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Florida Hometown Heroes Program: A Comprehensive Guide

Updated: May 7

Find Out How You Can Own Your Dream Home With The Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program!

In today's competitive housing market, it's more important than ever for essential workers to have access to affordable homeownership opportunities. Enter the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program - a comprehensive initiative designed to support those who serve our communities in various critical professions.


This program offers eligible heroes an array of benefits, including zero-interest loans, down payment assistance, and closing cost relief. In this blog post, we will dive into the ins and outs of the program so that you can better understand how it works and determine if you qualify.



Key Takeaways


The Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program provides down payment and closing cost assistance to first-time, income-qualified homebuyers so they can purchase a primary residence in the community where they work and serve.


To qualify, applicants must meet requirements like being a first-time homebuyer, income limits, minimum credit score, and completing homebuyer education.


The program offers benefits like 0% interest second mortgages and access to fixed-rate first mortgages with reduced mortgage insurance.


Home purchases must meet certain property requirements, like being a single-family home, condo, or townhouse that will serve as the buyer's primary residence. There are also county-specific purchase price limits.



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Exciting Update: Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program Receives Fresh Funding!

In a remarkable turn of events, the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program has been infused with an additional $36 million. This vital injection of funds reopens doors for essential workers—from law enforcement to healthcare professionals. For in-depth information, read about the funding update that's reigniting homeownership dreams.


With the program's coffers replenished, owning a home is again a reality for Florida's heroes. The initiative offers lower-than-market mortgage rates and down payment assistance, underscoring Florida's dedication to its service members. Discover how this impacts your eligibility and the application process by revisiting the eligibility requirements.



Florida Hometown Heroes allows borrowers to receive up to 5% of the loan amount (capped at $35,000) in down payment and closing cost assistance

  • Can be paired with additional assistance programs to maximize the amount of received assistance


Down payment and closing cost assistance is available in the form of a 0% interest, non-amortizing


30-year repayable second mortgage. This second mortgage becomes due and payable in full upon the sale of the property, refinancing of the first mortgage, transfer of deed, or if the homeowner no longer occupies the property as their primary residence. The Florida Hometown Heroes loan is not forgivable.


The down payment and closing cost assistance can be used to satisfy the following:

  • Borrower’s down payment

  • Any down payment exceeding the minimum borrower requirement

  • Reasonable and customary closing costs



Hometown Heroes Mortgage Program Options


Conventional

  • HFA Preferred Heroes (Fannie Mae) – Offers eligible borrowers a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. This mortgage also offers borrowers a reduced Private Mortgage Insurance premium for borrowers below 80% AMI. Standard PMI applies to borrowers above 80% AMI.

  • HFA Advantage Heroes (Freddie Mac) – Offers eligible borrowers a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. This mortgage also offers borrowers a reduced Private Mortgage Insurance premium for borrowers below 80% AMI. Standard PMI applies to borrowers above 80% AMI.

FHA, USDA and VA

  • AMI does not impact MI rate


The Hometown Hero Program: Providing Down Payment And Closing Cost Assistance


The Florida Hometown Hero Program is specifically designed to support those who serve and protect our communities by providing much-needed down payment and closing cost assistance.


One notable example illustrating the impact of this program is that of a firefighter who was able to purchase his first home thanks to the Hometown Hero Program's assistance.


Despite working tirelessly to save lives within his community, he struggled with saving enough money for a down payment on a house. The financial assistance offered through this initiative enabled him not only to afford the initial costs but also to secure an accessible mortgage loan tailored towards his unique situation as an everyday hero.


The Benefits Of The First Mortgage Loan Program For Eligible Heroes


The Florida Hometown Heroes First Mortgage Loan Program offers numerous benefits to eligible frontline workers striving to purchase their first home. By providing access to affordable mortgage rates and favorable loan terms, this program is specifically designed to make homeownership more attainable for these essential heroes in various fields such as law enforcement, healthcare, education, and the military.


For instance, borrowers can expect lower interest rates on their mortgages compared to conventional loans. This translates into significant long-term savings that make owning a home less burdensome financially.


Additionally, qualified borrowers have access to down payment and closing cost assistance through zero-interest second mortgages—this aid alleviates upfront expenses associated with purchasing a property.


