Down Payment Assistance Loan Programs in Florida
Did you know that first time home buyers in Florida may be eligible for grants that assist in the down payment requirements for a mortgage? Families and individuals who have dreamed of owning their own homes but do not have the financial means to do so can now take advantage loan programs for first time home buyers in Florida. Many of these Florida down payment assistance programs are available through the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, the state's agency for financing housing. The amount of down payment assistance in Florida is typically determined by the individual's income or the level of household income that is available.
According to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation website, eligibility is based on the percentage of area median income. It is broken down and measured as follows:
- Moderate – 81% to 120%
- Low – 51% to 80%
- Very low – 31% to 50%
- Extremely low – 30% or lower
Qualified first-time homebuyers can obtain 30-year fixed-rate mortgages based on the income levels outlined above as well as the home's purchase price. The prospective homebuyer must complete a homebuyer education class (approximately 6 to 8 hours in duration), have at least a 600 FICO score, and be qualified through a participating lenders network. Purchase price limits will vary from county to county. There are also closing cost and down payment assistance programs that can be used in conjunction with this.
Another program that the FHFC offers is known as SHIP, the State Housing Initiatives Partnership program. However this program is administered by city and county governments. Examples of this include programs for first time home buying in Orlando and Tampa first time home buying programs. Closing cost and down payment assistance is available for families and individuals with moderate to very low household income levels. Funds are allocated as follows based on household income levels:
- 30% to very low
- 30% to low
- 40% to moderate
Another program worth considering is the Florida Assist Program. Individuals who receive Homeownership Assistance Program loans can qualify for up to $7,500 in closing cost and down payment assistance funds. This is a non-amortizing second mortgage loan that features a 0% interest rate and no required monthly payments. However, the homeowner must repay the loan if they pay off the original mortgage or refinance it and if they sell the home or transfer ownership.