both eligible.

Homeownership Programs

Marketing Materials

  • You must not have owned a home as your principle residence within the last three years (including a manufactured home on a permanent foundation).
  • You must meet income and purchase price limits.

To qualify, one of the following must describe the households:

  • The mortgagor must be a single-parent with at least one dependent child residing in the home 50 percent of the time.
  • The mortgagor or the mortgagor’s spouse must have served in the active military, naval or air service and been discharged or released from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable.
  • The mortgagor, mortgagor’s spouse or a dependent(s) must be permanently disabled or age 65 or older and reside in the home.
  • You must meet income and purchase price limits.
  • The maximum Roots loan amount must comply with the current Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac conforming loan amount or the limits of the applicable loan insurer/guarantor.
  • Refinances are allowed. Start not available for refinances.

Through the Major Home Improvement Program, NDHFA provides affordable mortgage loans to low-to moderate-income households to buy and rehabilitate a single-family home or to refinance and rehabilitate their present single-family home.

The Internal Revenue Code requires that NDHFA, as an issuer of tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds, set aside a portion of the proceeds of a bond issue for up to one year for reduced interest rate mortgage loans in Targeted Areas of North Dakota.

To determine if a home is in a Targeted Area, search by the address. Type in the address of the property, click search and the corresponding census tract will appear in the information listed. To qualify, the Census Tract number must match one of the tract numbers identified below.

Cass Census Tracts 0005.02,0006.01,0006.02, 0101.06, 0101.07, 0101.11
Sioux Census Tract 9409

NDHFA offers marketing materials for real estate agents to promote our programs to your clients. Flyers can be customized by adding your name, contact information, photo and logo. 

The following social media graphics have been provided for you to use and customize with your own company logo. 

On-demand Real Estate Agent Training Using EdApp

Through EdApp, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency’s (NDHFA) FirstHome Certified Real Estate Agents can complete on-demand training for the FirstHome™, HomeAccess and North Dakota Roots mortgage loan programs, and the Start and DCA purchase assistance programs.

EdApp courses can be accessed on a computer, or from a tablet or cell phone.

Computer Access:

  1. Go to,
  2. Create an account.
  3. Scroll down to select your first course.

Tablet or Cell Phone:

  1. Download EdApp in the Apple or Google Play store or scan the QR code on the right.
  2. Create an account.
  3. Scroll down to select your first course.

How it works

  • You will begin with an Introduction to NDHFA and our Start and DCA purchase assistance programs, and then move through lessons for the FirstHome, HomeAccess and North Dakota Roots programs.
  • Each EdApp lesson provides detailed information and incorporates dynamic visuals and fun quizzes to help you learn about the programs and to help you retain the information.
  • While EdApp courses replaced the training videos that were available on NDHFA’s website, they will not replace our face-to-face training. The agency plans to continue hosting in-person trainings on our homeownership programs.


If you experience any issues logging into or navigating EdApp, contact our communications staff at or 800-292-8621.