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First Time Home Buyer Programs In Florida

By Colleen Colkitt

The housing market is continuing its steady rebound throughout Florida, and first time homebuyers are coming out of hiding and finding that there are still some great initiative programs available to aid them in their pursuit of a home. Some of the most notable programs include:

Florida Housing First Time Homebuyer Program

This program, FTHB, is a great chance for first-time home buyers in Florida to take advantage of great assistance programs and offers. It is a 30-year fixed interest rate mortgage loan, and even buyers who aren't first-timers can have a shot at this great deal if you're in a qualified federally designated area! To determine eligibility, the program calls on the income and purchase price limits. There is also an education class to qualify for the mortgage, which is for about 6-8 hours, as well as a minimum FICO score of 640. Plus, a borrower must put at least $1,000 of their own funds towards the transaction.

Military Heroes

Military heroes and veterans qualify for FHA, VA, and RD programs, which is also a 30-year first mortgage loan program. This also applies to current activity military members who are looking for affordable housing as well. Typically these programs have lower interest rates, of only about 4.25%.

Florida First

A 30-year fixed rate mortgage for first time buyers is available to those applicants who meet program guidelines and qualify. A program such as this has a low interest rate, of 4.5%, which applies to FHA, VA, and RD only. There is, however a Florida First program only applying to those who qualify for a bond loan, and this is an HFA Preferred Conventional Loan only.

All Florida first-time buyers who qualify for Florida First also automatically qualify for one of Florida's down payment assistant programs as well. The Florida First program can be used along with the down payment and closing cost assistance second mortgages, HAMI or Florida Assist).

Down Payment Assistant Program

Florida Assist is a lower-income borrower program, offering $7,500 for assistance on down payment and closing costs. It's a deferred second mortgage because there is 0% interest with no payments. The loan repaid when the borrower either sells or refinances the home, or by the end of the first mortgage term.

Homeownership Assistance for Moderate Income Loan, or HAMI, is used as a low fixed-rate second mortgage, repaid over 10 years. It can provide borrowers with up to $5,000 to help out with down payment and closing costs.

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