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Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance Program in Alachua County, Florida

One of the biggest hurdles prospective homebuyers, particularly low to medium-income families, often encounter in their homeownership journey is raising the down payment. As property prices continue to rise yearly, many people are increasingly finding it hard to come up with the minimum down payment required by mortgage lenders.

Fortunately, various forms of down payment assistance have been made available to individuals looking to purchase homes on a mortgage but cannot raise the funds required for upfront payment. One of the popular options that you can leverage in this regard is the Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance Program.

This home finance assistance program aims to help low and medium-income families afford to purchase homes without having to pay any down payment. In this post, we’ll have an in-depth look at this program, including what it is, how it works, the amount of assistance it offers, and how to qualify for it.

What Is The Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance Program?

The Chenoa Fund is a home financing program that provides down payment assistance to low and medium-income homebuyers. The program is run by the CBC Mortgage Agency (CBCMA) in conjunction with approved FHA lenders.

The Chenoa Fund program provides down payment assistance of up to 3% and 5% of the home value. Qualifying for this program covers all your down payments for an FHA loan, which means you won’t need to pay any down payment out of pocket. As such, you can use whatever cash you might have saved for your home to cover closing costs.

While the Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance program mainly targets first-time homebuyers, anyone can apply, provided they meet the minimum eligibility requirements.

Types of Products Available In The Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance Program

The Chenoa Fund program mainly provides down payment assistance for FHA loans. Although it has also worked with Fannie Mae mortgage providers in the past, this program has since been discontinued.

If you’re looking to purchase a home through an FHA mortgage, a couple of products are offered in the Chenoa Fund Program that you might consider leveraging. These include:

Chenoa Fund Rate Advantage Program

The Chenoa Fund Rate Advantage is the most popular type of down payment assistance offered by the Chenoa Fund program. This program allows you to qualify for a 3.5 % down payment assistance loan and enjoy competitive rates on your first mortgage.

The loan has a 10-year term and an annual interest rate of 8%. Your income should not exceed 135% of the median income in your county to be considered eligible for this loan. Similarly, you’ll need a minimum FICO score of 640 and a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of no more than 50%.

Chenoa Fund DPA Edge - Soft Second

This program allows you to enjoy DPA as a “Soft Second” mortgage, provided you meet the minimum eligibility requirements. The fact that this loan offered is forgivable makes this program ideal if you’re a low and middle-income homebuyer.

When applying for this program, having a FICO score of at least 620 and a DTI ratio of no more than 45% is very useful since you enjoy 0% interest on your loan, which can save you thousands of dollars in monthly payments. To be eligible for this program, you must also have an income that is less than 115% of the median income in the county that intends to buy a home.

It’s important to remember that while this loan is forgiven after 36 months, you’ll need to make on-time payments on your first mortgage to qualify. In other words, you should not be more than 30 days late on your first mortgage payment.

Chenoa Fund Edge Repayable Second Product

This program provides 3.5% down payment assistance without any income restrictions. However, you must still meet the other eligibility requirements, which include a minimum credit score of 620 and a DTI ratio no greater than 45%.

The Chenoa Fund Edge Repayable loan comes with two repayment options - a 10-year term with 0% interest and a 30-year term with 5% interest.

Benefits of Utilizing The Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance Program

If you’re keen on purchasing a home using an FHA loan, there are numerous benefits that you can derive from applying for the Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance Program. These include:

Free Homebuyer Counseling and Education

It’s no secret that purchasing a home on a mortgage is fraught with complexities that you should be aware of, especially if this is your first time buying a home. To ensure the success of its applicants, the Chenoa Fund DPA program provides both pre- and post-purchase counseling.

Chenoa Fund’s HUD-approved counselors conduct regular check-ins with homebuyers through its “Borrower Success Program” to provide them with timely assistance and answers they may seek throughout the buying process.

Greater Opportunities of Homeownership For Minority Groups

As mentioned earlier, the Chenoa Fund DPA program is designed to help low- and middle-income families enjoy homeownership. The CBC Mortgage Agency, the federally chartered entity tasked with running the program, is aware of the disparities between different groups.

For example, it acknowledges that the African American community’s homeownership rate is significantly lower than that of whites.

As a result, the program is constantly working to address this disparity by creating and expanding homeownership opportunities for homebuyers belonging to minority groups.

