Florida Down Payment Assistance Programs 2023
February 24, 2023
According to Zillow, the average home price in Florida is $377,816. Typically, home buyers can make a down payment from anywhere between 3% to 20% of the total purchase price, which would be $13,000 to over $75,000. If these numbers look intimidating to you, then you may want to consider these assistance options.
There are several down payment assistance programs available to help home buyers afford a home. With these programs, you can get help with the down payment and sometimes the closing costs of your home purchase. In this blog post, we take a look at some of the most popular Florida down payment assistance programs in 2023.
What is a Down Payment?
For first time home buyers, a down payment plays an essential role in the purchase of a house. A down payment is an initial payment that is made when opting to buy a home and is a percentage of the total cost of the property. It is paid up front while you are closing on the house, and it serves as a show of commitment from the buyer. It also decreases the amount of money that needs to be borrowed which lowers your monthly payment.
Additionally, most lenders require a minimum down payment in order for them to lend out money for a house. The amount can vary depending on the terms established by individual lenders or mortgage bankers.
Florida First-time Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance
Florida Hometown Heroes Program
The Florida Hometown Heroes Program is a program for frontline workers who are also first-time homebuyers to receive down payment and closing cost assistance. Eligible occupations include teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTs, and other public service workers.
The program allows eligible workers to get a mortgage loan from the FHA, VA, RD, or their first mortgage loan from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac at lower interest rates, with reduced upfront costs, no origination points or discount points and down payment/closing cost assistance.
Hometown Heroes can provide up to 5% of the total loan amount or a maximum of $25,000 to borrowers. The assistance comes in the form of a 0%, non-amortizing, 30-year deferred second mortgage. The mortgage, however, is not forgivable. This deferred mortgage will become due and payable, in full, when you sell the property, refinance, transfer the deed or if the homeowner no longer occupies the property as his/her primary residence.
There are more qualifications that borrowers must meet in regards to income and purchase price limits. To qualify for this program, homebuyers must connect with one of Florida Housing’s participating loan officers, have a minimum credit score of 640, provide certification for one of the eligible occupations, and meet the income threshold for their county.
Florida Assist Second Mortgage Program
The Florida Assist Second Mortgage Program is a second mortgage that offers funds to assist with the down payment, closing costs, mortgage insurance premiums, or a reduction to the principal on the mortgage. The Florida Assist Second Mortgage can only be used for the following first mortgage loan programs:
- Florida First (FHA, VA, USDA-RD Only)
- FL HFA Preferred or Advantage Conventional Loan Program For BOND
- FL HFA Salute Our Soldiers Military Loan Program for TBA
- FL HFA Preferred or Advantage Conventional Loan Program for TBA
The Second Mortgage Program provides up to $10,000 in funding with a 0% interest rate to eligible borrowers. However, the loan is not forgivable. The second mortgage becomes payable when the property is sold, refinancing, homeownership changes, or the owner stops living on the property. To qualify, you must also meet the income and purchase price limits.
The Florida Homeownership Loan Program (FL HLP) Second Mortgage
The Florida Homeownership Loan Program (FL HLP) Second Mortgage can help eligible borrowers in the Sunshine State get access to up to $10,000. This loan is structured as a fully-amortizing second mortgage with 15 years to repay with monthly payments. Interest rates vary on the loan. The mortgage becomes payable when the property is sold, refinancing, homeownership changes, or the owner stops living on the property.
Florida PLUS 3%, 4% or 5% Second Mortgage Program
The Florida PLUS Second Mortgage Program provides 3%, 4%, or 5% of the total loan amount in the form of a secondary mortgage. Not only that, but 20% of this second mortgage is forgiven annually over a five year period.
Learn more about the Florida PLUS 3%, 4% or 5% Second Mortgage Program here
HFA Miami-Dade Program
The HFA Miami-Dade program provides up to $10,000 in down payment assistance. The assistance comes in the form of a second deferred, zero-interest mortgage. To be eligible, you have to be a U.S. citizen, have permanent residency status, a minimum credit score of 640, and must have been working in the same line of employment for the last 2 years. There is also an 8-hour homebuyer education course and income limits.
Head Start To HOME Ownership Program
For those living in the city of Jacksonville, home buyers have access to the Head Start To Homeownership Program. The program provides down payment and closing cost assistance that comes in the form of a zero interest second or third mortgage. The loan has a 5 year term and repayment becomes due when the property is sold, refinancing, homeownership changes, or the owner stops living on the property.
To become eligible for the H2H program, borrowers must have a total household income at maximum of 80% of the area median income for Duval County. They need to also contribute a minimum of $500 towards the down payment, with an extra $375 due when the initial inspection is scheduled. The home bought with the H2H program needs to serve as a primary residence.
Salute Our Soldiers Military Loan Program
Salute Our Soldiers Military Loan Program is for veterans and active military personnel to get a fixed-rate mortgage loan at a lower rate. Borrowers can use specific down payment assistance programs in tandem with the military loan program to help them afford to buy a home.
- The Florida Assist program
- Homeownership Loan Program (HLP) Second Mortgage
- Florida First Government Loan Program
- HFA Conventional Loan Programs
- Salute our Soldiers PLUS
Work With The Best Florida Real Estate Agents When Buying a House
Looking for a good real estate agent in Florida? Then you’ll want to work with a Negotiator. Negotiators are top real estate agents who have a proven track record of getting their clients the best possible deal on their home purchase or sale. These agents are located in Florida along with many other states across the country and have a wealth of experience in helping people move to a new house.