Buy a home with a free down payment
Help for first-time home buyers
Florida Housing is a state finance corporation created more than 20 years ago to help Floridians obtain safe, decent housing that may otherwise be out of reach. Their first-time homebuyer program provides low-interest mortgage loans and financial incentives year-round to eligible homebuyers who have not owned a home as their primary residence in the past 3 years.
Highlights of the program
The program offers low-interest 30- and 40-year loans with a fixed rate, down payment and closing costs assistance, as well as access to credit counseling.
Teachers, firefighters, health care workers, police officers, as well as active duty military and veterans may be eligible for lower interest rates.
Eligible applicants include individuals who:
have never owned a home,
do not declare their mobile home as real property,
have not owned a home as their primary residence in the past three years,
have established creditworthiness,
have an annual income that does not exceed the program limits.
Down payment assistance
Florida Housing offers two down payment and closing assistance programs in the form of a second mortgage loan and one in the form of down payment assistance to help eligible homebuyers cover their down payment and closing costs.
Down payment assistance
Programs: Offers to:
(Income restrictions apply)
FLORIDA ASSISTANCE PROGRAM $10,000- Applicants with an annual income at or below 80% of the area median income
ASSISTANCE TO MODERATE INCOME (HAMI) $5,000-Moderate income applicants
The City of Orlando offers a down payment assistance program available to low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers to purchase a home within the Orlando city limits. Depending on the household’s gross income, the assistance can be $10,000, $20,000 or $30,000.
Teachers and public safety workers who are on moderate incomes may qualify for $20,000 in assistance. Orlando City employees, teachers and public safety officers purchasing homes within the Orlando city limits are not necessarily first-time homebuyers. Buyers must have occupied the property as their primary residence for at least ten (10) years. Down payment assistance becomes a grant once the availability period is satisfied.
Orange County provides funds to qualified first-time homebuyers for the down payment and closing costs associated with purchasing a home. The program provides assistance to qualified low- and moderate-income individuals in Orange County on a first-come, first-served basis. The program also requires potential homebuyers to complete a pre-purchase and post-purchase educational program.
The buyer must:
Meets income requirements. The annual household income cannot exceed 120% of the average income of the area.
Provide at least $1,000 of own funds.
Complete a homebuyer training seminar.
Secure first mortgage financing.
The property must:
Be new or existing and located in Orange County, outside the Orlando city limits.
Not to exceed a sale price of $219,000.
Get competitive financing with a fixed interest rate.
Be common property.
Maximum ranges from $20,000 to $35,000 depending on household income.
County assistance is provided to the buyer’s agent at closing in the form of a soft second mortgage at 0% interest that is forgivable after fifteen (15) years if the home remains owner occupied.
Additionally, the combined Orange County first mortgage and second mortgage cannot exceed 105% of the appraised value.
Homebuyer Education Program
All participants seeking down payment assistance must attend a free homeowner education seminar. This provides educational and technical services to assist eligible low- and moderate-income families in the process and procedure associated with purchasing an affordable single-family housing unit for a fee. Homebuyers Education covers topics such as choosing a realtor, qualifying for a mortgage, home inspections, sales contracts, home maintenance and credit issues.
The Orange County Finance Authority is a government organization that provides mortgage financing at lower interest rates than those available in the market. Their financial products reduce long-term mortgage costs. Plus, if you qualify, you can get additional down payment/closing cost assistance from other sources along with this financing!
To qualify for home financing, certain eligibility requirements must be met:
You have not had an ownership interest in a primary residence in the previous three years. (Unless the property is located in a federally designated “Target Area.”)
The property must be owner occupied for the term of the loan or until the property is sold.
You have a legal right to permanent residence in the United States
Meet credit and loan requirements
Do not exceed the revenue limit and the purchase price
Veterans can waive the first home buyer rule
The City of Kissimmee Community Redevelopment Agency is offering financial grants to new homeowners in the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) area to provide economic support to downtown businesses. It is designed to attract new residents to target areas within the Community Redevelopment Area. There will be no income restrictions on the disbursement of these funds.
Funding will be released based on establishing the owner’s use of the site. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis after meeting certain qualifications.
The agency offers financial grants to eligible employees of employers in the CRA Overlay District on a first-come, first-served basis to be used toward the purchase of a home. In addition, there are teacher incentives to be used to purchase a home in the CRA Overlay District on a first-come, first-served basis.
Osceola County provides funds to qualified first-time homebuyers for a down payment, closing costs associated with the purchase of a home, and financing at lower than market interest rates. The program provides assistance to qualified low- and moderate-income individuals in Osceola County on a first-come, first-served basis. The program also requires potential homebuyers to complete an educational program.
The buyer must:
You have not owned a home in the last three years.
Attend a homebuyer orientation session and complete a Homebuyer Education Program.
Have a minimum of $1,000 to contribute to the cost of purchasing a home.
You have an annual income that falls within the area median income guidelines as determined by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Additional terms may apply.
The property must:
Must be located in Osceola County.
New home or existing homes must not exceed $200,000.If in the City of Kissimmee, homes must not exceed $240,000.
No mobile homes.
Manufactured housing must be DCA stamped.
Must be a single-family home, condominium, townhouse or cottage.
Maximum ranges from $39,000 to $69,000 depending on household income.
The loan is provided to the buyer’s closing agent at closing in the form of a soft second mortgage that is forgiven after ten (10) years if the home remains owner occupied.
Loan repayment becomes due if:
The borrower defaults on the first mortgage.
The house is sold refinanced with redeemed capital.
The house is rented, leased, sublet or ceases to be occupied by the owner before the end of the loan period.
There is no line of credit against the property.
Homebuyer Education Program
All participants seeking down payment assistance must attend a free homeowner education seminar. This provides educational and technical services to assist eligible low- and moderate-income families in the process and procedure associated with purchasing an affordable single-family housing unit with a fee. Homebuyers Education covers topics such as choosing a realtor, qualifying for a mortgage, home inspections, sales contracts, home maintenance and credit issues.
SHIP (Public Housing Initiative Partnership) Program
The Public Housing Initiatives Partnership Program (SHIP) provides funds to produce and preserve affordable housing by creating a partnership between the public and private sectors. The funds are derived from the collection of documented stamp duty revenue which is deposited into the Local Government Housing Trust Fund. Based on a population-based formula, SHIP funds are distributed to local authorities each month.
These funds are available to homebuyers through the down payment assistance programs above.
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