Teacher Next Door Blog

Thank you Christopher and Suzanne for sending us this sweet video! Congratulations on the new addition to your family and on your lovely new home!   

For more info on GRANTS and other benefits, please CLICK HERE

www.TeacherNextDoor.us. #TeacherNextDoor,#NurseNextDoor


Posted by Teacher Staff on July 30th, 2019 2:53 PM

Congratulations Bryan and Kayla Randall of Winter Haven, FL on your beautiful new home!  We would like to wish you many years of happy memories.

Thank you Teacher Next Door Realtor, Cheri Aumond McLean for going above and beyond.

For information on GRANTS, down payment assistance and other programs - CLICK HERE


Posted by Teacher Staff on May 13th, 2019 10:37 AM

Congratulations Rewa and Xxavier Chisholm of Brandon, FL!! We hope you enjoy your new home! Thank you TND Realtor, Cheri Aumond McLean and TND Program Specialist, Samantha Wallace for your help!! ??????????      

Grant and down payment assistance information


Posted by Teacher Staff on May 8th, 2019 4:35 PM

"Words cannot do James and the Teacher Next Door Program justice! James was the most accommodating, helpful person I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. He was professional, knowledgeable and overall amazing to work with. He made an extremely anxiety provoking process way less daunting. He was there whenever we needed a question answered or something explained, despite the three-hour time difference. I can’t thank James enough for helping us get into our dream home! The dogs thank you too!"
Samantha Lloyd,
Boston, MA

Congratulations to the Lloyd Family!  We wish you many years of happy memories in your new home.

Thanks Samantha, for the kind words and for sharing your photos.  The dogs look right at home already. 

Read more Teacher Next Door Reviews


Posted by Teacher Staff on April 12th, 2019 12:41 PM

How can a teacher with bad credit get approved for a mortgage to buy a home?  As the largest National Home Buying Program in the U.S., it is a question we are asked every day.   The honest answer is, it depends.

FICO scores between 500-580

FHA now allows loan approvals with FICO credit scores as low as 500.  However, if your score is between 500 and 580, there are at least two important differences from the typical FHA loan:

Down Payment: 
FHA requires all buyers with scores below 580 to put a minimum of 10% down.  Whereas other loan programs may be as low as 0-3.5% down.

In addition to the larger down payment, with a score below 580, FHA will require that the application go through a process known as “hand-underwriting,” as opposed to the typical automated process.  The underwriters will be looking for a specific hardship to explain the low credit score and will likely need a good “letter of explanation”

Compensating factors: During hand-underwriting, the underwriter will consider compensating factors, to get the loan approved for you.  These may include things such as a long and stable employment history, high income, excellent rental history and high cash reserves.  A low debt-to-income-ratio will also help.  For example, 29/41. (29% or gross for PITI and 41% of gross total monthly debt.) 

Teacher Next Door accepts all applications, regardless of credit score and our Preferred Lenders will work hard to get a loan approval for you.  Many buyers with scores below 580 may find it necessary, or easier, to repair their credit prior to moving forward with a home purchase.  Teacher Next Door’s Fresh Start Program could be a possible solution to help you raise your score.

FICO score of 580+

If your score is above 580, you should be able to get an FHA loan with only 3.5% down payment.  You may also not need to go through the hand underwriting process, making it easier to get approved.    

Grants and Down Payment Assistance for Teachers

All teachers and school employees are eligible for the Teacher Next Door GRANT, regardless of credit score.  However, you would still need to qualify for the mortgage financing.  With a credit score above 580, you may be eligible for down payment assistance.  Teacher Next Door requires each of our three national Preferred Lenders to offer several different down payment assistance options.  These DPA programs may include Home in Five Advantage, Georgia Dream, Florida First, Chenoa, Unison and several others.  When you apply through the Teacher Next Door Program, a TND Program Specialist will contact you to go over the various options.  A credit check is not required to complete the pre-application

If you have other Questions about the Teacher Next Door Program, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions section at


Teacher Next Door Reviews


Fresh Start Program

Posted by Teacher Staff on April 8th, 2019 4:12 PM

“James and the Teacher Next Door program recently made my dream of home ownership come true! He could not have made the process any easier from explaining the loan options, setting me up with an amazing Realtor, making sure I knew exactly what each home would cost before I viewed them, to arranging for the closing and talking me through the process. He answered a ton of questions with a calm kindness and seemed to always be available no matter the day or time. This is a wonderful program for teachers! I would not have a home today if it was not for James and his team! Don’t wait to call them, they will help change your life.” Krissy Vilagie, Brocton, MA

More Teacher Next Door Program Reviews


GRANTS and Down Payment Assistance


Posted by Teacher Staff on April 4th, 2019 1:41 PM

With us every step of the way!

"We wanted to give a shout out to Cheri Aumond-McLean for helping us find our dream home here in Tampa, FL. She was with us every step of the way (and I definitely appreciated her quick responses to ALL of my questions). She gets stuff done! Without this program, we would have been at a loss during the whole process. We appreciate the team (Cheri, Jose, Albie, and everyone else behind the scenes) that came together to guide us - we're at a loss of words for how thankful we are!"

Danielle Matte, Teacher
Tampa, FL

Read more Certified Buyer Reviews


Posted by Teacher Staff on April 1st, 2019 6:07 PM

“We can never thank you enough! You have been so amazing through this process from answering all our questions, to giving us reassurances that we can do this! You NEVER let us down, you were always there, even at 10PM, calling me back to walk me through documents, to listening to my meltdowns. You made this process a breeze, and it was nice to have someone always in our corner!” 

Many Thanks and Blessings!


The McWherter Family
Paducah, KY 

Read more REVIEWS

Grants and Down Payment Assistance


Posted by Teacher Staff on March 26th, 2019 12:22 PM

Thanks again Brandon, Albie, Jose, Catherine, Misty and Mike for collecting and delivering school supplies to Chaparrell Elementary in Phoenix!  You guys rock! 

For info on GRANTSdown payment assistance and other benefits for first time home buyers visit https://www.teachernextdoor.us/First-Time-Home-Buyer-Program.


Teacher Next Door Reviews

Posted by Teacher Staff on February 28th, 2019 10:35 AM

Today at Bryan Elementary School in sunny Plant City, Florida, TND Realtor Cheri Aumond-McLean stopped by to deliver 11 boxes of donated school supplies, from our TND SOS Drive. These mid-year supplies are for teachers and students. Our National Director, Steve Parks, was in town for the day to provide the manual labor. ?? Thank you to Principal Tamethea Simmons, Maria Mille and the wonderful staff for your warm welcome. You have a great team! 

Posted by Teacher Staff on February 27th, 2019 1:39 PM


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