- May 11, 2017
- Posted by: steve
- Categories: first time buyers, mortgage articles
Are you thinking about buying a house in Florida? Here’s what you need to know about the first time homebuyer program in Florida.
If you’re a first time home buyer in Florida, you could be missing out on up to $15,000 in downpayment assistance. Don’t miss out on your money by skipping past this information.
First-time homeowners in Florida have a lot of decisions to make. Whether it’s choosing a mortgage broker or bank, comparing the benefits of traditional mortgages with the benefits of FHA loans, or comparing both of those to the benefits of a mortgage lending company like Quicken Loans.
Things can get pretty overwhelming.
But even more overwhelming is the price of making these decisions without taking advantage of all of the information available to you.
A home is the single most important thing you will purchase in your life. Don’t treat it like a joke, and don’t be too tired to find out how to make it easier and more affordable for you.
The first time homebuyer program in Florida can offer some incredible assistance to new homeowners. So if you’re looking to make the leap to homeownership, you should look at these facts about the program.
Why Should I Buy a Home?
If you’ve been renting up until this point, you’re probably wondering why buying a home is even worth it. Well, here are a few reasons a mortgage may be right for you.
- Interest rates continue to go down. Rents? Not so much.
- Finally having control over the look of your space and what you do with it.
- No more landlords
- Be able to rent out a spare room or driveway space.
If you want to try buying a home through the first time homebuyer program in Florida, read on.
What Is the First Time Homebuyer Program in Florida?
This program offers loans and assistance to low-and-moderate income individuals looking to buy a home. As the name implies, it provides this service exclusively to first-time homebuyers.
- Fixed, low-interest rate mortgage loans, and…
- Up to $14,999 to assist eligible borrowers with their down payment and closing costs.
With assistance packages this large available, a first time buyer looking to get a mortgage should take advantage of the first time homebuyer program in Florida.
Which Loan Can I Get?
The first time homebuyer program in Florida offers three groups of loans for first time homebuyers. They are:
- The HOME Investment Partnerships Loan (HOME,) which can be worth as much as $14,999. The HOME assistant partnerships loan comes through the Department of Housing and Urban Development and applies to low-income housing.
- The Homeownership Assistance Downpayment Loan (HA D/P,) which can be worth up to $10,000. It serves very low to moderate-income homebuyers.
- The Homeownership Assistance for Moderate Income Loan (HAMI,) which can be worth up to $5,000. As the name implies, this program provides homeownership assistance to moderate-income individuals and families.
In addition to these programs, certain first-time homebuyers may be eligible for special loans through the first time homebuyer program in Florida. For some, this is a matter of occupation. Individuals eligible for occupation-based loans are:
- Full-time education employees
- Sworn public service officials including police officers and firefighters, and
- Healthcare workers within the State of Florida.
There are also a few other subsidized public loans to consider. For example:
- If you’re a protected veteran, consider a VA loan for first-time home-buyers. Advantages of a VA loan include lower credit requirements and a no-down-payment option.
- Certain rural first time home buyers may be eligible for USDA home loans. These loans exist to encourage development in rural communities. Check if you’re eligible.
- People defined as handicapped by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 are eligible for special subsidized loans.
- Individuals buying homes in Urban Infill Areas are eligible for certain benefits. To find an Urban Infill Area, consult a lender.
- Those purchasing homes within Front Porch Florida and Hope VI communities are eligible for subsidized loans.
In addition to these sources, all home buyers can consider seeking FHA loans and lenders such as Quicken Loans.
Know Your Credit
Your credit score will affect your experience taking out a loan, and can impact your eligibility for the first time homebuyer program in Florida. So know your credit score before making this important decision.
If your credit score is over 580, you can expect to pay a 3.5% down payment while using an FHA loan. With a credit score below 580, that goes up to 10%. If you want to avoid tripling your interest loan and have a low credit score, consider building up a reliable line of credit before becoming a homeowner.
In addition, nobody can purchase a mortgage in Florida who has experienced a bankruptcy discharge within the last four years or a foreclosure within the past 7 years.
If you’re not sure about your credit, we’d love to help you get a credit report!
Know If You’re Eligible
You’re eligible for the first time homebuyer program in Florida if:
- You have not owned a home for the last 3 years, and if you have it hasn’t been your primary residence
- You are below your county’s income limit
- You are planning to use the home you buy as your primary residence.
- You are buying a home below your county’s sales price limit
- You are not buying a mobile home
- You do not own a mobile home and the land it’s on and claim both as real property. You also have not filed for the Homestead Exemption.
- You live in Florida
People not eligible for the first time homebuyer program may be eligible for other homeowner assistance programs. Be sure to look for assistance that you may qualify for in buying a home.
Know the Different Types of Mortgages
Depending on your age, income, and current and future priorities, there are different types of mortgages that may be better for you. Like with all decisions, it’s important to look at your individual case when determining what type of mortgage is right for you.
The two main types of mortgages to consider are:
With a fixed-rate mortgage, your rates stay even regardless of what happens with interest rates.
A fixed-rate mortgage is right for you if you are becoming a first-time homebuyer as a stable investment. However, these mortgages are not the best choice for everyone. The initial investment can be more expensive, and you can never take advantage of falling interest rates. Consider a fixed-rate mortgage a long-term investment.
With adjustable rate mortgages, your monthly payments will rise and fall with interest rates instead of staying level as with a traditional mortgage. This mortgage is right for you if you’re looking for a lower monthly payment at the risk of a long-term increase, so people who are only going to be in the home for a few years should consider an ARM.
In addition, first-time home buyers over the age of 62 should consider a reverse mortgage. In a reverse mortgage, the borrower receives monthly payments from a lender based on the monetary value of their home.
Reverse mortgage holders do not need to make any monthly principal interest premiums. They do not have to pay those payments back until they move out or otherwise vacate the premises. Reverse mortgage holders still have to pay property taxes and other expenses on their homes.
If you think a reverse mortgage is right for you, we can help you get a reverse mortgage purchase quote!
Pre-approval is the process of getting approved for a mortgage before applying. All home buyers should get pre-approved for an easier process and a better chance at approval. The process of getting pre-approval includes:
- A credit history check
- Verification of income using pay stubs and/or tax returns
- Making sure that you have enough money to pay the mortgage.
Pre-approval is insurance for both real estate agents and home buyers, and first-time homebuyers cannot do without it. Advantages of being pre-approved before applying for a mortgage include:
- Demonstrating that you’re serious about home-ownership
- Streamlining your mortgage application process.
- Increasing your chances of approval.
An examination of income and assets will be especially crucial for self-employed people looking for mortgages. But regardless of your employment status, most real estate agents prefer to work with buyers who have pre-approval. So, work with us so we can make sure you get pre-approved.
Some Other Things to Consider
Home buying is a serious decision both personally and financially. Whether or not they will be using the first time homebuyer program in Florida, all first-time homebuyers should consider a few basic questions to make a safe and responsible decision. These questions are:
- Do I have reliable income?
- Do I have enough money in my savings?
- Does this home meet my needs today and tomorrow?
- Do I have a long-term plan to pay back my mortgage?
- Am I prepared to be responsible for making prepares on my new house?
If your answer is yes to these questions, you should take advantage of the first time homebuyer program in Florida and become a homeowner. Congratulations on taking this step, and be sure to let us know how we can help you along the way!