Finally, by completing an educational course tailored towards first-time homebuyers —a requirement for eligibility—borrowers will be better equipped with valuable knowledge about financing options available through government-sponsored programs like FHA or VA loans as well as conventional lending institutions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.


Exploring the Second Mortgage Option in the Florida Hometown Heroes Program


One of the key benefits of the program is the financial assistance it provides through a second mortgage. This second mortgage comes in the form of a 0 percent interest, non-amortizing loan, meaning borrowers aren't required to make monthly payments to reduce the loan balance.


The amount of assistance a borrower can receive varies and is based on a percentage of the total loan amount. While some borrowers may receive up to 5 percent of the total loan amount, capped at $35,000, in down payment and closing cost assistance, others may receive less, such as 3 percent or 4 percent, depending on their circumstances and the specific guidelines of the program.



Who Can Qualify For The Florida Housing Hometown Heroes First Mortgage?

Who Can Qualify For The Florida Housing Hometown Heroes First Mortgage?

This program provides down payment and closing cost assistance to first-time, income-qualified homebuyers so they can purchase a primary residence in the community in which they work and serve.




Florida Housing Hometown Heroes First Mortgage Eligibility Requirements

Florida Housing Hometown Heroes First Mortgage Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for the Hometown Heroes First Mortgage Program in Florida, applicants must meet several eligibility requirements based on income limits, credit score, and homebuyer education, among others.


First-Time Homebuyer Requirement For The Hometown Hero Program


To be eligible for the Florida Housing Hometown Heroes program, applicants must be first-time homebuyers, except for active military service members and veterans.

This requirement aims to encourage homeownership among those who haven't had a chance to purchase a property before. It also ensures that the funds are distributed to those who genuinely need them.


The program offers zero-interest loans and down payment and closing cost assistance through affordable second mortgages, making it easier for eligible heroes to afford a home in this time of rising housing costs and stagnating economy.


Income Limit Requirement: Making Homeownership Affordable For Eligible Heroes


The Florida Hometown Heroes Loan Program also offers a crucial opportunity for frontline workers to achieve homeownership in the state. To make this possible, there are income limit requirements put in place for eligible heroes.


Applicants must meet the qualifying criteria with a cap of 150% of the state or local median income. This ensures that those who may not have otherwise been able to afford homeownership can take advantage of this program and secure a stable future for themselves and their families. Reach out to us 800-457-9057 we can make sure you are income-qualified to buy a home.


Credit Requirements For The Hometown Hero Housing Program


To qualify, applicants must meet specific credit requirements. Prospective borrowers need a FICO score of at least 640 to be eligible for certain mortgage programs under the Heroes Program.


Paying off credit card debts and avoiding late payments are essential steps in raising one's credit score. Before submitting their loan application, potential homebuyers should review their credit report and ensure that all information is accurate. To learn more about how you can increase your credit score before applying, read out blog post article 5 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Before Applying for a Mortgage


Importance Of Clearing Your Credit Card Debts


Clearing credit card debts is a crucial step in securing a Florida Hometown Heroes First Mortgage loan. High outstanding balances on credit cards can negatively impact your credit score and make you ineligible for the program.


Lenders typically look at borrowers' credit scores to determine their eligibility, and high levels of debt can lower those scores significantly.


Reducing outstanding balances can be achieved through several ways, such as debt consolidation or increasing monthly payments beyond the minimum required amount, which can help pay off debts faster while reducing overall interest paid over time.

When you work with Bennett Capital Partners Mortgage they will make sure you fit into the best program that


The Impact Of New Loans On Your Eligibility


Taking on new loans or credit cards before securing a mortgage can lower your credit score and potentially make you ineligible for a Hometown Heroes Mortgage loan.

This is because lenders consider your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) when evaluating your eligibility for a mortgage loan. If you have too much debt, it might mean that you won’t be able to afford the monthly payments for both the new loan and the mortgage payment.


This could lead to rejected applications or higher interest rates, which translates into higher monthly payments. You must avoid applying for any additional loans or credit cards until after the Hometown Heroes Mortgage has been secured so as not to negatively impact your eligibility.