It, for example, collaborates with the UHOUSI Initiative to offer down payment assistance products tailored to minority groups. This collaboration has provided down payment assistance to more than 30,000 borrowers.

Chenoa Fund Program Guidelines

You should know several regulations when applying for the Chenoa Fund Down Payment Program. These include:

  • The Chenoa Fund Program is available to homebuyers in all states, except for New York.

  • The primary mortgage (FHA) must be sold to the CBC Mortgage Agency.

  • Origination charges and lender fees must adhere to the 3% QM points and fees rules according to TRID.

  • Your DE underwriter is in charge of underwriting the file (credit and appraisal) and granting final approval to close. The loan is closed by your DE-approved lender.

  • The Chenoa Fund loan can only be used to purchase approved property types such as attached and detached single-family homes, condos, townhouses, and modular homes.

  • Chenoa Fund down payment assistance for FHA loans only allows for two-unit properties. No three- to four-unit properties are permitted on any program’s products.

  • Manufactured homes are allowed under certain circumstances.

How To Apply For Chenoa Fund DPA Assistance Program

As previously stated, the CBCMA offers down payment assistance through Chenoa Fund-approved FHA lenders. These lenders are responsible for underwriting borrower applications.

This single point of contact simplifies the process for homebuyers looking for downpayment assistance under this program.

A small house model with stack of gold coins on wooden table with nature background

Top 5 Places To Get An Acai Bowl In Alachua County, Florida

The County of Alachua in north-central Florida is widely known for its abundance of historical and archaeological sites, the bustling entertainment scene, and diverse culture. The county of an estimated 200,000 residents also boasts a bustling economy centered around its universities and colleges.

However, one aspect of Alachua County that doesn’t often get enough buzz is its wealth of dining opportunities. The county is home to numerous restaurants, cafes, and eateries that serve popular and exotic foods.

If you’re looking to enjoy a sumptuous acai bowl, here are a couple of places you might want to check out:

Big Island Bowls

Located at 133 SW 130th Way Ste A, Newberry, FL 33669, Big Island Bowls is a juice and smoothie bar popular with locals and visitors of Alachua County. A Bohemia-style layout and decor characterize the establishment, which has been operational since 2016 and many patrons find pleasant and relaxing.

Regarding its offerings, Big Bowl Island places a significant emphasis on healthy eating, which is why all of its acai bowls, juices, and smoothies are made from fresh ingredients sourced locally.

Some of the must-try acai bowls featured on their menu include:

  • Aloha bowl - made with organic acai and orange juice topped with pineapple, blueberries, hemp seed, and granola.

  • Lifeguard bowl - made with organic acai and almond milk topped with blueberries, banana, granola, hemp seed, peanut butter, and honey.

  • Outrigger bowl - made with organic acai and organic apple juice topped with strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, granola, and honey.

  • Waterman bowl - made with organic acai topped with blueberries, banana, granola, shredded coconut, and organic orange juice.

  • Hibiscus bowl - made with organic acai and organic apple juice topped with banana, strawberries, granola, organic goji berries, and honey.

  • Shaka bowl - made with organic acai and almond milk topped with strawberries, organic coconut, granola, and honey.

In addition to its colorful acai bowl menu, Big Island Bowls also offers an extensive smoothie menu with some of its best offerings, including Sun Salutation, Green Goddess, Mango Madness, Coconut Dream, and Bee Healthy.

You’ll also find an assortment of burritos here, including various vegan options for the health-conscious patron.

Vale Food Co

Vale Food Co is a juice bar and eatery located at 3841 SW Archer Rd Ste B Gainesville, FL 32608. According to its website, the establishment places a significant premium on providing healthy culinary offerings to its patrons. They claim to use no artificial sweeteners, no artificial preservatives, and no trans fat in their cuisines.

The establishment is also passionate about corporate social responsibility, which is why it promotes education on healthy living, uses biodegradable containers, and sources its ingredients from local farmers.

Vale Food Co has an extensive menu that includes acai bowls, dragon bowls, and chia pudding. It also serves salad bowls, which you can request to be customized to your liking with the “Build Your Own Bowl” option.

This allows you to choose the bowl size you prefer and select from a wide range of bases, boosts, sauces, veggies, and proteins.

If you’re organizing a party or an event, you can also order catering directly or through EZ cater.

3 Natives

3 Natives is a juice franchise established in Tequesta, Florida, by Anthony Bambino. The franchise, which started as a single 900sq ft juice bar, has rapidly grown into more than 17 stores serving Florida, including one in the city of Gainesville in Alachua County. This particular establishment can be found at 1023 W University Ave Gainesville, FL 32601.

True to its mantra of “spreading positive and healthy vibes,” 3 Natives offers a diverse menu with all its offerings made traditionally from the finest and freshest ingredients. Among its most popular acai bowls include:

  • Chronic - a blend of acai, banana, coconut shaving, kiwi fruit, pineapple, granola, and honey.

  • Estes - a blend of acai, peanut butter, strawberry, granola, green apple, chocolate-covered almonds, and honey.

  • The Calypso - a blend of acai, greek yogurt, granola, almond butter, raspberry, banana, pineapple, blueberry, chia seeds, and hemp seeds.

  • J.B Bowl - a blend of acai, coconut shavings, Greek yogurt, pineapple, strawberry, peanut butter, granola, and hemp seeds.

  • V.O.T - a blend of acai, raspberry, granola, kiwi fruit, hemp seeds, mango, and coconut shavings.

Being a juice bar, first and foremost, 3 Natives has an extensive menu of healthy juices, with some of its best offerings including Celery Juice, The Beet, Slim ‘n’ Spicy, Lean ‘n’ Green, and Easy Greens. They also serve a wide variety of smoothies, booster shots, wraps, and salads.

Vibez Juice Bar

Located at 2122 SW 34th St, Gainesville, FL 32608, Vibez Juice Bar is one of the popular vegan restaurants in Alachua county seat. The establishment prides itself on providing healthy and nutritious eating options for its local community.

Vibez Juice Bar also strive to promote health-consciousness among its patrons, which is why their juices, smoothies, acai bowls, smoothies, and wellness shots are prepared from 100% organic ingredients with no fillers or preservatives.

Its popular offerings include classic acai, pitaya (dragonfruit), and spirulina. The establishment also serves a variety of healthy cold-pressed juices, including:

  • Green Growth - celery, apple, kale, and spinach.

  • Powerful Purple - blackberry, beets, elderberry, and grapes.

  • Optimistic Orange - carrot, orange, pineapple, and lemon.

  • Ravishing Red - strawberries, cranberries, pomegranates, and watermelon.

  • Yummy Yellow - lime, lemon, honey, ginger, and pineapple.

  • Beautiful Blue - blue spirulina, cucumber, blueberries, and lemon.

  • Passionate Pink - grapefruit, pineapple, peach, strawberries, and lemon.

If you’re more of a smoothie person, rest assured there are plenty of options to choose from at Vibez Juice Bar. Some fan favorites include Super Saiyan, Piping Papaya, and the quirky green juice Wat Da Kale.

GainzVille Hub

GainzVille Hub is a plant-based protein bar located at 21 SW 2nd Street, Gainesville, FL. The establishment is quite popular with the local community thanks to its emphasis on healthy living. Its warm and friendly ambiance makes it a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a wide selection of low-calorie and low-sugar foods, snacks, and salads.

At Gainzville Hub, you’ll get the chance to build your acai bowl from a selection of three fruits and two toppings, including granola, hemp seed, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, peanut butter, nuts, and coconut flakes.

But while the acais served at the cafe are scrumptious, the main attraction at Gainzville Hub is its diverse menu of tasty protein smoothies. Some of its popular smoothie offerings include:

  • Aloha - a tropical twist of pineapple-mango protein topped with caramel drizzle.

  • Beryterian - authentic vanilla protein swirled with berries and basil.

  • Bubblegum Drop - a mixture of strawberry cheesecake with peach mango packed with protein.

Gainzville Hub also serves various boosting teas, including Chai Blast, The Hulk, Vacay Vibes, Fresca Burst, and Immuno-tea.

A Final Word

It’s fair to say that purchasing a home in Florida can be pretty challenging if you’re a low to medium-income earner. The down payment required for many properties on the market can be pretty unforgiving, which is why it’s no surprise many prospective homebuyers end up shelving their ambitions for home ownership.

However, thanks to the Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance program, you can now enjoy 3.5% and 5% down payment assistance on your primary mortgage, thus eliminating the hassle of saving up for this high cost.

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