The Importance Of Paying Your Monthly Bills On Time


Paying your monthly bills on time is crucial if you want to maintain a good credit score when applying for a Hometown Heroes mortgage. Late payments can negatively impact your credit report and lower your score, which could make it more challenging to qualify for the program.


Moreover, late payments may result in additional fees and interest charges that can lead to financial difficulties.


For instance, paying off credit card debts is one of the best strategies to raise your credit score; making regular on-time payments also improves your credit score significantly.


Focusing on paying down high-interest debts before securing a mortgage will help you get approved for better rates and more favorable terms under the Hometown Heroes Mortgage Program.


By regularly meeting payment deadlines, borrowers demonstrate their ability to manage debt responsibly - an important factor considered by lenders when reviewing loan applications.


DTI Requirements For The Hometown Hero Program


The Hometown Heroes Housing Program has varying maximum debt-to-income (DTI) ratios depending on the type of mortgage. For the first mortgage, the DTI ratio cannot exceed 43%, whereas, for the second mortgage, it can go up to 44%.


This means that a borrower's total debt payments, including their potential new mortgage payment, cannot exceed these percentages of their gross monthly income. However, in some cases where compensating factors are present, the DTI ratio may be allowed to go higher than these limits.


Homebuyer Education Requirement: Preparing For Your First Mortgage


Completion of a pre-purchase homebuyer education course is a critical requirement for eligibility in the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program. The purpose of the course is to prepare eligible workers, including educators, healthcare workers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and veterans for homeownership by providing them with essential information about budgeting, credit scoring, down payment assistance programs available to them, and other related topics.


The program requires completion of an approved course that meets set standards and results in a certificate of completion that is valid for two years. It's important to note that post-closing education doesn't qualify; therefore it’s necessary to complete this prerequisite before closing on your mortgage loan.


Purchase Limits For The Hometown Hero Housing Program


The Florida Housing Hometown Heroes First Mortgage program comes with purchase limits that vary depending on the county where the property is located. To find out the first mortgage loan amount you qualify for with the Florida Hometown Heroes Loan program please give us a call 800-457-9057 or send us a message


It's worth noting that these limits are subject to change and depend significantly on different factors such as the type of loan you choose and whether you're a first-time homebuyer or not.


Property Requirements: Purchasing A Primary Residence With The Hometown Hero Program


Eligible properties under the Hometown Hero Program include 1-unit single-family residences, PUDs, 2-4 units, condos, and manufactured homes for primary purchases. However, borrowers cannot own any other properties except for veterans or active military members. The Hometown Heroes Housing Program makes closing cost assistance to first-time homebuyers in the state of Florida.


One of the goals is to get eligible borrowers a primary residence in the community they work. In Miami high housing costs are out of reach for most essential workers, this housing program makes homeownership affordable.


It's also important to note that the property must meet specific eligibility requirements set by Florida Housing. These requirements ensure that a homebuyer can afford their new residence while still meeting their current financial obligations.




Conclusion: The Impact Of The Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program

 Conclusion: The Impact Of The Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program

The Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program has made homeownership possible by providing down payment and closing cost assistance. The Heroes Loan program also offers a lower first mortgage rate and additional special benefits, making homeownership more accessible and affordable.


With the assistance of Florida Realtors, lenders, and Mortgage Brokers the Heroes Housing program makes homeownership within reach of many. The program aims to make affordable housing a reality by offering reduced upfront fees and exclusive benefits to those who qualify.


Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or looking to establish a permanent home in Florida, the Heroes Housing Program provides a valuable opportunity facilitated by the Florida Legislature.



Commonly Asked Questions

Commonly Asked Questions

What are the income limits and interest rates for the Hometown Heroes Program in Florida?


The Hometown Heroes Program income limits are tailored for Florida's diverse counties and aim to make homeownership accessible within the realm of affordable and workforce housing. The Hometown Heroes Program Florida interest rates are set to facilitate affordability, with up-to-date details found in the Florida Hometown Heroes Lender Guide.


What is the minimum credit score required to qualify for the program?


Prospective buyers must meet a minimum credit score requirement to secure funding through the program, which can often be paired with a Freddie Mac First Mortgage for enhanced financial support.


As a first-time home buyer in Miami, what additional benefits are available to me?


First-time home buyer Miami applicants may be eligible for first-time home buyer credits, and they can also seek guidance on the purchase assistance program from Miami Dade County, which can complement the statewide Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program.


What should first-time buyers in Miami know about the Hometown Heroes Program?


First-time buyer program Miami details, including principal residence stipulations and homebuyer loan program's residency requirements, are critical for buyers to understand and can be clarified by a participating loan officer who is familiar with both local and statewide housing initiatives.


What is the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program?


The Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program is a payment assistance program designed to help Floridians become income-qualified homebuyers by meeting the Hometown Heroes Program income limits to purchase homes in Florida, emphasizing support for those in essential service roles.


How does the program work?


The program offers down payment assistance and closing cost assistance to eligible homebuyers by providing lower interest rates on an FHA mortgage loan. VA, USDA Rural Development (RD), Fannie Mae Home Possible®, and Freddie Mac Home Possible® loans.. This allows income-qualified homebuyers to afford a home in the communities where they work.


Who is eligible for the program?


If a borrower is employed fulltime (must document 35+ hrs. per week) by a business located in Florida, meets Program requirements, and can credit qualify for a mortgage, many more First Time Homebuyers should be able to qualify for this program.



How can I apply for the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program?


To apply for the program, you will need to contact a participating lender or mortgage broker such as Bennett Capital Partners who offers the program. They will guide you through the application process and provide you with the necessary forms and documentation.


What documentation do I need to provide for the program application?


The specific documentation required may vary, but generally, you will need to provide proof of income, proof of employment, identification documents, and any other paperwork requested by the lender or mortgage broker.


Can I use the program to purchase any type of home?


The program allows income-qualified homebuyers to purchase a new or existing single-family home, townhome, or approved condominium unit located in designated communities within Florida.


What are the benefits of the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program?


The program offers several benefits, including access to lower interest rates on an FHA mortgage loan, payment assistance, and the opportunity for income-qualified homebuyers to afford a median-priced home in the communities where they work.


Can the program be used in conjunction with other assistance programs?


Yes, the program can be combined with other eligible down payment and closing cost assistance programs to further help income-qualified homebuyers achieve their dream of homeownership.


Is the program available statewide in Florida?


Yes, the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program is available statewide. However, it is important to note that specific eligibility criteria and program requirements may vary depending on the county or region.


Can the program help with other expenses related to homeownership, such as childcare?


While the program primarily focuses on payment assistance and lower interest rates, some participating lenders or mortgage brokers may offer additional resources or referrals for related matters, such as childcare or homeownership education.



FAQs:

FAQs:

Who is eligible for the Florida Heroes Program?


The Florida Hometown Heroes Loan Program is available to first-time homebuyers who have a household income that does not exceed 150% of the area median income (AMI) and who purchase a home in Florida.


What are the benefits of the Hometown Heroes program?


The Hometown Heroes program offers down payment assistance and closing cost assistance to eligible homebuyers. This can help homebuyers reduce their upfront costs and make homeownership more affordable.


How do I apply for the Florida Homebuyer Assistance Program?


To apply for the Florida Homebuyer Assistance Program, you must contact a participating lender or mortgage broker. The loan officer or broker will review your application and determine if you are eligible for the program.


What are the homebuyer education requirements for the Florida Heroes Program?


To be eligible for the Florida Heroes Program, you must complete a homebuyer education course. The course will teach you about the home-buying process and help you make informed decisions about buying a home.


What are the loan limits for the Florida Heroes Program?


The loan limits for the Florida Heroes Program vary by county. You can find the loan limits for your county on the Florida Housing Finance Corporation website.




 
​Philip Bennett

​Philip Bennett


Philip is the owner and Licensed Mortgage Broker at Bennett Capital Partners, Bus. NMLS # 2046828. He earned his degree in Accounting and Finance from Binghamton University and holds a Master's Degree in Finance from NOVA Southeastern University. With more than 20 years of experience, Philip has been a leader in the mortgage industry. He has personally originated over $2 billion in residential and commercial mortgages.


Learn more about Philip Bennett's background and experience on our Founder's page. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor, our team is here to help you achieve your real estate goals. Don't wait any longer, contact us today and let us help you find the right mortgage for your needs.


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Additional Resources

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